New employer survey data reveals strong satisfaction with graduates, but it’s way stronger at some universities than others
Overall 84 per cent of employers were satisfied with graduates they employed. Satisfaction on groups of attributes ranged from 85 per cent on “employability” – defined as “the ability to perform and innovate” at work to 93 per cent on “general literacy, numeracy and communication skills and the ability to investigate and integrate knowledge.”
Degrees deliver: This is a good result for advocates of a university education as providing generic employment skills. As Universities Australia’sThe unis with grads employers love was quick to point out yesterday it is; “a strong endorsement, direct from employers, that Australia’s universities are preparing students to succeed in the world of work.”
Just not the same everywhere: But not all universities are equally excellent, with overall satisfaction by institution ranging from 94.6 per cent for Bond U to Murdoch U’s 76.2 per cent.
The top five institutions are; Bond U (94.6 per cent), Australia Catholic U (89.9 per cent), Uni Wollongong (89.6 per cent), University of Notre Dame Australia (87.4 per cent) and Western Sydney U (87.3 per cent).
The lowest-ranking five are; Charles Darwin (80.2 per cent), UNE (79.9 per cent), UWA (79.4 per cent), Torrens U (79.3 per cent), Murdoch U (76.2 per cent).
(The University of Divinity’s also performs well, but on a small sample size).
As for any argument that ratings relate to the SES status of students, four Group of Eight universities are below the system-wide average.
In quals they trust: Supervisors in all occupation areas thought graduates’ quals mattered to the jobs they did (by an average 10 per cent more than the graduates themselves). Fields where the faith in degrees is strongest are health (79 per cent), education (77 per cent) and engineering (69 per cent). The sceptics are in creative arts (44 per cent), IT and management (both 48 per cent).
Best-performing disciplines: Engineering employers are happiest with their graduates on all attributes (89.9 per cent), followed by health (89.6 per cent), creative arts trails (74 per cent).
The federally funded Employment Satisfaction Survey is undertaken by the Social Research Centre as part of the excellent Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching.
The 2019 survey is based on responses from graduates’ supervisors in 4689 organisations.