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Finance, accounting, economics and business students most motivated by salary hopes

Jaymes Carr

What really matters to graduates? GradAustralia's student survey identifies student motivators, including salary, fulfilment, diversity and company image.

Money talks and students who have spent years at university becoming fluent in its language are listening. The GradAustralia Top 100 Graduate Employer Guide has found that students of finance, accounting, economics or business are less likely than students from other disciplines to choose personal fulfilment over salary, though a majority still prioritise fulfilment.

Sixty-six per cent of finance, accounting, economics and business students agree that it’s more important to feel fulfilled at work than it is to earn a lot of money. That leaves 44 per cent who see it the other way around: for these graduates, pay trumps personal satisfaction.

It’s perhaps no coincidence that 65 per cent of finance, accounting, economics and business students report a willingness to make sacrifices in their personal lives for the sake of career advancement.

However, the pay isn’t the only priority shared by graduates of finance, accounting, economics, and business. Eighty per cent of them considers it important to join an employer with a diverse workforce. Only fifteen per cent agree that, if the salary were right, they’d work for a company with a bad image.

‘What emerges from our research is a nuanced picture of today’s finance, accounting, economics, and business graduates,’ says Geoff Adams, co-founder of GradAustralia. ‘It’s clear that they know how much their skills are worth, and that they’re intent on securing fair remuneration: but, even among these savvy students, the importance of diversity and employer reputation looms large. It would be a rare graduate, in 2019, who agrees that ‘greed is good’ for its own sake.’

Visit the GradAustralia website to find graduate jobs in finance, accounting, economics and business.