Friday, July 24, 2015

Attending a regional university is no barrier when seeking full-time graduate employment

It comes as no surprise to me or any of our alumni, but graduates from regional universities such as CQUniversity can expect to earn just as much as their counterparts from the Group of Eight (Sandstones), according to a new national survey report.

A recent survey from Household Income and labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) by the University of Melbourne found “no significant earnings differences are evident between (graduates of) Go8, Regional Universities Network (RUN) and overseas universities for men or women”.

Whilst there are many variables to look at when it comes to graduate salaries and the attainment of full time employment after graduation, I do think these findings illustrate that employers are looking for graduates who have developed tangible skills sets through work related learning.

In particular I think it also proves that gaining a qualification from a university removes barriers to securing a good job and a decent salary to go with it. For example The most recent available Graduate Careers Australia figures, drawing on data from 2013 graduates, show that CQUniversity's domestic bachelor degree graduates had an overall full-time employment rate of 79.8 per cent, more than 10 points above the national average of 68.1 per cent.

CQUniversity Australia also performed well with an overall median salary of $58,000 (across all study areas) compared with the national overall median salary of $55,000.

GCA figures show CQUniversity graduates leading the way on median salaries across a range of disciplines, including Building ($77,000 compared with $55,000 national average),Mechanical Engineering ($93,500 compared with $64,000), Civil Engineering ($65,000 compared with $60,000), Electrical Engineering ($80,000 compared with $65,000),Chemistry ($58,000 compared with $50,000), Computer Science ($63,000 compared with $55,000), Business Studies ($60,000 compared with $50,000), Humanities ($67,000 compared with $49,000), Health Other ($65,000 compared with $56,000), and Psychology($55,000 compared with $50,000).

No matter how you look at these results, the one important thing I take out of this is that regional universities just like CQUni are delivering industry with work ready graduates who are filling vital roles and transforming their communities, not just in the big cities but in regional and remote centres right across Australia. And this is what motivates myself and the 2,000+ staff at CQUniversity every day.  

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