On Compensation and Career Growth across Business Functions in the Philippines

3 minutes read

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING? - Job-seekers today face a tradeoff between compensation growth and career growth, i.e. some jobs offer attractive compensation packages, but at the price of competition lowering the chances of promotion. Data from the PMAP Compensation Survey can show us which business functions or departments can get you the best compensation or promotion rates, or a reasonable tradeoff of the two.

A fresh new college graduate looking for a decent job in the corporate world probably wants two things: a stable source of income, and opportunities to grow their career. Unfortunately, these two don’t always come together; there are many economically-sound but dead-end roles, and also those that provide career advancement, but in exchange for meagre compensation.

Most companies are diverse enough that different business functions or departments receive varying degrees of compensation and career growth, and thus (to some degree, depending on your college attainment), you can choose which part of the company you’d like to sink your teeth into. For that, we’ll need to look at the data.

The grass is always greener on the other side

Summary data from the People Management’s Association of the Philippines’ (PMAP) compensation survey can help us determine which business functions offer high compensation growth, the lowest degree of competition, or both. Let’s take a look:

Workhorse or front-end departments such as Production/Operations or Sales offer attractive compensation in the future, but only if you work hard and beat out your many peers. On the other hand, operational support departments like Marketing or Human resources provide a great degree of latitude and growth, but only if you are willing to sacrifice some compensation growth. Administrative support departments - Finance/Accounting and IT - are middling in terms of competition, but it is Finance/Accounting that provides the best tradeoff between compensation and promotion.

Sales, Finance/Accounting, and Marketing are above trend when it comes to the tradeoff between compensation and career growth, while Production/Operations, IT, and Human Resources are below trend. This might reflect how Philippine companies regard the value-added of each department to the business.

Explore the data

If you are curious about the raw data behind the chart or otherwise want to see if your actual salary brings you up to standard, feel free to explore the interactive dataset below. Click on a business function to highlight its movement up the ranks.


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