Here’s What a Survey of 130,000 Recent Grads Found
A 2022 survey of more than 130,000 recently-graduated students has found one in four undergraduates are not satisfied with their course – the worst result in over a decade. The survey also found that, while employment outcomes for graduates have improved since the pandemic, pockets of difficulty remain in some study areas. Here are some highlights.
A total of 77% of recent undergraduates reported they were satisfied with their degree, while 80% of recent postgraduates were satisfied. This is the worst recorded result for undergrads in the last 11 years and the second-worst for postgrads. It follows similarly poor results in 2021 (likely related to pandemic disruptions). The undergraduate study areas with the least satisfied grads were dentistry (55%), creative arts (72%), and engineering (72%). The most satisfied were agriculture and environment students (88%).
The survey asked graduates whether they had found employment in the months after completing their degree. Overall, 88% of recent undergrads said they had found a job, with 79% finding a full-time job. This was a significant improvement on 2021 results, which were affected by the pandemic. However, there were major differences by study area. For example, 97% of physiotherapy graduates had found a full-time job, compared to just 57% of creative arts graduates.
Employment by Area
Gaps in Outcomes
There were significant inequalities in employment outcomes for graduates from different backgrounds. Full-time employment prospects were significantly worse for graduates who reported a disability (68% compared to 79% for graduates who did not) and graduates whose main language at home was not English (66% compared to 79% for students whose main language is English). There was also a gender pay gap for graduates – the typical income for a female graduate was $2,000 lower than for a typical male graduate. This gap persisted across most study areas.
About the Study
The study included over 130,000 recent graduates at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including students from 130 different higher education institutions. It was completed by the organisation Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching, which is funded by the Federal Department of Education. The exact timing varies, but graduates are typically surveyed about four months after graduating.