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Graduate outcomes: is going to uni worth it?

With the fees you’ll pay and extra time spent hitting the books, you’re probably wondering if uni is ‘worth it’. Will you get a job? How much will you earn? Read on to get the facts.

Will you get a job?

Our data shows that 65 per cent of recent bachelor degree graduates (aged under 25 and heading into their first full-time job) had found work within four months of graduation. This figure is higher for postgraduates, with 77 per cent securing full-time work within four months.

Data comes from the Graduate Destination Survey component of the Australian Graduate Survey, conducted by Graduate Careers Australia in 2013 and 2014. It looks at the outcomes of 2012 and 2013 graduates.

How much will you get paid?

For bachelor degree graduates, the starting salary is approximately $52,000. Studying dentistry comes with the greatest reward, at $77,633, while fields such as pharmacy, architecture and creative arts provide modest salaries in the $40,000 range.

For postgraduates, the average salary is around $78,000. Once again the big winner, dentistry sees graduates rake in an average of $108,263. At just $50,754, architecture provides the lowest salary.

Undergraduate

This table looks at the best and worst fields (by graduate salary) at undergraduate level. It also provides the percentage of students who were able to secure full-time employment within four months of graduation.

Postgraduate

This table looks at the best and worst fields (by graduate salary) at postgraduate level. It also provides the percentage of students who were able to secure full-time employment within four months of graduation.

Need more info? Browse courses and compare ratings to get further insight into fields of interest. If you’re still thinking about career options, our Career search can help too.

How much emphasis should you place on graduate outcomes?

If you’re choosing the right course, graduate outcomes shouldn’t matter. It’s all about finding the best fit for your skills and interests. So if you’re passionate about architecture, don’t let the salary dissuade you. Squeamish (or hate working with people)? Avoid opting for dentistry just because you’ll be paid well.

Also bear in mind that employment outcomes vary greatly and can be affected by any number of factors — whether it’s the specialisation you’ve chosen, city where you’re seeking work or types of employers that have caught your eye.

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