My Future

Hang In There: Graduate Employment Does Get Better With Time


Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

For those of us wrapping up our uni journey, it’s normal to worry about what’s coming next. We often hear that graduate employment is pretty dire, but some recent stats are giving us lots of hope.

Today the government released the Graduate Outcomes survey. It followed students from 2014 to 2017, documenting their career progression over three years starting at graduation. Interestingly, the results showed that rates of employment increased over time.

So, What’s The Verdict?

The longitudinal study surveyed a fairly large chunk of students – 35,591 to be exact – across 55 higher education institutions around Australia. The results noted that 67.5 per cent of these students who graduated in 2014 secured full-time employment within a few months of leaving uni. Three years later, 89.3 per cent of the same cohort are now employed full-time.

The paper acknowledged that vocational degrees like medicine and pharmacy have a stronger chance of immediate employment than “generalist” degrees like creative arts, humanities, social science and mathematics. However, this gap gets more narrow over time, meaning that those with generalist degrees may not score opportunities straight away but are more likely to do so eventually.

Mind The Gap

Unfortunately, the report also found that male undergraduates earn $4,000 more than their female counterparts for work secured shortly after uni. This number increases to $6,000 more after a few years. So while the graduate employment statistics are quite positive, the stark difference in male and female pay is a bit of a bummer.

However, it’s nice to know that our worries about snagging a full-time job most likely won’t stick around forever. Good things take time, we guess, so don’t throw in the towel just yet!