Graduate Employment

Information on the QILT website about graduate employment outcomes is sourced from the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS).

The GOS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training and since 2016 has been administered annually by the Social Research Centre.

The GOS is completed by graduates of Australian higher education institutions approximately four months after completion of their courses. It provides 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 2016, 2017 and 2018 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
Outcomes 
indicator

Description

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 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, please see the document, Technical Details - GOS Calculations

The GOS has replaced the previous Australian Graduate Survey, which ceased in 2015. For details on the transition between the GDS and the GOS, please see the 2018 GOS National Report.

The following is a summary of the 2018 GOS results, for more detailed results please see the 2018 GOS National Report.

Undergraduate results

At the undergraduate level, the full-time employment rate measured by the 2018 GOS was 72.9 per cent, up from 71.8 per cent in 2017. This continues the steady improvement in the graduate full-time employment rate in recent years since the low point of 68.1 per cent in 2014. The overall employment rate increased slightly from 86.5 per cent in 2017 to 87.0 per cent in 2018. The improvement in graduate employment outcomes is consistent with the steady improvement in the overall labour market over the period.

Undergraduate full-time and overall employment, 2008–2018 (as a % of those available for each kind of employment)

Sources: 2008 to 2015, Graduate Destinations Survey; 2016 to 2018, Graduate Outcomes Survey

Undergraduates from more vocationally oriented study areas tend to have greater success in the labour market immediately upon graduation. In 2018 Pharmacy, Medicine, Rehabilitation and Dentistry undergraduates had the highest rates of full-time employment at 97.2 per cent, 94.9 per cent, 89.3 per cent and 86.8 per cent respectively. However, it should be noted that some study areas traditionally have high employment rates immediately upon graduation arising from professional registration requirements.
Conversely, graduates with more generalist degrees can take longer to gain a foothold in the labour market immediately upon graduation. Study areas with the lowest rates of full-time employment in 2018 were Creative arts, Tourism, hospitality, personal services, sport and recreation, Communications, Psychology and Humanities, culture and social sciences which had full-time employment rates of 52.2 per cent, 59.6 per cent, 60.5 per cent, 64.3 and 64.5 per cent respectively. Similar patterns in overall employment rates are observed by study area.

Undergraduate employment outcomes by study area, 2017 and 2018 (as a % of those available for each kind of employment)

 

Full-time employment

Total employment

 

2017

2018

2017

2018

Science and mathematics

59.0

64.6

80.6

82.9

Computing and Information Systems

73.3

73.2

82.1

81.1

Engineering

79.4

83.1

86.5

88.2

Architecture and built environment

75.2

77.7

87.2

87.9

Agriculture and environmental studies

66.3

68.3

84.2

87.1

Health services and support

72.7

72.4

89.9

89.5

Medicine

95.9

94.9

95.9

94.3

Nursing

79.3

78.7

91.7

91.5

Pharmacy

95.2

97.2

95.8

97.3

Dentistry

86.8

86.8

95.7

94.0

Veterinary science

81.4

84.7

87.5

89.2

Rehabilitation

85.7

89.3

95.8

95.8

Teacher education

81.7

83.3

93.0

93.9

Business and management

76.5

77.9

87.2

88.1

Humanities, culture and social sciences

62.2

64.3

83.6

83.8

Social work

70.9

73.5

86.1

86.5

Psychology

60.3

64.5

84.8

85.3

Law and paralegal studies

74.8

77.2

85.3

87.9

Creative arts

53.2

52.2

80.0

81.3

Communications

60.6

60.5

84.6

82.7

Tourism, Hospitality, Personal Services, Sport and recreation

62.9

59.6

86.8

86.7

All study areas

71.8

72.9

86.5

87.0

Managerial and professional occupations have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher. In 2018, four months after graduation, 72.1 per cent of graduates employed full-time were working in managerial or professional occupations. Graduates employed part-time were less likely to be employed in managerial and professional occupations, with 60.1 per cent of all employed undergraduates working in these occupations.

Undergraduate employment outcomes by occupation, 2018 (%) 

 

Employed full-time

Total employed

 

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Managers

8.6

6.5

7.3

7.3

5.3

6.0

Professionals

62.7

66.1

64.8

52.5

55.0

54.1

Technicians and Trades Workers

5.8

2.3

3.6

5.7

2.5

3.6

Community and Personal Service Workers

7.5

8.2

7.9

11.3

13.2

12.5

Clerical and Administrative Workers

8.2

11.0

9.9

8.2

11.1

10.1

Other occupations

7.2

5.9

6.4

15.1

13.0

13.7

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

The median salary of all undergraduates employed full-time in 2018 was $61,000 which is an increase of $1,000 or 1.7 per cent from the 2017 salary of $60,000. The study areas with the highest graduate salaries were Dentistry at $83,700, Medicine, $73,000, Social work, $65,600, Teacher education, $65,500 and Engineering, $65,000. The areas with the lowest full-time median undergraduate salaries were Pharmacy at $47,000, Creative arts, $50,100, Communication, $52,800 and Tourism, hospitality, personal services, sport and recreation, $53,500.

Notwithstanding that females tend to graduate from fields of education with lower salary levels, female undergraduates within fields of education or study areas still generally earn less than their male counterparts immediately upon graduation. In 2018, there were a few exceptions to this general rule, immediately upon graduation females in Rehabilitation and Veterinary science earned $200 and $100 more than their male counterparts respectively, while starting salaries between males and females were equal among Engineering and Computing and information systems graduates. On the whole however, study area results demonstrate that beyond subject choice, the gender gap in median undergraduate salaries persists due to a range of other factors such as occupation, age, experience, personal factors and possible inequalities within workplaces.

