The rising trajectory of graduates three years on
“Time will tell” is something of a truism, but it applies quite well to the national survey of how university graduates are faring three years down the track, with UTS graduates achieving among the highest rates of employment and remuneration as they settle into their working life.
The newly released 2019 Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal (GOS-L) measures the medium-term outcomes of higher education graduates who responded to the 2016 Graduate Outcomes Survey.
The GOS-L is an ongoing part of the Australian Government-funded Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) survey suite.
The proportion of UTS undergraduates in full-time employment in 2016, four months after completing their course, was 78 per cent, while three years later 92.5 per cent of the same cohort of graduates had secured full-time employment (both figures above the national average).
Three years out the median salary level among UTS graduates in full-time employment had increased from $57,500 to $75,000, a figure also above the national average.
In a comparison of results for other universities UTS was equal fifth in Australia with the University of NSW for high full-time employment rates three years after graduation.
The GOS-Longitudinal is arguably the most important survey in the QILT suite because it tells a comprehensive story about the medium-term employment outcomes for Australian higher education graduates.
Director QILT Research and Strategy
The GOS-L survey also includes responses from postgraduate coursework graduates. In 2016, 85.7 per cent of UTS postgraduate coursework graduates were in full-time employment four months after completing their course, which had increased to 91.1 per cent 3 years later.
Median salaries for UTS postgraduate coursework graduates had increased 22 per cent from $85,000 in 2016 to $109,500 3 years on. This was well above the medium-term national average of $95,000.
Director QILT Research and Strategy Lisa Bolton said the GOS-L was “arguably the most important survey in the QILT suite because it tells a comprehensive story about the medium-term employment outcomes for Australian higher education graduates.”
She said the national result for undergraduates was a 17.5 percentage point increase in full-time employment over the three years following graduation, representing the highest full-time employment rate three years after graduation since 2013.
Similarly, the median salary of undergraduates employed full-time in 2016 was $58,700 and three years later the median salary of this same cohort of graduates had increased by $14,100 or by 24 per cent to $72,800.
She said undergraduates from more “generalist” fields of education such as creative arts, science and mathematics and humanities, culture and social sciences, had weaker employment outcomes immediately upon graduation compared with those in more “vocational” degrees such as medicine and pharmacy.
However, GOS-L showed the gap in employment outcomes across study areas tends to narrow over time.