A new report from employer branding firm Universum, the 2012 Cost of Talent Index, ranks the anticipated salaries of college graduates in 20 countries and reveals that students in Switzerland expect to earn roughly twice that of their British counterparts. Swiss graduates expect a monthly pre-tax take-home of $6,612. The Brits? Just $3,299.
The 2012 Cost of Talent Worldwide (monthly salary, pre-taxes):
No. 1 Switzerland, $6,612 (up 27.5% from 2011)
No. 2 Norway, $5,913 (down .5% from 2011)
No. 3 Denmark, $5,489 (up .4% from 2011)
No. 4 Canada, $4,594 (up 5.4% from 2011)
No. 5 Germany, $4,451 (up .3% from 2011)
No. 6 United States, $4,220 (down .8% from 2011)
No. 7 Sweden, $4,125 (up 3.1% from 2011)
No. 8 France, $3,766 (up .1% from 2011)
No. 9 Finland, $3,748 (down 3.4% from 2011)
No. 10 United Kingdom, $3,299 (down 1.5% from 2011)
Graduates in Switzerland have a steep rise in their expectations from 2011, when the nation placed fourth in Universum's rankings and students said they expected salaries of $5,184. The year over year increase in anticipated earnings is more than 20% and Universum says illustrates a positive outlook on the job market and economy of the country. In fact, of the five Scandinavian countries in the top 10, three report considerable increases in expected earnings.
"The talent in a market is always one step ahead of the economy," says Universum CEO Petter Nylander. "These students care about their careers and are very well informed not just about companies but also the job market and possibilities of economic growth [in their countries]. This year's results seem to reflect not just the current weather—today's economy—but they are a sign of climate change. We expect to see some more big changes in the coming years."
After Switzerland, the nation that's seeing the largest increase in expected salary for college grads is Canada, a country that's reported positive jobs growth in the first six months of 2012. Canadian grads say they'll expect a monthly salary of $4,594 in 2012, up from $4,369 last year. Not only have 155,000 new jobs been created, but surprisingly most of those jobs have been of the full-time and high-paying variety, according to a new report from CIBC. By Nylander's logic, the positive outlook of the students surveyed could indicate a continuation of that positive trend.
American graduates are unfortunately not as optimistic. Anticipated earnings are slightly down since 2011 in the country as the unemployment rate refuses to fall. In 2011 graduates expected $4,256 and this year just $4,220.