Undergraduate median full-time salaries by study area, 2017 and 2018 ($)

 

Male

Female

Total

 

2017

2018

2017

2018

2017

2018

Science and mathematics

59,200

63,000

56,900

60,000

57,500

61,000

Computing and Information Systems

60,000

60,000

58,000

60,000

59,900

60,000

Engineering

63,500

65,000

65,000

65,000

64,000

65,000

Architecture and built environment

60,000

62,300

52,200

54,700

56,400

58,700

Agriculture and environmental studies

57,400

62,600

55,000

55,000

55,800

58,300

Health services and support

62,600

64,900

60,500

62,000

61,300

62,600

Medicine

71,000

73,100

70,000

72,000

70,300

73,000

Nursing

62,000

62,600

60,000

61,500

60,000

61,600

Pharmacy

45,900

51,300

43,800

46,000

44,200

47,000

Dentistry

94,600

102,000

75,100

78,000

78,300

83,700

Veterinary science

55,000

54,900

50,600

55,000

51,600

55,000

Rehabilitation

62,600

62,400

60,500

62,600

61,500

62,600

Teacher education

65,000

67,000

63,400

65,200

63,500

65,500

Business and management

58,000

60,000

55,000

55,500

55,200

58,000

Humanities, culture and social sciences

59,600

60,000

55,100

57,400

57,000

58,400

Social work

63,200

68,000

62,500

65,400

62,600

65,600

Psychology

60,000

63,200

56,600

58,600

57,600

60,000

Law and paralegal studies

63,000

65,000

58,000

60,000

60,000

61,400

Creative arts

49,600

52,200

47,200

50,000

48,000

50,100

Communications

50,000

54,000

50,000

52,200

50,000

52,800

Tourism, Hospitality, Personal Services, Sport and recreation

55,000

53,800

51,800

52,200

52,200

53,500

All study areas

60,100

63,000

59,000

60,000

60,000

61,000

Universities with the highest full-time employment rates immediately following graduation in 2018 were Charles Sturt University with 87.5 per cent, Charles Darwin University with 83.2 per cent, the University of Sydney with 81.0 per cent, James Cook University with 79.6 per cent and Central Queensland University with 79.1 per cent. 
There is less variation in overall employment outcomes compared to full-time employment outcomes across universities. Universities with higher overall employment outcomes include Charles Sturt University, Charles Darwin University, the University of Canberra, Australian Catholic University and University of Tasmania.
In 2018, universities with high median full-time undergraduate salaries include Charles Darwin University, $68,000, the University of Tasmania, $67,800, the University of Southern Queensland, $67,700, University of New England, $66,800 and Central Queensland University, $66,000.
It is important to acknowledge that factors beyond the quality of teaching, careers advice and the like, such as whether graduates studied externally, course offerings, the composition of the student population and variations in state/territory and regional labour markets, might also impact on employment and salary outcomes. Also, note where the confidence intervals overlap between two universities there is no significant difference in full-time employment in a statistical sense.
Undergraduate employment outcomes and salaries, by university, 2018 (with 90% confidence intervals)

 

Employed full-time (%)

Total employed (%)

Median full-time salary ($)

Australian Catholic University

77.4 (75.7, 79.0)

91.1 (90.2, 91.9)

61,500 (60,400, 62,500)

Bond University

73.0 (68.1, 77.2)

80.9 (77.2, 83.9)

57,400 (54,100, 60,700)

Central Queensland University

79.1 (76.9, 81.0)

89.3 (88.0, 90.5)

66,000 (64,400, 67,600)

Charles Darwin University

83.2 (80.3, 85.4)

92.4 (90.8, 93.4)

68,000 (66,200, 69,800)

Charles Sturt University

87.5 (86.3, 88.6)

92.6 (91.8, 93.3)

65,100 (64,400, 65,700)

Curtin University

71.4 (69.6, 73.1)

87.2 (86.0, 88.3)

65,000 (63,700, 66,300)

Deakin University

73.4 (71.9, 74.8)

88.6 (87.8, 89.4)

59,400 (57,900, 60,800)

Edith Cowan University

57.8 (55.3, 60.2)

82.4 (80.8, 83.9)

63,000 (60,700, 65,300)

Federation University Australia

78.3 (75.6, 80.7)

89.5 (88.0, 90.7)

62,000 (59,000, 65,000)

Flinders University

65.2 (62.8, 67.4)

85.5 (84.1, 86.8)

61,600 (60,100, 63,100)

Griffith University

66.8 (65.0, 68.5)

83.6 (82.5, 84.7)

59,500 (58,300, 60,700)

James Cook University

79.6 (77.5, 81.5)

88.0 (86.6, 89.2)

65,400 (64,000, 66,900)

La Trobe University

68.8 (66.7, 70.8)

87.8 (86.6, 88.9)

58,000 (56,300, 59,700)

Macquarie University

74.9 (73.3, 76.4)

88.1 (87.2, 89.0)

59,500 (57,900, 61,100)

Monash University

74.3 (73.0, 75.6)

87.7 (86.9, 88.5)

60,000 (59,500, 60,500)

Murdoch University

62.3 (59.5, 65.1)

84.0 (82.1, 85.7)

60,100 (57,000, 63,200)

Queensland University of Technology

68.0 (65.9, 70.1)

86.5 (85.1, 87.8)

60,000 (58,900, 61,100)

RMIT University

72.8 (71.5, 74.1)

85.7 (84.8, 86.5)

55,000 (54,300, 55,700)

Southern Cross University

70.0 (67.1, 72.7)

87.0 (85.1, 88.5)

64,700 (62,700, 66,700)

Swinburne University of Technology

72.1 (70.1, 74.0)

84.8 (83.4, 86.0)

63,400 (61,800, 65,100)

The Australian National University

76.9 (73.6, 79.8)

89.6 (87.5, 91.3)

60,500 (59,100, 62,000)

The University of Adelaide

67.4 (65.2, 69.4)

83.5 (82.2, 84.7)

60,500 (58,900, 62,100)

The University of Melbourne

65.2 (62.9, 67.5)

84.6 (83.4, 85.7)

57,000 (55,700, 58,300)

The University of Notre Dame Australia

78.7 (76.0, 81.1)

90.8 (89.1, 92.1)

64,400 (62,800, 65,900)

The University of Queensland

78.2 (76.9, 79.5)

87.8 (86.9, 88.6)

