QILT reveals employers happy with hires

Employers are overwhelmingly enthused with the quality of new graduates they hired, according to the second major 2020 survey in the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching suite

What managers like: Overall satisfaction last year was 84.7 per cent, in-line with annual figures since 2016, which ranged from a low of 83.6 per cent (2017) to 84.8 per cent (2018).

Levels of satisfaction with the five-subordinate skill sets surveyed were all equally consistent over time. Across the period graduates’ immediate supervisors are least happy with general employment skills (“perform and innovate in the workplace”), 86.8 per cent in 2020 and most impressed with their technical skills, “application of professional and technical knowledge and standards,” which is presumably what they are hired to apply.

And in evidence against claims graduates cannot count, spell and have no idea how many beans make five, 93.7 per cent of their supervisors think their hires have satisfactory “foundation skills,” defined by the QILT team as “general literacy, numeracy and communication skills and the ability to investigate and integrate knowledge.”

OK with public or private: Employers do not appear to prefer graduates from either public or private HE providers, with overall satisfaction scores for universities (84.8 per cent) and NUHEPs (83.3 per cent). This is another good result for top-end private providers, following their strong performance in the QILT undergrad student survey (CMM).

The only marked distinction by mode and level are on-campus study (86.3 per cent) which rates higher than DE, (78 per cent) and postgrad coursework grads, who are rated lower (82 per cent) than UGs (85 per cent) and research postgrads (89 per cent).

The unis rate best and those which don’t:  With an 84.6 per cent system-average for overall satisfaction, top performers include, Uni Divinity (92.3 per cent), Bond U (92.9 per cent), Australian Catholic U (89.8 per cent), Uni Wollongong (89.7 per cent), Monash U and Swinburne U (87.4 per cent), Victoria U (86.9 per cent) UTS (86.7 per cent), Victoria U (86.9 per cent) and UNSW and Western Sydney U (= 86.5 per cent).

(QILT warns small sample size means Uni Divinity and Bond U results “cannot said to be significantly higher at this institution than at other institutions.”)

Unis noticeably at the other end are, James Cook U (81.7 per cent), Charles Sturt U (81.3 per cent), Federation U (81.2 per cent), Charles Darwin U and Griffith U (= 80.4 per cent), Torrens U (78.6 per cent) UNE (79.3 per cent), UWA (77.5 per cent), Murdoch U (79 per cent).

Does it matter? Has the growth in graduate numbers created under-employment among them? QILT does not think so. Yes 12 per cent of the survey sample said their qualification was “not at all important” to their job, but, “given that a little under half of the graduates had been employed for less than one year after completing their qualification, their relative lack of work experience may explain why they did not fully comprehend the extent to which their qualification is important for their job.”