Employers give ‘thumbs up’ to new graduates

08 January 2018

Media release

The federal government has released a new report showing that employers are highly satisfied with graduates from Australia’s higher education system.

The 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS) report is the second national survey of employer satisfaction with higher education graduates. It forms part of the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) initiative, and was produced for the Department of Education and Training.

In preparing the report, QILT Research Manager Lisa Bolton said the findings were encouraging.

“This year’s Employer Satisfaction Survey again shows that graduates from Australia’s higher education system are readily finding their footing in new employment in the first four months after graduating,” Ms Bolton said.

The Employer Satisfaction Survey showed that in 2017, the overall satisfaction with graduates as rated by their direct supervisors was 84%.

Employer satisfaction was highest among graduates from more vocationally oriented courses such as Engineering and Health.

“This is consistent with graduates from these courses having higher initial employment outcomes four months after completing their courses,” Ms Bolton said.

Supervisors’ overall satisfaction with graduates from Engineering and Health was 90% and 89% respectively.

The satisfaction levels were somewhat lower for graduates with more generalist degrees.

“The Employer Satisfaction Survey showed that overall satisfaction appears lower for graduates with more generalist degrees such as Management and Commerce (80%), Natural and Physical Sciences (81%), and Society and Culture (81%),” Ms Bolton said.

The full report is available on the QILT website: qilt.edu.au/about-this-site/employer-satisfaction

About the 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS)

The 2017 ESS was conducted as a national online survey among 97 higher education institutions, including 41 universities and 56 Non-University Higher Education Institutions (NUHEIs). A total of 4,348 valid survey responses were collected across all study levels, representing a supervisor response rate of 48.2%.

The 2017 ESS data was compiled by the Social Research Centre (www.srcentre.com.au), a leading independent centre for the provision of services related to research design, survey management, statistical consulting and analytical thinking. The Social Research Centre is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian National University (ANU).

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QILT Media Contact

Belinda Zipper, Marketing and Communications Specialist Social Research Centre bzipper@srcentre.com.au qilt@srcentre.com.au 03 9236 8592