60,600 (59,400, 61,900)

The University of South Australia

71.9 (69.8, 73.9)

86.9 (85.5, 88.0)

60,000 (58,600, 61,400)

The University of Sydney

81.0 (79.3, 82.6)

89.0 (87.9, 90.0)

60,000 (59,400, 60,600)

The University of Western Australia

55.4 (52.1, 58.7)

83.4 (81.7, 85.1)

55,000 (52,600, 57,400)

Torrens University

61.6 (57.6, 65.3)

81.3 (78.4, 83.5)

52,100 (48,800, 55,400)

University of Canberra

75.3 (72.8, 77.6)

91.5 (90.1, 92.7)

63,100 (61,800, 64,400)

University of Divinity

91.7 (78.3, 96.6)

89.7 (80.6, 93.7)

58,700 (47,800, 69,600)

University of New England

80.1 (78.5, 81.6)

88.6 (87.6, 89.5)

66,800 (65,700, 67,900)

University of New South Wales

79.1 (77.3, 80.7)

88.2 (87.0, 89.3)

65,000 (64,100, 65,900)

University of Newcastle

76.8 (74.9, 78.6)

89.3 (88.1, 90.4)

62,600 (61,700, 63,600)

University of Southern Queensland

72.8 (69.0, 76.2)

85.4 (82.7, 87.7)

67,700 (64,900, 70,600)

University of Tasmania

79.0 (77.3, 80.6)

91.1 (90.1, 91.8)

67,800 (66,600, 69,100)

University of Technology Sydney

77.0 (75.3, 78.6)

87.5 (86.3, 88.6)

60,000 (59,600, 60,400)

University of the Sunshine Coast

61.7 (59.0, 64.3)

84.3 (82.6, 85.8)

60,000 (58,500, 61,500)

University of Wollongong

75.3 (73.3, 77.2)

89.9 (88.7, 90.9)

60,000 (59,200, 60,800)

Victoria University

66.4 (63.6, 69.2)

82.7 (80.9, 84.4)

62,600 (60,200, 65,100)

Western Sydney University

67.6 (65.8, 69.4)

82.6 (81.4, 83.8)

60,000 (59,200, 60,800)

All universities

73.3 (73.0, 73.6)

87.2 (87.0, 87.4)

61,000 (60,700, 61,400)

 

Since the number of students enrolled in individual non-university higher education institutions (NUHEIs) tends to be much smaller than at university level, survey data shown here refer to pooled data from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 surveys. Notwithstanding the pooling of data across three survey years, the confidence intervals remain much wider for some NUHEIs than was generally the case for universities. That said, there do appear to be some NUHEIs where full-time employment rates are much higher than in other institutions. For example, a number of NUHEIs have fulltime employment rates clearly over 80 per cent, including Marcus Oldham College, 98.0 per cent, Moore Theological College Council, 92.9 per cent, Christian Heritage College, 85.1 per cent, William Angliss Institute, 84.4 per cent and Avondale College of Higher Education, 82.1 per cent.
The same caveats about labour market outcomes at institution level apply even more so among NUHEIs which exhibit greater variation in course offerings by level of education and study area than among universities.
Undergraduate employment outcomes and salaries, by non-university higher education institution, 2016-2018 (with 90% confidence intervals)

 

Employed full-time (%)

Total employed (%)

Median full-time salary ($)

Academy of Information Technology

41.0 (30.1, 53.1)

56.9 (46.6, 66.4)

n/a

ACAP and NCPS

56.9 (53.4, 60.3)

80.8 (78.5, 82.7)

56,700 (54,300, 59,100)

Adelaide Central School of Art

n/a

90.0 (80.7, 94.2)

n/a

Adelaide College of Divinity

n/a

n/a

n/a

Alphacrucis College

n/a

93.8 (82.7, 98.0)

n/a

Australian Academy of Music and Performing Arts

n/a

86.2 (74.5, 91.8)

n/a

Australian College of Theology Limited

70.2 (65.0, 74.7)

84.3 (81.5, 86.6)

50,600 (47,400, 53,700)

Australian Institute of Business Pty Ltd

n/a

n/a

n/a

Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors

n/a

n/a

n/a

Avondale College of Higher Education

82.1 (78.6, 84.9)

86.8 (84.0, 88.9)

60,500 (59,400, 61,600)

Box Hill Institute

56.2 (47.8, 64.1)

86.3 (81.4, 89.6)

n/a

Campion College Australia

n/a

67.6 (56.9, 75.8)

n/a

Canberra Institute of Technology

n/a

n/a

n/a

Christian Heritage College

85.1 (79.3, 89.2)

91.4 (87.8, 93.5)

60,900 (57,500, 64,300)

Collarts (Australian College of the Arts)

34.4 (26.7, 43.3)

77.0 (70.9, 81.6)

n/a

Eastern College Australia

81.5 (68.2, 89.0)

92.9 (84.9, 95.6)

n/a

Endeavour College of Natural Health

66.5 (62.7, 69.9)

89.8 (88.1, 91.1)

53,200 (50,100, 56,300)

Excelsia College

n/a

87.9 (78.1, 92.0)

n/a

Holmes Institute

n/a

n/a

n/a

Holmesglen Institute

78.1 (70.3, 83.8)

91.5 (86.9, 94.0)

54,000 (49,300, 58,600)

INSEARCH

42.6 (32.3, 53.6)

66.5 (60.4, 72.0)

n/a

International College of Hotel Management

n/a

n/a

n/a

International College of Management, Sydney

75.6 (68.6, 81.1)

89.8 (84.4, 93.0)

47,000 (42,100, 51,800)

Jazz Music Institute

n/a

n/a

n/a

Kaplan Business School

60.0 (46.9, 71.1)

76.7 (65.2, 83.7)

n/a

Kaplan Higher Education Pty Ltd

n/a

n/a

n/a

King's Own Institute

n/a

n/a

n/a

LCI Melbourne

42.1 (35.7, 49.1)

72.2 (66.4, 76.7)

n/a

Macleay College

61.0 (55.8, 65.7)

