Better Skills Can Mean Better Pay
Money Magazine Australia|May 2021
Move over shares and property. Improving your qualifications can be your most rewarding investment.
Nicola Field

In today’s competitive job market, having a respected qualification can fast-track your career – and your wealth. One in three Australians holds a bachelor degree, but just one in 10 has postgraduate qualifications. And the extra years of study can give your pay packet a much-needed bump.

Data from a 2018 KMPG report “Is Tertiary Education Worth It?” confirms that financial gain goes hand-in hand with tertiary qualifications. Weekly pay for both male and female graduates is around $500 higher than for workers with vocational and Year 12 qualifications.

The upshot is that several years of living on two-minute noodles and being fifth in line for the shower in a student share house can pay off. And as you move through a career, postgraduate qualifications can help you stay ahead. The question is, which qualifications deliver the most bang for their buck? We look at what’s up for grabs.

MBA can be worth the cost

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has a rock star reputation and a price tag to match. The average cost is $60,000, though fees vary widely.

You could pay $89,500 with the Melbourne Business School (part of University of Melbourne) for an MBA ranked 26th internationally and number one in Australia, according to QS Global MBA Rankings.

At the other end of the scale, an online MBA through Central Queensland University may set you back less than $18,000.

It’s a big outlay, but the returns can be equally supersized. The annual Financial Times MBA rankings show MBA graduates pocket salary increases averaging 70% to 100% within three years of graduating.

As a guide, MBA students from Melbourne Business School can enjoy a salary uptick of 87% with an average salary of around $156,000. Alumni of the Australia Graduate School of Management can see their pay packet jump 82% to $157,000, and Macquarie University MBA grads earned 81% more post-study with a salary average of $168,000.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MONEY MAGAZINE AUSTRALIAView All

Add power to the estate plan

It’s important to nominate a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated

10+ mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

In the company of angels

Danielle Robertson was born at a time when Australian women had to manage their homes, children and entertaining pretty much on their own.

9 mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

A conversation we need to have

Dementia affects an increasing number of Australians, and families should plan now for the financial risks

4 mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

A little pain can be a good thing

Lending restrictions to rein in booming house prices are prudent risk management

5 mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

A betrayal of trust

Under the cover of lockdowns, unscrupulous children and other relatives are ripping off ageing parents more than ever

10+ mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

ASK THE EXPERTS WHERE TO INVEST $10K

In a challenging year, one silver lining is that many of us have been able to stash away some extra cash. Here are eight ways to make the most of it.

10+ mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

Borrow to get ahead

You can boost your returns by using someone else’s money, but the payoff is not without risks

6 mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

Tell the truth, the whole truth

Investment labels such as ‘balanced’ don’t always mean what they suggest

5 mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

Neighbours' big payday

Homeowners who band together to sell a mega-lot of land, rather than selling individually, can double their profits

8 mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021

The good, the bad, the costly

Lockdowns have triggered an outbreak of home improvement projects. These are the pitfalls to avoid.

5 mins read
Money Magazine Australia
November 2021