Teaching qualifications

Fewer Australian PhD Students Find Jobs After Their PhDs

Short-term employment rates for Australian bachelor’s graduates have “stabilized somewhat” despite the pandemic, but employment prospects for people with new master’s and doctoral degrees have continued to decline.

According to a new report, less than 78% of Australians with postgraduate research degrees had a full-time job within six months of qualifying. This compares to short-term employment rates of over 80% in 2020, 81% in 2019 and 82% in 2018.

The Center for Social Research (SRC) said short-term employment rates for doctoral graduates had reached their lowest level since 2015. “This may reflect a decrease in current employment opportunities in the healthcare sector. ‘higher education, which is one of the highest employment sectors for this cohort,’ he said.

While university employment may be in the doldrums, opportunities in the wider economy are rebounding, according to 2021 Graduate Outcome Survey.

Released on October 5, it lists the professional and salary experiences of university students between four and six months after graduation. The results of a complementary longitudinal report, which traces the results of graduates after three years, were published at the end of September.

The new report summarizes the responses of nearly 130,000 graduates to surveys conducted in November, February and May. By November 2020, full-time employment among bachelor’s graduates had slumped below 61%, about 7 percentage points lower than in November.

But by May, the rate had fallen to 72%, less than a percentage point below the equivalent figure for 2019.

Lisa Bolton, SRC’s research and strategy director for higher education performance data from Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), said the results reflected the ‘turbulence’ induced by the pandemic in the graduate labor market.

She said a collapse in employment rates at the start of the pandemic was clearly shown in the November survey, with earlier impacts likely obscured by the JobKeeper wage subsidy program and the pre-Covid professional labor market. dynamic. “But consistent with general labor market trends reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we can now see that they have recovered.”

Universities Australia said the survey results demonstrated the value of higher education, despite the impacts of the pandemic. “A degree continues to give students an edge in an increasingly competitive job market,” said CEO Catriona Jackson.

“As immunization rates improve… and more states begin to open up, it is highly likely that the premium for graduates will rise further. “

Education Minister Alan Tudge said the results were good news. “Despite the continued impacts of the pandemic, students are getting on with their lives, graduating and moving quickly to full-time work,” he said.

Mr Tudge said the results reflected the rationale for last year’s Ready-to-Work Graduates (JRGs) reforms, which reduced fees in national priority areas seen as offering the best employment prospects.

The report shows that the employment rates of science and mathematics graduates, viewed favorably under the JRG reforms, increased by 2 percentage points to around 61 percent. They exceeded employment scores in disadvantaged humanities, culture and social sciences courses, which fell 3 percentage points to 58 percent.

But both fields were far behind the disadvantaged fields of business and management, where 73 percent of graduates had a full-time job within six months.

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