After Graduation … What?
What are the actual career outcomes for new tertiary graduates?
And which degrees provide the best opportunities using interests and skills learned?
Here are some useful pieces of information provided by the recently released 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS).
Overall results look positive with 72.9 per cent of undergraduates in full-time employment four months after completing their degrees, up from 71.8 per cent in the previous year and 70.9 per cent in 2016.
As might be expected, outcomes were not even across the various courses. For example:
The top five areas of study for full-time employment in 2018
• Pharmacy — 97.2 per cent
• Medicine — 94.9 per cent
• Rehabilitation — 89.3 per cent
• Dentistry — 86.8 per cent
• Veterinary science — 84.7 per cent
Bottom five areas of study for full-time employment in 2018
• Creative arts — 52.2 per cent
• Tourism, hospitality, personal services, sport and recreation — 59.6 per cent
• Communications — 60.5 per cent
• Humanities, culture and social sciences — 64.3 per cent
• Psychology — 64.5 per cent
(As reported by ABC News: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-11/australian-job-prospects-for-university-graduates/10706216 )
For detailed information on this survey go to https://www.qilt.edu.au/docs/default-source/gos-reports/2018-gos/2018-gos-national-report-2018.pdf?sfvrsn=a729e33c_4
Additional issues for consideration
(i) The nature of the work gained: is it what the individual was trained for? It’s not uncommon for the first job to be a fill-in (routine and even de-motivating) while people continuing job hunting.
(ii) Is the first job aligned with the individual’s career pathway? Graduates of vocational courses (eg pharmacy, vet science) expect to get into their particular occupational niches. Graduates from generalist areas are often very happy with the flexibility to consider many different career directions.
(iii) Level of satisfaction with first job: Law graduates (doing articles) and medical graduates hospital internships) for example put up with routine, demanding, and often tedious work because they see this as a stepping stone.
(iv) Time taken to enter the workforce
(v) Part time work, gap year(s), travel, starting a family.