Going to university does not necessarily guarantee you a job, and some of Australia’s best universities have the worst employment outcomes for graduates.
New data released by The Good Universities Guide reveals about 30 per cent of undergraduates left university without any job prospects and were struggling to make inroads into the competitive job market.
About 70 per cent of grads were employed full-time within four months.
But some universities are delivering better employment outcomes than others, and smaller, regional institutes are coming out on top.
On average, 69.5 per cent of undergraduates in Australia step into full-time jobs in the first four months out of university, and the employment outcome at some of Australia’s best universities is lower than that.
Charles Sturt University has the best employment outcome, of 83.9 per cent.
Next on top was Charles Darwin University, with a rate of 82.3 per cent, followed by Notre Dame, which has an employment outcome of 79.6 per cent.
Other universities with the employment outcome above the average are the University of New England, UNSW, the University of Wollongong, University of Technology Sydney and the Australian Catholic University.
At the bottom end of the scale, below the national average, were more of the country’s prominent universities.
The percentage of students gaining employment after graduating from the University of Newcastle was lower than the national average, with just 68.4 per cent getting employment.
Southern Cross University had 68 per cent of graduates finding work, while only 62.2 per cent were hired after graduating from the Western Sydney University.
At the University of Melbourne, 63.6 per cent of students were employed after graduating. Just 55 per cent of graduates from Flinders University found jobs.
Good Education Group head of product, Ross White, told news.com.au the smaller universities seemed the trump the more prominent ones in the country because of who the students were.
“The students who go to these smaller, regional universities often study part-time and often they are working and getting experience while they study, giving them a bit of a foot hold,” he said.
“Similarly a lot of them are mature aged students and have had time to rack up some mileage in the employment market.”
Mr White said when you looked at the metropolitan universities, they often attracted those hot out of high school who had less opportunities for work experience.
While the job market is less competitive in regional areas, Mr White said the data did not reveal whether students were finding it easier to get work in regional areas where they went to university.
Mr White said most universities in Western Australia were just under the national average for graduate employment rates.
“It’s interesting because the state has been riding a resources boom over the past few years. But it’s come off the boil a bit and employment outcomes are dipping,” he said.
However, the median salaries for graduates who did get jobs in Western Australia were high, and that was driven by local economy.
Mr White believes universities can improve their employment outcomes if they give students more opportunities for work experience.
“A lot of universities talk about industry links and vocational studies,” he said.
“Charles Sturt talks about how the final year of study is less about on campus traditional tutorials and lectures, and more about getting involved in industry.
“Universities that have good ties to local economies and large corporations enable students to rack up experience.”
BEST AND WORST BY STATE: FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT
- Best: Charles Sturt University — 83.9 per cent
- Worst: Western Sydney University — 62.2 per cent
- Best: Central Queensland University (Melbourne campus) — 80.6 per cent
- Worst: Victoria University — 62.1 per cent
- Best: University of Southern Queensland — 82.5 per cent
- Worst: Griffith University — 63.9 per cent
- Best: University of Tasmania (state’s only university) — 68.1 per cent
- Best: University of Notre Dame Australia — 79.6 per cent
- Worst: Edith Cowan University — 62.4 per cent
- Best: Australian Catholic University — 73 per cent
- Worst: Australian National University — 70 per cent
- Best: Charles Darwin University (state’s only university) — 82.3 per cent
- Best: University of South Australia — 72 per cent
- Worst: Flinders University — 55.1 per cent
This article originally appeared on News.com.au – New data reveals which universities have the worst employment outcomes