Graduate Employment

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

The GOS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment 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 the ComparED website. Survey results from 2018, 2019 and 2020 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 2016 GOS National Report.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the Australian labour market, including graduate employment outcomes. As could be expected, graduate employment rates have declined markedly between 2019 and 2020. The full-time undergraduate employment rate, for example, fell from 72.2 per cent to 68.7 per cent, the second lowest result ever since the 68.1 per cent reported in 2014.

Graduates with vocational degrees have fared better in the labour market impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Pharmacy undergraduates recorded 96.4 per cent in full-time employment in 2020, up 0.7 percentage points from 2019. The full-time employment rate of Teacher education undergraduates declined slightly to 80.6 per cent by 0.2 percentage points. Other study areas that were less affected by the downturn were Law and paralegal studies, down by 1.6 percentage points to 75.7 per cent and Engineering, down by 1.8 percentage points to 83.0 per cent.

For further details, see the 2020 GOS National Report and data visualisation below 


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The 2020 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 2020 GOS-L is based on a cohort analysis of graduates who responded to the 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey.

Graduates continue to experience strong gains in employment in the three years following completion of their degree. The undergraduate full-time employment rate immediately after graduation was 73.0 per cent in 2017 but rose 17.1 percentage points in the three years following graduation to 90.1 per cent in 2020.

For further details, see the GOS-L 2020 National Report and data visualisation below.

 

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Review of the Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire

Published: 2016

Australian Graduate Survey historical data

Published: 2016