How big's your slice of the cake?

Ever wondered what you’d earn if you started your first job in a different country? And can you guess how long you’ll keep it?

If it’s a big slice you’re after, try the Far East, where graduate scheme salaries can average at £42K pa. 

And you’re more likely to stick with it than grads in the UK: more than four out of ten of them have a new employer five years later.

According to a recent survey, these are the average graduate salaries (across all sectors) in the following countries:

Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Japan: ranging from £30,000-£42,000

USA: £29,000

Australia: £28,000

Canada: £28,000

UK: £25,000

South Africa: £9,000

The survey, conducted by a consortium of graduate recruiters to give a global benchmark in the industry, asked recruiters for their 2009 figures.

There’s been a bit of movement since 2008: salaries in Canada and South Africa have gone up (3.6 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively); the UK hovered on zero, and salaries in Canada and the US went down (a bit: -0.77 per cent and -1.2 per cent respectively.)

The bad news comes in the number of jobs available. Compared with the year before, the vacancies in Australia, the US and the UK were all way down – by as much as a quarter in the UK’s case (and -22.2 per cent in Oz, -21.7 per cent in America).

There’s tough competition, too: nearly 50 applications for each job in the UK, against 43 for each Australian job and 40 in South Africa.

The survey shows that most young people have stuck to their jobs: at least nine in ten of all the 2008 graduates in new positions were still there a year later. (Highest rates were in the Far East and Canada, where nearly all graduates were still in position after one year.)

After five years there’s a lot more movement – especially in the UK, where only 57 per cent of graduates are still in their first job. In the Far East this is up at 75 per cent. The other countries vary between the two extremes: seven out of ten US candidates are still in place after five years, for example, while in Australia (62 per cent) and Canada (68 per cent) more have moved on.

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