Graduate career outlook continues to be rosy 


The latest Australian Graduate Survey shows that four out of five graduates have found fulltime jobs within four months of completing their degrees.

Figures released by Graduate Careers Australia, which conducts research into graduate employment, show that 82.4 per cent of graduates had found jobs in 2006, a slight increase on last year’s figure of 80.9 per cent.

Charles Darwin University’s figures were slightly above the national average, with 85 per cent of graduates having found work four months after graduation.

A total of 753 CDU graduates took part in the survey.

The national survey also found that 12.2 per cent of graduates were working on a part-time or casual basis while continuing to seek fulltime employment. About 5.5 per cent were not working and looking for fulltime employment.

According to Graduate Careers Australia, the employment figures for 2005 and 2006 represent a notable improvement in employment prospects for new graduates after figures reached a high point in 2000 and then leveled out in 2003 and 2004.

The figures also indicate that 20.3 per cent of the respondents to the survey were undertaking fulltime study after completing their undergraduate qualifications.

There is more good news on the salary front as well, with graduates with a bachelor’s degree getting an annual starting salary of $40,800, up from $40,000 last year.

This was 79.7 per cent of average earnings, down slightly from 81.8 per cent last year.

But there was bad news for equality of the sexes in pay scales; males earned a starting salary of $42,000, with females on $40,000.

Despite this discrepancy, graduates appear to be a happy lot. Overall satisfaction with courses as measured by the Course Experience Questionnaire remained at a high level, with 89.6 per cent of graduates expressing broad satisfaction with their courses.

The graduates with the most opportunities for employment at the time of the survey were in fields such as mining engineering, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, nursing and civil engineering.

Top money earners were dentistry graduates, who earned the highest median starting salary of $68,000. They were followed by optometry, medicine, engineering, earth sciences and mathematics.

Pharmacy, engineering and education, which are offered at CDU, were also ranked among the top earners.

The Australian Graduate Survey is conducted annually in co-operation with all Australian institutes of higher education. The AGS tracks new graduates who completed their qualification in the previous year. In 2006 information from more than 115,000 students was collected and analysed.

Survey director Ms Cindy Tilbrook said the figures reflected the increasing demand for higher education graduates and illustrated the impact of the skills shortage in certain industries.

Full details of the survey are available on