Graduate Employment

Information on the QILT website about graduate employment outcomes is sourced from the Graduate Destinations Survey (GDS) for 2014 and 2015 and the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) for 2016.

The GOS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training and in 2016 was administered by the Social Research Centre. The GDS was a forerunner survey to the GOS which up to 2015 was administered by Graduate Careers Australia.

Both the GDS and the GOS have been completed by graduates of Australian higher education institutions approximately four months after completion of their courses. They provide information on the labour market outcomes and further study activities of graduates.

Four indicators of graduate outcomes are displayed on this website. Survey results from 2014, 2015 and 2016 are pooled to improve data reliability.

The indicators relate to:

  1. Graduates in full-time employment
  2. Graduates in overall employment
  3. Graduates in full-time study
  4. Median salary of graduates in full-time employment


Full-time employment

The proportion of graduates who were employed full-time four months after completing their course, as a percentage of those graduates who were available for full-time employment.

Overall employment The proportion of graduates who were in any kind of employment (including full-time, part-time or casual work), as a percentage of those graduates who were available for employment.
Full-time study
The proportion of graduates who were undertaking further full-time study, as a proportion of all graduates.
Median salary

The median salary level of graduates who were in full-time employment.

Full-time employment relates to graduates employed for 35 hours or more per week. Overall employment relates to graduates employed for one or more hours per week.

Employment outcomes data on this website includes responses from Australian resident graduates only. Data is displayed separately for graduates from undergraduate and postgraduate coursework level degrees.

Care should be taken when interpreting results from the GDS and GOS provided on this website. The results are estimates only, because they are based on surveys which were not completed by all graduates. The accuracy of the figures varies depending on the number of graduates who completed the survey. Confidence intervals are displayed to provide a measure of accuracy of the estimates.

For technical details about the calculations used to score data derived from the GOS and GDS, please see the document, Technical Details - GDS and GOS calculations. For details on the transition between the GDS and the GOS, please see the 2016 GOS National Report.

The 2016 Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal (GOS-L) supplements the Graduate Outcomes Survey by measuring the medium-term employment outcomes of higher education graduates, approximately three years after they have completed their course. The GOS-L is based on a cohort analysis of graduates who responded to the 2013 Graduate Destinations Survey.

Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), graduates have taken longer to find work, especially those with generalist degrees. But as shown in the tables below, employment outcomes for higher education graduates improve markedly in the medium term. For example, in 2013, 70.9 per cent of undergraduates were in full-time employment four months after graduation. Three years later in 2016, 88.4 per cent of the same cohort of undergraduates had found full-time employment. Median salaries for graduates employed full-time increased from $55,000 in 2013 to $67,000 in 2016.

Generalist study areas with relatively low initial rates of full-time employment tend to experience particularly strong improvements over the medium term. For example, in 2013, 49.2 per cent of Creative Arts undergraduates had found full-time work four months after graduation but three years later 80.1 per cent were in full-time work. Similarly, 53.5 per cent of Science and Mathematics undergraduates were in full-time employment shortly after graduation in 2013, but three years later 82.0 per cent were in full-time work.

For further details and results, please see the 2016 GOS-L National Report Results from the GOS-L by institution by study area are not currently presented on this website.

Chart showing data from the GOS-L project.  The chart data is described below.

Chart showing data from the GOS-L project.  The chart data is described below.

Table 1: Graduate full-time employment, by study area, short term (2013) and medium term (2016), as a proportion of people available for full-time employment (%)
Study area Short term – 2013 Medium term – 2016
Medicine 95.2 97.1


82.8 95.9


95.2 95.6


77.6 95.3

Business and Management

74.8 93.5


80.1 92.3

Law and Paralegal Studies

74.5 90.8

Computing and Information Systems

74.8 90.5


81.7 90.0

Teacher Education

73.7 89.5

Architecture and Built Environment

70.7 89.3

Overall Results

70.9 88.4

Health Services and Support

66.6 88.3

Tourism, Hospitality, Personal Services, Sport and Recreation

68.0 88.1

Veterinary Science

76.5 86.8

Social Work

69.7 85.6


59.3 85.2

Humanities, Culture and Social Sciences

58.9 83.4


59.8 82.7

Science and Mathematics

53.5 82.0

Agriculture and Environmental Studies

63.6 80.1

Creative Arts

49.2 80.1