80.9 (77.4, 83.7)

45,700 (42,800, 48,600)

Marcus Oldham College

98.0 (91.0, 99.9)

98.0 (91.0, 99.9)

63,800 (53,400, 74,100)

Melbourne Institute of Technology

55.6 (43.2, 67.1)

72.3 (61.9, 80.4)

n/a

Melbourne Polytechnic

58.2 (51.5, 64.5)

76.0 (71.1, 80.0)

52,200 (46,300, 58,000)

Moore Theological College Council

92.9 (83.6, 97.0)

88.5 (79.7, 93.4)

60,000 (56,000, 64,000)

National Art School

48.6 (40.0, 57.2)

80.7 (76.0, 84.2)

n/a

North Metropolitan TAFE

n/a

n/a

n/a

Paramount College of Natural Medicine

n/a

n/a

n/a

Perth Bible College

n/a

n/a

n/a

Photography Studies College (Melbourne)

46.3 (36.5, 56.6)

82.1 (75.7, 86.0)

n/a

Raffles College Pty Ltd

54.7 (45.6, 63.4)

76.3 (68.0, 82.3)

n/a

SAE Institute

37.6 (34.8, 40.4)

67.2 (64.8, 69.5)

46,800 (44,000, 49,600)

Study Group Australia Pty Limited

n/a

n/a

n/a

Sydney College of Divinity

78.8 (68.9, 85.9)

92.1 (86.7, 95.1)

n/a

Tabor College of Higher Education

66.2 (57.8, 73.3)

84.2 (79.5, 87.3)

66,500 (59,900, 73,100)

TAFE NSW

63.0 (58.2, 67.4)

77.5 (73.7, 80.7)

53,100 (50,600, 55,500)

TAFE Queensland

68.9 (58.2, 77.4)

77.2 (68.5, 83.5)

n/a

TAFE South Australia

n/a

87.2 (77.0, 92.5)

n/a

The Australian College of Physical Education

71.3 (65.3, 76.4)

92.8 (89.3, 94.8)

52,200 (48,700, 55,600)

The Australian Institute of Music

58.6 (52.5, 64.3)

84.4 (80.6, 87.5)

45,300 (40,800, 49,800)

Think Education

71.6 (64.3, 77.7)

93.2 (89.6, 95.5)

55,300 (52,000, 58,600)

UOW College

n/a

n/a

n/a

Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia

56.3 (50.9, 61.4)

75.7 (71.6, 79.1)

45,000 (42,500, 47,500)

William Angliss Institute

84.4 (72.8, 90.6)

89.2 (79.5, 93.6)

n/a

All NUHEIs

61.3 (60.2, 62.4)

81.8 (81.1, 82.4)

52,200 (51,400, 52,900)

n/a = not available, fewer than 25 survey responses

Postgraduate results

Further study enables postgraduates to secure improved employment outcomes. In 2018, the full-time employment rate for postgraduate coursework graduates was 86.9 per cent, increasing modestly from 86.1 per cent in 2017. For postgraduate research graduates the full-time employment rate in 2017 was 82.3 per cent, up from 80.4 per cent in 2016. Results for both postgraduate study levels therefore compare favourably with the 72.9 per cent full-time employment rate for undergraduates. In 2018, the overall employment rate remained broadly stable at 92.9 per cent for postgraduate coursework graduates and increased by around one percentage point to 91.8 per cent for postgraduate research graduates, in comparison with 87.0 per cent for undergraduates.
Postgraduate full-time and overall employment, 2008-2018 (as a % of those available for each kind of employment)

Sources: 2008 to 2015, Graduate Destinations Survey; 2016 to 2018, Graduate Outcomes Survey

Postgraduates in health courses generally have greater success in the labour market immediately upon graduation, though as for undergraduate level graduates, this may be associated with professional registration requirements. In 2018, postgraduate coursework Pharmacy, Medicine, Veterinary science and Nursing graduates had the highest rates of full-time employment at 98.1 per cent, 96.7 per cent and 96.2 per cent respectively. At the postgraduate research level, Veterinary science and Nursing had the highest rate of full-time employment at 92.9 per cent and 91.8 per cent respectively, followed by Law and paralegal studies at 89.1 per cent and Medicine at 88.4 per cent.
Postgraduate employment outcomes by study area, 2018 (as a % of those available for each kind of employment)

 

Postgraduate coursework

Postgraduate research

 

Full-time employment

Total employment

Full-time employment

Total employment

Science and mathematics

76.5

87.0

83.5

91.5

Computing and Information Systems

84.3

88.6

77.6

91.4

Engineering

84.6

88.6

85.0

90.7

Architecture and built environment

85.0

90.8

87.5

96.4

Agriculture and environmental studies

81.8

87.7

82.1

91.2

Health services and support

86.1

93.7

84.6

93.4

Medicine

96.7

97.3

88.4

94.5

Nursing

95.6

97.6

91.8

96.7

Pharmacy

98.1

98.4

74.1

89.7

Dentistry

86.7

94.0

n/a

n/a

Veterinary science

96.2

95.3

92.9

96.7

Rehabilitation

95.5

97.6

n/a

100.0

Teacher education

85.8

94.7

87.6

92.2

Business and management

90.4

93.5

81.0

88.0

Humanities, culture and social sciences

82.1

90.7

74.9

90.5

Social work

78.2

90.5

n/a

n/a

Psychology

81.9

92.5

87.1

94.1

Law and paralegal studies

86.5

90.5

89.1

88.5

Creative arts

68.1

83.6

70.9

91.0

Communications

72.3

86.2

69.1

94.2

Tourism, Hospitality, Personal Services, Sport and recreation

73.2

91.8

n/a

n/a

All study areas

86.9

92.9

82.3

91.8

n/a = not available, fewer than 25 survey responses

 

Managerial and professional occupations have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher. Postgraduates are more likely than undergraduates to be working in managerial and professional occupations. In 2018, 87.6 per cent of postgraduate coursework graduates and 93.5 per cent of postgraduate research graduates employed full-time were working in managerial and professional occupations, in comparison with 72.1 per cent of undergraduates working full-time.
Postgraduate employment outcomes by occupation, 2018 (%)

