Strong employment outcomes for UNSW graduates

Published February 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the Australian labour market, including graduate employment outcomes across all Universities in Australia. Across Universities, the employment fell from 72.5% in 2019 to 69% in 2020. Despite the downturn, UNSW has performed strongly in the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey, administered by the Australian Department of Education and Training.

The GOS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment and is completed by graduates of Australian higher education institutions approximately four to six months after completion of their courses. It provides information on the labour market outcomes and further study activities of graduates.

The survey found 76% percent of UNSW undergraduates were in full-time work soon after graduating, seven percentage points higher than the national university average of 69%.

This is the highest result of all metropolitan Universities and the fifth highest nationally. Regional Universities including Charles Sturt University, University of New England, Charles Darwin and University of Southern Queensland had higher rates of undergraduate full-time employment respectively.

The news is just as positive for postgraduate students, 88% of all postgraduate students were in full time employment a few months after graduation, higher than the national average of 85%.

In addition to examining the full-time employment rates of Australian universities, the GOS examines the median salary of recent graduates.

UNSW had the highest undergraduate median salary in the Group of Eight of $67,500, higher than the University average of $64,700.

UNSW has the highest postgraduate median salary in Australia with a median salary of $110,000. Much higher than the University average of $89,000.

The results follow the winning of the AFR most employable students award where A record-breaking 27 students from UNSW were named as Most Employable Students in the Top100 Future Leaders Awards.

UNSW has also climbed the Graduate Employability rankings. In the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings UNSW moved from 36th in the world in 2018 to 27th in the world in 2020.

Professor Rorden Wilkinson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience, said this is good news for UNSW given the great upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is always pleasing to see our students well-equipped to achieve successful and fulfilling careers. These results are a testament to UNSW’s proud tradition of sustained innovation and world class teaching focussing on areas critical to our future,” said Professor Wilkinson.

“Future job markets will be very different, it’s essential our students graduate with relevant, highly sought-after skills to confidently enter a rapidly changing job market.”

Professor Wilkinson said findings from the latest QILT Graduate Outcome Survey showed UNSW was placed to equip students with real-world practical skills needed for a rapidly evolving workplace.

As noted by Associate Professor Leanne Piggott, Director of Experience in the Office of the PVC Education & Student Experience "These outstanding 2020 Graduate Outcome Survey results evidence the commitment UNSW has to ensuring our graduates gain a holistic experience both inside and outside the classroom.  By providing a wide range of opportunities for our students to develop their skills, knowledge, experiences, and attributes we aim to support our graduates’ successful transition to the workforce and to pursue meaningful and sustainable work throughout their career lifespan."


Read the full report

GOS Nov2020






See also

UNSW the top university for career outcomes

UNSW students top employability for fifth consecutive year


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