The strong jobs picture holds nationally for graduates across the university system, with some variation due to local labour market conditions.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said it was good to see the continuing recovery of the labour market since the global financial crisis – with graduates especially well-placed.
“To continue to strengthen the Australian economy, to create new jobs and grow new industries, universities are our engines of growth, she said.
“Highly skilled graduates and university research breakthroughs are vital economic assets for the nation – seeding new jobs, lifting labour productivity and keeping jobs in Australia that may otherwise go offshore.”
The data shows 90.1 percent of students who graduated in 2016 were in full time jobs by 2019.
They started out on a median salary of $58,700 a year – rising to $72,800 a year within three years of graduating.
The results were even stronger for people who did a postgraduate coursework degree – with 86 percent in full time jobs four months after graduating and 93 percent within three years.
Ms Jackson said for every extra level of education attained beyond high school, people’s earnings rose in average and their chances of being jobless fell.
“If you have a university degree, you are also two and a half times less likely to be jobless than if you had no education beyond school,” she said.
The survey of more than 40,000 graduates also confirmed that more than three-quarters of graduates were working as managers or professionals.
Graduates with more generalist degrees – such as the sciences and the humanities – often took a little longer initially to find full-time jobs – but were employed at similar rates within three years.