 

Employed full-time

Total employed

 

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Postgraduate coursework

Managers

21.6

13.6

16.8

19.9

11.4

14.5

Professionals

64.3

75.3

70.8

64.1

74.7

70.8

Technicians and Trades Workers

2.6

0.9

1.6

2.6

1.0

1.6

Community and Personal Service Workers

4.0

2.6

3.2

4.9

3.9

4.2

Clerical and Administrative Workers

5.2

6.3

5.9

5.3

6.5

6.1

Other occupations

2.2

1.3

1.6

3.2

2.5

2.8

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Postgraduate research

Managers

7.4

6.7

7.0

6.7

6.5

6.6

Professionals

85.2

87.6

86.5

84.1

86.0

85.2

Technicians and Trades Workers

1.9

1.3

1.6

2.4

1.3

1.8

Community and Personal Service Workers

1.8

1.1

1.4

2.0

1.5

1.7

Clerical and Administrative Workers

2.0

2.7

2.4

2.3

3.4

3.0

Other occupations

1.6

0.6

1.0

2.4

1.2

1.7

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

 

Further study generally leads to improved salary outcomes in addition to improved employment outcomes. In 2018, the median salary of undergraduates employed full-time was $61,000 in comparison with $83,300 earned by postgraduate coursework graduates and $90,000 earned by postgraduate research graduates.
The gender gap in salaries among postgraduates persists in 2018 across most study areas. The only exceptions in 2018 were for Communications and Creative arts at postgraduate coursework level, and for Humanities, culture and social sciences and Teacher education at postgraduate research level.
Repeating the point made earlier, while some of the gender gap in postgraduate salaries is due to the tendency for females to graduate from lower paying study areas, nevertheless the gender gap in salaries persists due to a range of other factors such as occupation, age, experience, personal factors and possible inequalities within workplaces.
Postgraduate median full-time salaries by study area, 2018 ($)

 

Postgraduate coursework

Postgraduate research

 

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Science and mathematics

78,300

75,000

76,000

85,000

83,000

83,500

Computing and Information Systems

96,000

76,000

92,000

95,000

n/a

93,000

Engineering

90,000

79,100

88,000

90,000

83,000

89,000

Architecture and built environment

70,000

57,400

62,000

n/a

n/a

102,000

Agriculture and environmental studies

75,600

69,000

73,300

n/a

84,300

85,000

Health services and support

100,000

81,100

87,200

101,700

101,500

101,700

Medicine

80,000

77,500

78,300

110,000

92,000

95,500

Nursing

89,700

83,500

85,000

n/a

100,000

107,500

Pharmacy

78,300

77,500

78,300

n/a

n/a

n/a

Dentistry

136,300

108,000

109,600

n/a

n/a

n/a

Veterinary science

n/a

55,000

55,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

Rehabilitation

67,400

65,100

65,300

n/a

n/a

n/a

Teacher education

79,200

78,000

78,300

102,300

107,000

105,000

Business and management

115,000

99,100

108,000

102,000

95,000

96,800

Humanities, culture and social sciences

85,000

77,100

79,100

79,500

87,000

83,500

Social work

74,700

70,600

71,400

n/a

n/a

n/a

Psychology

85,800

78,300

79,400

n/a

87,400

88,000

Law and paralegal studies

77,500

70,000

72,000

n/a

n/a

103,500

Creative arts

65,000

67,600

66,400

95,000

70,000

75,000

Communications

65,000

70,000

68,500

n/a

n/a

n/a

Tourism, Hospitality, Personal Services, Sport and recreation

n/a

n/a

66,900

n/a

n/a

n/a

All study areas

92,500

79,000

83,300

90,200

90,000

90,000

n/a = not available, fewer than 25 survey responses

 

Full-time employment rates across universities at postgraduate coursework level vary by institution. For example, in 2018 many universities have full-time employment rates above 90 per cent including the University of Tasmania, 93.5 per cent, Charles Darwin University, 93.2 per cent, Charles Sturt University, 92.5 per cent, the Australian Catholic University, 91.5 per cent and the University of Divinity, 91.3 per cent.
There is less variation in overall employment outcomes compared to full-time employment outcomes across universities. Universities with high overall employment outcomes in 2018 include Charles Sturt University, University of Tasmania, Australian Catholic University, Federation University Australia and Flinders University.
In 2018, universities with high postgraduate coursework median full-time salaries include the University of New South Wales, $104,000, Queensland University of Technology, $100,000, Southern Cross University, $100,000, Central Queensland University, $98,000 and Macquarie University, $97,300.
It is important to acknowledge that factors beyond the quality of teaching, careers advice and the like, such as course offerings, the composition of the student population and variations in state/territory and regional labour markets, may also impact on employment and salary outcomes. Also, note where the confidence intervals overlap between two universities there is no significant difference in full-time employment in a statistical sense.
Postgraduate employment outcomes and salaries, by university, 2018 (with 90% confidence intervals)

 

Employed full-time (%)

Total employed (%)

Median full-time salary ($)

Australian Catholic University

91.5 (89.9, 92.7)

96.3 (95.3, 97.0)

91,000 (86,300, 95,600)

Bond University

80.8 (74.4, 85.6)

88.8 (83.5, 92.2)

64,000 (58,600, 69,400)

Central Queensland University

85.5 (81.8, 88.1)

92.6 (90.0, 94.1)

98,000 (88,700, 107,300)

Charles Darwin University

93.2 (89.7, 94.7)

94.4 (91.9, 95.2)

96,000 (86,300, 105,800)

Charles Sturt University

92.5 (91.6, 93.3)

96.4 (95.8, 96.8)

95,000 (92,700, 97,300)

Curtin University

82.7 (80.3, 84.7)

90.6 (89.0, 91.9)

86,300 (80,800, 91,700)

Deakin University

85.4 (83.9, 86.7)

93.8 (92.9, 94.5)

