Dear What Am I Worth,
I am studying information science in Dunedin. During the course of my study, I have used MS Access, Oracle 8 SQL, Delphi 4, Axiant 3 and JBuilder, and have been involved in the development of a prototype information system for a client.
I have previously worked part-time maintaining and updating web pages for a small retail site. I have also designed and maintained personal web pages using FrontPage, DreamWeaver and PhotoShop and, on the hardware side, have built PCs from the ground up.
I am a bronze medallist in the recent SkillEx (formerly YouthSkills NZ) information technology competition in Auckland, which involved the use of advanced features of MS Office applications.
Aacorn International replies: Forget about the money, concentrate on graduating. Your careers advisors at your university will be able to provide you with extensive information as to potential roles and starting salaries.
The best computer graduates can certainly have expectations in the mid-$30,000s, and we advise students to seek employment with professional and growing companies that are committed to utilising modern technology and have a track record of recruiting and advancing the careers of graduates.
Money should not be the deciding factor at this stage — over your career you'll have plenty of potential to earn a fortune, but only one chance to start your career wisely. In the meantime I applaud your willingness to undertaking projects outside of the university. Most employers seek graduates who can demonstrate ease of learning, a track record of part-time work and a confident and communicative manner. Seldom do they look for specific technical skills. Therefore enjoy your studies and don't get hung up on whether your arsenal of programming skills is marketable.
Submit your question to What Am I Worth?