Yet more evidence uni study generates job

The excellent Social Research Centre (crafters of QILT) have crunched survey data to report on graduate employment. The overall evidence is degrees deliver close to the max

The news is good: Overall, employment outcome surveys show graduates do well in the job market over time. Three months after graduating 72.6 per cent of 2016 UG completers were employed full time, with 90.1 per cent of them working FT now. The ’16 starters earned $58 000 a year back then and 24 per cent more, nearly $73 000 now. Good numbers, the employment figures are the best since 2012, but as to why, the SCR (data and nothing but) does not speculate.

If not great:  Admittedly, one does not have to venture deep into the weeds to find employment outcomes that are not quite as fab. For example, the learned Andrew Norton points out, the per centage of grads in FT employment, of those wanting it in 2018 and ‘19, was/is stable at 90 per cent. This a touch up on 2015 but a bit down on 2011.

The survey also shows, the per centage employed in professional/managerial jobs is around 4 per cent lower. Critics of the mass higher education system as creating graduates no-one needs, will also seize on the survey finding that, three years on 27 per cent of 2016 graduates working full-time reported their skills-qualifications are not fully utilised, 19 per cent of them said it was because there were no suitable jobs.

But ok for unis: The spread of 2016 UG completers now in FT work is, University of Sydney at 93.2 per cent, down to Victoria U at 81.2 per cent. For course postgrad completers Uni Wollongong has the highest participation rate, extraordinary 96.8 per participation rate and Edith Cowan U the lowest, 85.9 per cent.

Hard to do better: Last week Education Minister Dan Tehan announced that 40 per cent of new growth funding for Commonwealth Supported Places will be based on graduate outcomes. According to the Wellings’ Panel, which recommended performance measures, this will encourage universities to ensure, “course offerings align with economic needs, working with employers to address key technical and soft skills needs in higher education qualifications and to respond to their evolution over time, and to identify opportunities for work experience to support learning and transition to employment.” Good-o, but given there is no accounting for the employment-impact of peoples’ life circumstances it is hard to see many unis being able to improve graduate outcomes by much.


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