80,000 (77,900, 82,100)

Edith Cowan University

76.6 (74.0, 78.8)

90.2 (88.6, 91.5)

82,800 (79,000, 86,600)

Federation University Australia

88.1 (85.0, 90.1)

95.5 (93.5, 96.3)

90,000 (79,900, 100,100)

Flinders University

89.0 (87.3, 90.4)

95.2 (94.2, 95.9)

84,500 (81,000, 88,100)

Griffith University

89.1 (87.8, 90.3)

94.0 (93.1, 94.7)

79,300 (77,100, 81,600)

James Cook University

88.7 (86.1, 90.6)

92.5 (90.6, 93.7)

96,000 (91,300, 100,700)

La Trobe University

82.6 (80.0, 84.6)

93.5 (92.2, 94.4)

78,300 (74,700, 81,800)

Macquarie University

88.2 (86.5, 89.5)

92.8 (91.6, 93.7)

97,300 (91,700, 102,800)

Monash University

82.4 (80.9, 83.7)

91.5 (90.6, 92.3)

80,000 (78,300, 81,700)

Murdoch University

70.3 (66.4, 73.8)

84.8 (82.2, 86.8)

89,500 (81,100, 97,900)

Queensland University of Technology

88.5 (86.4, 90.2)

95.1 (93.7, 96.1)

100,000 (96,400, 103,600)

RMIT University

81.3 (79.6, 82.7)

90.7 (89.6, 91.6)

71,000 (68,700, 73,200)

Southern Cross University

84.6 (80.9, 87.4)

90.7 (87.9, 92.6)

100,000 (92,200, 107,800)

Swinburne University of Technology

85.9 (83.4, 87.9)

92.8 (91.1, 93.9)

85,000 (79,600, 90,400)

The Australian National University

89.3 (87.4, 90.9)

93.6 (92.1, 94.7)

76,900 (74,100, 79,600)

The University of Adelaide

80.9 (77.8, 83.4)

89.0 (86.8, 90.5)

70,500 (65,900, 75,200)

The University of Melbourne

87.4 (86.5, 88.2)

92.8 (92.1, 93.4)

77,000 (74,800, 79,200)

The University of Notre Dame Australia

89.8 (87.1, 91.7)

94.8 (92.9, 95.9)

78,000 (74,800, 81,200)

The University of Queensland

84.6 (82.9, 86.2)

92.3 (91.1, 93.2)

78,300 (75,300, 81,300)

The University of South Australia

84.2 (81.4, 86.5)

91.5 (89.5, 93.1)

90,000 (85,500, 94,500)

The University of Sydney

89.3 (88.0, 90.4)

92.3 (91.2, 93.1)

80,900 (77,900, 83,900)

The University of Western Australia

82.2 (80.0, 84.2)

88.6 (86.8, 90.0)

75,000 (72,800, 77,200)

Torrens University

86.7 (81.5, 89.2)

91.1 (87.6, 92.3)

90,000 (80,500, 99,500)

University of Canberra

91.0 (88.2, 92.9)

94.4 (92.3, 95.7)

80,700 (75,200, 86,200)

University of Divinity

91.3 (84.9, 94.6)

89.3 (85.0, 91.7)

70,200 (59,100, 81,300)

University of New England

87.0 (85.4, 88.4)

93.5 (92.5, 94.1)

86,000 (82,700, 89,300)

University of New South Wales

89.9 (88.4, 91.1)

93.3 (92.1, 94.2)

104,000 (99,600, 108,400)

University of Newcastle

91.3 (89.8, 92.5)

95.1 (94.0, 95.8)

95,000 (91,600, 98,400)

University of Southern Queensland

83.8 (79.7, 87.1)

92.1 (89.2, 94.1)

88,300 (79,200, 97,500)

University of Tasmania

93.5 (92.3, 94.5)

96.3 (95.6, 96.8)

86,000 (83,500, 88,500)

University of Technology Sydney

86.6 (84.4, 88.4)

92.2 (90.7, 93.4)

80,000 (75,900, 84,100)

University of the Sunshine Coast

75.2 (69.9, 79.4)

87.2 (83.7, 89.4)

67,800 (63,800, 71,800)

University of Wollongong

89.3 (86.3, 91.4)

94.0 (91.9, 95.3)

83,500 (77,500, 89,400)

Victoria University

74.9 (71.6, 77.8)

85.4 (82.9, 87.3)

66,400 (62,100, 70,800)

Western Sydney University

78.7 (75.8, 81.2)

90.1 (88.2, 91.5)

70,000 (65,500, 74,500)

All universities

86.5 (86.2, 86.9)

92.8 (92.6, 93.0)

83,500 (82,900, 84,100)

 

Postgraduate research results at university level have been combined for responses from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Graduate Outcomes Surveys, due to lower numbers of postgraduate research responses at the individual institution level. The same caveats about institutional comparisons apply at postgraduate research level as were described earlier at undergraduate and postgraduate coursework levels.
Universities with the highest full-time employment rates over the three year period include the University of Notre Dame Australia, 89.7 per cent, the Australian Catholic University, 88.2 per cent, the University of Canberra, 87.7 per cent and Southern Cross University, 86.8 per cent. Universities recording the highest rates of overall employment for postgraduate research graduates include the University of Newcastle, Charles Sturt University, University of Notre Dame Australia, the University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University.
Universities with the highest full-time postgraduate research graduate salary rates aggregated over the three-year period include the University of Southern Queensland, $100,000, the University of Canberra and Curtin University, both with $99,000, Edith Cowan University, $98,000 and the University of Technology Sydney, $96,500.
Postgraduate research employment outcomes and salaries, by university, 2016-2018 (with 90% confidence intervals)

 

Employed full-time (%)

Total employed (%)

Median full-time salary ($)

Australian Catholic University

88.2 (82.1, 91.4)

94.0 (89.7, 95.5)

93,000 (87,100, 98,900)

Bond University

71.4 (51.4, 84.5)

80.0 (60.8, 90.1)

106,000 (63,500, 148,500)

