The 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey showed overall employment has lifted to 86 per cent for undergraduates and around 90 per cent for those with a post-graduate qualification.
The vast majority of students—more than three out of four—also said they were “very well” or “well” prepared by their studies for their current job. Eight in 10 graduates were satisfied with their course.
Universities Australia’s Acting Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the latest national report showed strong signs of recovery for the graduate jobs market.
“Graduate employment outcomes follow the curve of the economy. With an improving labour market, we’re seeing a steady improvement in graduate job rates,” Ms Jackson said.
“These results make it even more difficult to understand why the Government imposed $2.2 billion in cuts to universities and students just before Christmas, and intends to impose further penalties for universities that fail to meet subjective and arbitrary benchmarks,” she said.
“It is critical to remember that a highly skilled and qualified workforce spreads prosperity across the community and economy, creating new knowledge and jobs.”
Ms Jackson also pointed to the fact these employment figures accounted for graduates a short four months after graduating.
“The data shows that graduates, like everyone entering the labour market, need time to establish their careers,” Ms Jackson said.
“But this immediate outlook can shift quickly—within three years of finishing their studies, nine in 10 graduates are employed full-time,” she said.
“Employment rates after four months differ by field, but after three years, graduates with generalist degrees have largely closed the gap.”