Unlock your earning potential in business and IT with further education

Striving for financial success? Here’s how much you could earn in the business and IT industries.

Whether you’re a seasoned finance specialist, an aspiring accountant looking to broaden your horizons, an IT professional wanting to upskill, or you’re simply looking to gain extra valuable experience in your existing role, pursuing further study can pay dividends. Here’s how further education can open doors to higher-paying salaries and more senior roles.

Business and finance

According to Business Insider Australia, starting salaries for finance and accounting roles increased by 2.1 per cent in 2017. Financial analysts, business advisory managers, accounts receivable managers and management accounts received the heftiest pay rises, while finance professionals who have additional IT skills were also favourable. Financial analysts saw the biggest increase in starting salaries a few years back – a minimum of $80,000 and a maximum of $112,000 based on a 4.2 per cent annual growth.

The 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide is proof that further education and upskilling can have an advantageous effect on a starting salary. A financial controller in a lower salary percentile – one of four pay ranges based on skillset and experience level – earns approximately $130,000 per annum. Someone with further developed skills and specialised certifications, however, has the potential to take home A$180,000 per year in a senior position.

The guide also shows that 80 per cent of Australian chief financial officers increased their reliance on technology within their company. Due to this, tech-savvy business analysts are currently the top new/emerging financial roles in Australia and New Zealand thanks to digitisation within the industry, followed by risk managers, financial advisors, wealth management consultants, and strategic planning specialists. This suggests those who are staying abreast of innovations within their industry in a bid to improve their skillset will see favourable financial rewards.

There are plenty of options: the Graduate Certificate in Business builds skills in a range of business disciplines, including accounting, economics, management and marketing - perfect for those wishing to extend their reach in the business or finance sectors. Alternatively, a Business Process Mining short course gives business professionals better insights into how an organisation works.

Other top-earning senior roles in the business and finance industries include:

  • Internal auditor ($125,000 p/a)
  • Payroll manager ($120,000 p/a)
  • Credit manager ($115,000 p/a)
  • Senior accountant ($110,000 p/a)
  • Tax accountant ($95,000 p/a).


As the technology industry continues to thrive, the demand for further qualified software engineers, architects and cyber security engineers has also increased. Research by global recruitment agency Morgan McKinley shows mobile development, UX/UI, full-stack developers and cyber security roles were in highest demand throughout 2018, but also have the opportunity to dominate in 2019.

The Morgan McKinley 2019 Information Technology Salary Guide suggests those looking to enter a senior management role can be up for an average $220,000 per year as a chief information officer or $200,000 as a chief technological officer.

The highest-paying senior roles in IT architecture include enterprise architects and IT directors, earning an average $200,000 and $180,000 per annum respectively, with solutions, cloud and infrastructure architects earning $160,000 per year.

If you’re interested in growing your existing skillset in the IT sector, consider the Master of IT Management (Executive) - a course that focuses on IT strategy, information assurance and evolving technologies, as well as decision-making and collaborative skills.

Other top-earning senior roles in the IT industry include:

  • Cyber security engineer ($150,000 p/a)
  • UX/UI developer ($130,000 p/a)
  • Web developer ($130,000 p/a)
  • Product designer ($130,000 p/a)
  • Test engineer ($120,000 p/a)

Earning power is just one of the measured benefits of further study. Higher levels of education can make a significant difference when compared to graduate salaries or the earnings of those with a high school education. Spending more time, energy and money on further education will certainly pay off with more career progression opportunities, employment prospects and monetary gain. After all, the more you learn, the more you earn!

Note: All dollars listed are in AUD.

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