Central Queensland University

75.0 (65.6, 81.8)

82.7 (74.3, 87.8)

94,300 (84,300, 104,300)

Charles Darwin University

70.6 (52.6, 83.0)

88.9 (72.2, 95.4)

104,200 (82,700, 125,600)

Charles Sturt University

84.9 (78.9, 88.8)

95.9 (91.9, 97.4)

92,000 (85,300, 98,700)

Curtin University

77.0 (73.8, 79.7)

87.6 (85.4, 89.2)

99,000 (92,500, 105,500)

Deakin University

77.2 (74.1, 79.7)

90.0 (88.0, 91.3)

86,300 (81,200, 91,400)

Edith Cowan University

78.7 (73.2, 82.8)

91.5 (88.2, 93.2)

98,000 (91,300, 104,700)

Federation University Australia

85.7 (75.9, 90.4)

88.4 (80.7, 91.5)

91,600 (74,600, 108,600)

Flinders University

79.7 (74.9, 83.4)

88.8 (85.5, 91.0)

84,500 (79,400, 89,600)

Griffith University

81.8 (78.7, 84.4)

90.6 (88.3, 92.2)

90,000 (86,000, 94,000)

James Cook University

85.0 (80.1, 88.2)

92.3 (88.8, 94.1)

83,500 (77,800, 89,200)

La Trobe University

80.0 (76.2, 83.0)

92.2 (89.9, 93.6)

85,000 (80,900, 89,100)

Macquarie University

77.6 (74.7, 80.1)

89.4 (87.7, 90.7)

86,200 (82,600, 89,900)

Monash University

84.2 (82.5, 85.8)

92.3 (91.1, 93.2)

85,000 (82,900, 87,100)

Murdoch University

65.8 (59.9, 71.0)

81.8 (77.5, 84.9)

88,700 (82,100, 95,300)

Queensland University of Technology

77.9 (73.9, 81.3)

91.2 (88.6, 93.0)

89,000 (84,500, 93,500)

RMIT University

79.9 (77.2, 82.1)

92.3 (90.6, 93.3)

89,000 (85,600, 92,400)

Southern Cross University

86.8 (79.4, 90.6)

90.0 (83.8, 92.7)

85,000 (76,900, 93,100)

Swinburne University of Technology

85.3 (80.2, 88.5)

90.8 (86.9, 92.8)

90,000 (85,800, 94,200)

The Australian National University

85.2 (82.7, 87.2)

93.8 (92.1, 94.9)

90,000 (87,300, 92,700)

The University of Adelaide

80.1 (77.8, 82.1)

91.2 (89.7, 92.3)

81,000 (78,900, 83,100)

The University of Melbourne

83.9 (82.2, 85.4)

92.5 (91.5, 93.4)

87,400 (85,700, 89,100)

The University of Notre Dame Australia

89.7 (78.3, 94.3)

95.2 (88.1, 96.9)

98,000 (85,300, 110,700)

The University of Queensland

81.7 (79.9, 83.3)

90.5 (89.2, 91.5)

84,000 (80,900, 87,100)

The University of South Australia

76.0 (72.5, 79.0)

91.6 (89.3, 93.0)

89,000 (85,100, 92,900)

The University of Sydney

81.8 (79.8, 83.6)

90.8 (89.4, 91.8)

90,000 (88,300, 91,700)

The University of Western Australia

83.5 (80.6, 85.8)

90.8 (88.7, 92.3)

87,000 (83,600, 90,400)

University of Canberra

87.7 (80.7, 91.3)

95.2 (90.0, 96.8)

99,000 (94,600, 103,400)

University of Divinity

93.8 (78.2, 96.6)

100.0 (90.1, 99.0)

67,500 (54,700, 80,300)

University of New England

75.5 (69.7, 80.0)

87.0 (82.6, 89.7)

95,500 (87,100, 103,900)

University of New South Wales

75.8 (73.5, 77.9)

86.1 (84.3, 87.5)

89,000 (86,700, 91,300)

University of Newcastle

82.1 (79.0, 84.4)

96.0 (94.4, 96.7)

89,000 (85,400, 92,600)

University of Southern Queensland

73.0 (66.2, 78.2)

87.5 (82.0, 90.5)

100,000 (96,000, 104,000)

University of Tasmania

80.7 (76.9, 83.7)

91.6 (89.2, 93.1)

83,500 (79,600, 87,400)

University of Technology Sydney

85.7 (81.7, 88.6)

93.3 (90.6, 94.9)

96,500 (91,700, 101,300)

University of the Sunshine Coast

81.3 (73.6, 85.6)

86.2 (80.5, 88.7)

91,300 (81,200, 101,400)

University of Wollongong

84.3 (79.8, 87.6)

91.2 (87.9, 93.3)

89,800 (82,900, 96,600)

Victoria University

78.3 (70.7, 83.7)

89.3 (83.8, 92.4)

92,000 (77,300, 106,700)

Western Sydney University

80.1 (74.9, 84.3)

93.5 (90.3, 95.5)

87,800 (82,800, 92,800)

All universities

81.0 (80.3, 81.7)

90.9 (90.5, 91.4)

88,100 (87,100, 89,100)

 

The 2018 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 2018 GOS-L is based on a cohort analysis of graduates who responded to the 2015 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 figures and table below, employment outcomes for higher education graduates improve markedly in the medium-term.

For example, in 2015, 67.1 per cent of undergraduates were in full-time employment four months after graduation. Three years later in 2018, 89.2 per cent of the same cohort of undergraduates had found full-time employment (see Figure 1). The proportion of undergraduates in employment overall, including full-time, part-time and casual work, also increased, from 89.7 per cent in 2015 to 92.4 per cent in 2018.

 

Figure 1: Undergraduate employment outcomes, short-term (2015) and medium-term (2018), as a proportion of people available for each kind of employment (%)

In 2015, the gender gap in graduate median salaries was $5,000 or 8.3 per cent. In 2018, for the same cohort of graduates three years later, the gender gap in graduate median salaries was $5,100 or 7.0 per cent. 

