The latest Education and Work survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that 42.8 per cent of Australians aged 25 to 34 years old now have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, up from 34 per cent 10 years ago in 2010, and a two percentage point increase on 2019.
The data was collected in early May – well into the period when national COVID-19 restrictions were in place.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the latest figures underlined the increasing demand for graduate skills in the economy.
“There’s no doubt that the global pandemic, and associated economic downturn, will fuel the demand for education still further. We have a responsibility to young and older Australians alike to meet that demand. We were pleased to see 12,000 places funded in the Federal Budget for next year.”
“The report tells us that women are outperforming men with 49.2 per cent of young women holding a Bachelor’s degree, compared with 34 per cent for young men,” Ms Jackson said.
“But no matter your gender, we know that more education is needed for the changing world of work.”
“More than 90 per cent of the 1.1 million new jobs created by 2024 will require a post-school qualification according to the 2019 Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s report.”
“A degree is one of the best investments you can make. You will earn more and be better prepared for a lifetime of careers, not just a single job. Even in a recession, having a degree will improve your employment chances.”
“But despite this good news, the data also shows that there’s more work to do – with degree attainment twice as high in the cities as in the regions.”
“Redressing disadvantage is a core aim of all of our universities. It’s vital we work towards achieving that goal.”