More and more Australians are gaining university degrees. And increasingly that means a degree does not guarantee a job, although it did appear to offer some protection against COVID job losses.
Once qualified, men who did a popular engineering-related VET course often worked in high-paid fields such as construction or manufacturing.
Students with lower ATARs generally have lower lifetime earnings. But a Grattan Institute report found low ATAR men could earn more doing a VET course than a bachelor degree in their chosen field.
Full-time employment is up, the gender gap has widened, and employers are generally satisfied with the quality of Australian graduates.
Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash
At least in the short term, employment opportunities for graduates seem to be increasing.
We need to keep in mind that education has benefits beyond what graduates earn and contribute to the economy.
We should keep in mind that education is valuable beyond graduate earning capacity, and that what a student learns during their education can have little to do with why they earn more.
Attending an elite university appears to play a comparatively small role in determining a graduate’s starting salary.
Attending an elite university plays a small role in an undergraduate’s starting salary compared to other factors, such as high ATAR, the field of study they chose and the region in which they work.
The surveyors start out with almost 100,000 graduate contacts, of whom less than 10% provide their supervisor’s details and of those supervisors, less than half participate in the survey.
An administrative link between a graduate’s education and taxation records already exists, and it could be used to give us more accurate and detailed longitudinal analyses of graduate outcomes.
The problem doesn’t appear to be with the relevance of qualifications and skillsets to employment, but rather with the scarcity of employment.
The government claims university degrees are failing businesses, but analysis of the latest graduate outcome and employer satisfaction surveys tells us the problem is with underemployment.
While securing a stable job is essential, dismissing the qualitative experience of learning and its extraordinary benefits is reductive.
New analysis reveals surprising insights into five key myths and misconceptions about Australian university student graduate outcomes.
Universities are for producing well-rounded graduates, not apprentices.
With graduate employment at its lowest since records began in the 1980s, universities are trying to come up with ways to make their graduates more attractive to employers. One common way is involving employers in their teaching solutions, but this has rarely worked.
So many law grads. So few jobs.
An Adelaide law firm announced its plans to charge law graduates A$22,000 up front for a job with them. While we are facing a problem of an oversupply of law graduates, this isn’t the way to go about solving it.
Graduates still have good mid- and long-term outcomes.
A highly educated workforce is for everyone’s benefit, but only if the graduates have broad skills.