Oh, University. A burden of lifetime debt, outdated subjects and all for that ‘we need more experience’ response from employers. Hold up though students, HAVE WE GOT NEWS FOR YOU. New studies show that actually, employers love a degree or two and employment and salary outcomes for graduates across Australia have improved over the last 12 months. Things are looking up, folks.
The Graduate Outcomes Survey, which is produced for the Australian Government was released today and gives us proof that working out butts off at Uni is actually worth it. I repeat, actually worth it. The report showed that in 2018, 72.9% of undergrads were in full-time employment four months after completing their degree, increasing from 71.8% in 2017. This may seem like a tiny change, but the percentage has been on the rise since 2014 when it was just 68.1%.
The type of degree you have has some input in how likely that first job is, however. The GOS says that graduates with more generalist degrees may find it harder to gain a foothold in the market. This comes with Creative Arts, Tourism, Hospitality, Sport and Psychology coming in with the lowest rates of full-time employment. However, ones with more specialist degrees are likely to be presented with more opportunities from specialist recruiters, such as technology, web development, or business and accounting recruitment agencies.
Despite the difference being tiny, the median salary of graduates has increased over the year. Recordings show graduates now earn an average of $61,000 a year compared to $60,000 the year before. And in a world full of talk about gender divides, there is no stopping when it comes to graduates. Female graduates were earning $60,000 in 2018 compared to males, who had a median average salary of $63,000. The 4.8% ($3000) gap is over double that of 2017. There’s no doubt that questions need to be asked as to whether we are moving backwards as a society and how we can fix this.
In terms of employer satisfaction, 92% of supervisors in 2018 reported to the ESS that the qualification had prepared their graduates “very well” or “well” for their current employment. It was also said that in general, supervisors considered the graduates’ qualification as more important than the graduates themselves. I’m not exactly shocked, but there’s definitely something to be said for a bit of passion and personality, instead of just a qualification.
Overall, the reports are pretty damn positive. And they’re definitely lifting our spirits about that next essay or exam we’ve got on the horizon. So keep that head down, ’cause hey, 73% of you are going to get that job straight after graduating.