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Graduate Employability Surveys: What Do They Mean and Why Should I Care?

It’s a competitive world out there these days for university graduates in search of full-time work. That’s where graduate employability surveys come in…

The number of graduates going into part-time work is on the rise, as the economy struggles to keep up with the number of degree-holders in search of jobs.

Students justifiably want to know before they commit to a university, what their chances of finding work will be when they finish. Because, when it comes to employability, each university is different.

Every university has its own unique teaching methodology, industry contacts, internship programs and careers departments. Some universities focus more on academic results, while some are more proactive in developing skills for the workforce. It’s up to you to find the university that will deliver the best results.

The good news is you don’t have to do it alone!

There are three major graduate employability surveys that examine outcomes from universities worldwide.


Graduate employability surveys: worldwide

The Times Higher Education Survey and the Center for World University Ranking (CEWUR) look at a range of different criteria, including academic results and citations. Employability is one factor they assess, but if you’re interested in overall performance, it can be a useful guide.

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings (QS GER) is arguably the biggest global survey focused purely on employment outcomes. This survey assesses responses from over 40,000 students and alumni, of more than 400 universities worldwide.



Graduate employability surveys: Australia

If you’re considering studying in Australia, we have our very own independent ranking system.

The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QUILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey is released nationally, every year. It measures the medium-term employment outcomes, over several years after graduation.

Last year’s report contained results collected from 40,000 completed surveys, with graduates representing 60 institutions, 39 of them universities. This makes it Australia’s largest annual survey of higher education graduates in the workforce!

So, what were the results?

Three years after graduation, universities have an average full-time employment rate around 81%. But, not all universities are equal.

The results show that 96.7% of Murdoch University undergraduates secured employment after three years, compared to the 81% national average.

That makes Murdoch University the number one university in the country, for overall undergraduate employment after three years!

Of other Western Australian universities: Curtin University achieved 92.9%, Edith Cowan University achieved 89.9% and the University of Western Australia achieved 89%.


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Why are some Australian universities doing better than others in employability?

The QUILT Graduate Outcomes Survey explains the difference between universities as a mix of factors, including student demographics, teaching, careers services and regional labour markets.

At Murdoch University, the high score in employability can be attributed in no small part to the (so far, very successful) Work Integrated Learning approach. This approach has been a growing focus of almost all undergraduate degrees offered at the university.

Through Work Integrated Learning, students use real workplace experience to strengthen their studies, either through industry projects, work placements or work simulations.

Every course and university is different so it’s not an easy choice. The results of these independent graduate employability surveys, however, can be one helpful tool in gathering information to help inform your decision.


See here for more information on courses at Murdoch Institute of Technology, your pathway to Murdoch University.


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