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The 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal (GOS-L)* has revealed that more generalist study areas like creative arts, tourism and hospitality has relatively low initial rates of full-time employment within four months of graduation while specialist areas like medicine and pharmacy have high initial rates of full-time employment in the four months after completing their degrees.
The GOS-L supplements the Graduate Outcomes Survey by measuring the medium-term employment outcomes of higher education graduates, approximately three years after they have completed their course.
The 2017 GOS-L is based on a cohort analysis of graduates who responded to the 2014 Graduate Destinations Survey.
The study found the percentage of graduates in full-time employment within four months of graduating, across various study areas was:
- 97.7% for Medicine graduates
- 92.5% for Pharmacy graduates
- 45.8% for Creative arts graduates
- 48.4% for Tourism, hospitality and personal services graduates
- 48.0% for Science and mathematics graduates
In the three years following however, those who completed courses in Creative arts in full-time employment rose to 79.4 per cent.
This continues to demonstrate an important point that while graduates from some fields of education, in particular those with generalist degrees, have weaker employment outcomes in the short-term, the gap in employment outcomes across field of education tends to narrow over time.
In terms of overall employment, short-term outcomes were weakest for graduates from Science and mathematics at 85.0 per cent, Computing and information systems, 85.8 per cent, Creative arts, 85.8 per cent, Agriculture and built environment, 86.1 per cent, and Engineering, 86.3 per cent.
The report states, three years later Science and mathematics still had the weakest overall employment outcomes with 86.0% in employment in 2017 followed by Psychology, 88.0 per cent, Tourism, hospitality, personal services, sport and recreation, 89.1 per cent, Creative arts, 89.3 per cent and Communications, 89.4 per cent.
Graduates in Medicine had the highest overall employment rate of 99.1 per cent in the short-term, along with Pharmacy with 98.5 per cent.
Three years later, in 2017, overall employment for Medicine graduates had dropped slightly to fourth place after Rehabilitation with 97.9 per cent, Pharmacy at 97.5 per cent and Nursing at 96.2 per cent.
Between 2014 and 2017, median salaries improved for graduates of undergraduate programs employed full-time in every study area.
In comparison with overall growth in median full-time graduate salaries of 23 per cent, Teacher education graduates experienced the slowest growth in salaries of 17 per cent or $10,000.
Science and mathematics and Creative arts recorded an increase in median salaries of $10,000 which represents a higher percentage increase of 19 per cent and 22 per cent respectively because they started from a lower base than Teacher education graduates.
Pharmacy graduates received the largest increase in salaries of 82 per cent ($32,800).
Medicine graduates also experienced a large increase in median salary of 59 per cent ($37,000) as did Dentistry with an increase of 50 per cent, representing a $40,000 increase.
*The 2017 GOS-L is based on a cohort analysis of graduates who responded to the 2014 Graduate Destinations Survey.