Good job prospects for WA grads

Greg Corrigan, ECU Reporter

Recent data from the Good Universities Guide reveals that students graduating from universities in WA are earning much more than those attending other universities around Australia.

Good Education Group released the Good Universities Guide for 2018 last Monday, ranking Australia’s universities so they can be compared with one another.

All five WA Universities were given a five-star rating for their graduate salary ranking, earning almost $5000 more than the Australian average of $56,000.

According to the Good Universities Guide website, each of the rating types found in the publication provides, “independent five-star performance ratings for every university in Australia.”

These ratings are based on a number of measures that affect students’ learning experience such as graduate salaries, graduate employment rates, teaching quality, overall experience rating and others.

Murdoch’s social equity rate was the highest in WA at 20% and the university was ranked 14th highest against all Australian Universities.

Curtin’s staff qualification rate was the highest in WA at 87% and it ranked 15th highest.

ECU’s learning resources was highly commended in relation to WA Universities with an 88.5% rating and was  ranked 6th highest across the nation.

Notre Dame appeared to show a high rate for the majority of the ranking criteria particularly in the skills development, teaching quality and overall experience, the rates were 90.8%, 90.3%, and 89.8% respectively, scoring it a place in the top three.

UWA’s graduate starting salary was recorded at $60,900, which is the highest for WA and is well above the national average.

When measured against other Australian Universities, it fell second to the University of Southern Queensland by about $100.

Those that graduate from WA Universities are revealed to be on the highest salary after the ABS recorded in July this year  that the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.6%.

University Rankings Australia found the only Western Australian University that deserved a four and a half star rating was UWA, along with University of Adelaide and Macquarie University and just above Curtin, which was placed in the four-star bracket.

PerthNow found that there are around 942,000 West Australians in full-time employment, which has been the largest number since October 2015.

This statistic supports the concept that WA Universities are not only producing graduate students, but also jobs for them in the long run.

“Full-time employment has now increased by around 220,000 persons since September 2016, and makes up the majority of the 250,000 person increase in employment over the period,” Chief Economist for the ABS Bruce Hockman said.

Both postgraduate and undergraduate students at WA Universities are granted access to career services during and after their studies.

The career services ensure support for studentsafter they graduate to develop the skills necessary to self-manage a career and facilitate an employment search.

ECU Daily spoke with Executive Dean of Arts & Humanities, Professor Clive Barstow, who shed some light on the topic.

“The answer is not an easy one to prove but because ECU has traditionally focused on a vocational approach to education and because we offer numerous internship opportunities, I think ECU is in a very strong position to offer employment opportunities for students both here in Australia and overseas.”

Former Curtin University student, Phoebe Evans, 21, has just completed an undergraduate degree in a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Public Relations.

She said: “I was shocked to see how fast I had been offered job interviews despite how competitive the PR industry is. I know it is a growing industry which helps, but the mandatory internship I had to do in my final year assisted a lot in the job searching process.”

Marcus Edwards graduated from UWA this year with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Economics and Finance and firmly believes in the benefits of practical contact in the workforce.

He said: “I think the Careerhub service UWA has for graduating students is well structured and an added benefit, but when it comes to real, full-time employment, the experience truly matters and if a uni can offer that as part of your degree, it makes it all the better.”