The new data is reported in the 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey — Longitudinal, Australia’s largest annual survey of higher education graduates in the workforce.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the jobs picture for graduates was looking strong as the labour market continued to pick up across the country.
“A university degree expands your horizons, challenges you and remains one of the surest ways to find fulltime work, even when the labour market has been doing it tough,” Ms Jackson said.
“Four out of five people with undergraduate qualifications are working in managerial and professional occupations,” she said.
“These are exactly the type of jobs that the Australian Bureau of Statistics says require a Bachelor’s degree or higher.”
The Department of Employment forecasts that professional, scientific and technical services roles will grow by 126,000 jobs in the five years to May 2022. This is the second largest growth of any industry.
In addition to enhanced job prospects, younger university graduates continue to earn a significant wage premium compared to school leavers.
“The latest survey shows the median salary of university graduates in fulltime work three years after finishing their studies is $70,000,” Ms Jackson said.
“Younger men with a university qualification earn $12,500 per year more than men with no formal education beyond Year 12,” she said.
“For younger women with a university degree this rises to almost $14,000 a year extra.”