Figure 2: Undergraduate median salaries, short-term (2015) and medium-term (2018), of those people employed full-time

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 2015, 48.3 per cent of Creative Arts undergraduates had found full-time work four months after graduation, but three years later 80.4 per cent were in full-time work. Similarly, 48.3 per cent of Science and Mathematics undergraduates were in full-time employment shortly after graduation in 2015, but three years later 85.6 per cent were in full-time work (see Table 1).

 

Table 1: Undergraduate full-time employment, by study area, short-term (2015) and medium-term (2018), as a proportion of people available for full-time employment (%)

Study area

Short-term – 2015

Medium-term – 2018

Medicine

93.3

97.5

Rehabilitation

87.2

97.2

Dentistry

88.2

95.9

Engineering

71.5

93.9

Veterinary science

79.3

93.6

Business and management

74.2

93.4

Pharmacy

95.5

93.0

Nursing

78.8

92.6

Teacher education

71.9

91.2

Computing and information systems

66.2

90.9

Law and paralegal studies

72.6

90.8

Health services and support

64.7

89.3

All study areas

67.1

89.2

Social work

69.8

89.1

Architecture and built environment

71.4

88.5

Agriculture and environmental studies

56.5

87.2

Science and mathematics

48.3

85.6

Tourism, hospitality, personal services, sportandrecreation

48.0

85.0

Communications

53.4

84.3

Psychology

51.3

83.3

Humanities, culture and social sciences

55.1

82.5

Creative arts

48.3

80.4

Three years after graduation there has been substantial improvement in full-time employment rates across universities so that all universities have full-time employment rates for undergraduates above 81 per cent, as shown by Figure 3. Note that there were insufficient survey responses to display results for the University of Divinity, while University of Wollongong chose not to participate in the 2018 GOS-L. 

Three years after graduation in 2018, universities with high full time employment rates for undergraduates were Charles Sturt University with 93.6 per cent, Murdoch University, 93.2 per cent, University of Technology, Sydney, 92.7 per cent, the Australian National University, 92.2 per cent and the University of South Australia with 91.8 per cent. It is important to acknowledge that factors beyond the quality of teaching, careers advice and the like, such as course offerings, the composition of the student population, study mode, and variations in state/territory and regional labour markets, might also impact on employment outcomes.

 

Figure 3: Short (2013-15) and medium-term (2016-18) undergraduate full-time employment rates by university (three years data combined, %)

 

As shown in Figure 4, universities with high median full-time undergraduate salaries three years out include Charles Sturt University, $78,300, the University of New South Wales, $77,500, Central Queensland University, $77,200 and the Australian National University and the University of Technology, Sydney, both $75,000.

 

Figure 4: Short (2013-15) and medium-term (2016-18) undergraduate median full-time salaries by university (three years data combined, $)

 

At the postgraduate coursework level, the full-time employment rate rose from 81.3 per cent in 2015 to 92.4 per cent in 2018 (see Figure 5). The rate of overall employment also increased over the same period, from 90.1 per cent to 91.9 per cent.

Figure 5: Postgraduate coursework employment outcomes, short-term (2015) and medium-term (2018), as a proportion of people available for each kind of employment (%)
 
Median full-time salaries for postgraduate coursework degree holders rose by 18.4 per cent between 2015 and 2018, from $76,000 to $90,000 (see Figure 6). The gender gap in salaries is much larger for postgraduate coursework graduates than for undergraduates. In the short-term four months after graduation, the gender gap in postgraduate coursework median salaries is $15,000 (or 17.2 per cent) in comparison with $5,000 (8.3 per cent) for undergraduates. In the medium-term, the respective figures are $16,500 (or 16.3 per cent) and $5,100 (7.0 per cent).

Figure 6: Postgraduate coursework median salaries, short-term (2015) and medium-term (2018), of those people employed full-time
 
Three years after graduation, all universities have achieved full-time employment rates above 85 per cent for their postgraduate coursework students, as shown in Figure 7. Note that there were insufficient survey responses to display results for University of Divinity, while University of Wollongong chose not to participate in the 2018 GOS-L. 

Universities with high full-time employment rates for postgraduate coursework graduates were the University of Notre Dame Australia, 97.2 per cent, Charles Darwin University, 95.7 per cent, the University of Sydney, 95.7 per cent, the University of Melbourne, 94.7 per cent and the University of New South Wales, 94.3 per cent. It is important to acknowledge that factors beyond the quality of teaching, careers advice and the like, such as course offerings, the composition of the student population, study mode, and variations in state/territory and regional labour markets, might also impact on employment outcomes. 

Figure 7: Short (2013-15) and medium-term (2016-18) postgraduate coursework full-time employment rates by university (three years data combined, %)
 
Universities with high median full-time salaries for postgraduate coursework graduates three years out in 2018 were the University of New South Wales, $114,800, Central Queensland University, $108,300, Federation University Australia, $105,000 and Macquarie University, $103,000, as shown in Figure 8.


Figure 8: Short (2013-15) and medium-term (2016-18) postgraduate coursework median full-time salaries by university (three years data combined, $)
 
For postgraduate research, the rate of full-time employment rose from 75.1 per cent shortly after program completion, to 89.6 per cent three years later in 2018 (see Figure 9). Overall employment rates also rose, from 90.1 per cent in 2015 to 91.9 per cent in 2018.

Figure 9: Postgraduate research employment outcomes, short-term (2015) and medium-term (2018), as a proportion of people available for each kind of employment (%)
 
Median-full time salaries for postgraduate research degree holders increased by 22.5 per cent between 2015 and 2018, from $80,000 to $98,000 (see Figure 10). Median earnings of male and female graduates were equal in 2015, but by 2018 median salaries for female graduates were $2,300, or 2 per cent, less than for male graduates.
Figure 10: Postgraduate research median salaries, short-term (2015) and medium-term (2018), of those people employed full-time
 
For further details and results, please see the 2018 GOS-L National Report. Results from the GOS-L by institution by study area are not currently presented on this website.