A full-time job and attractive salaries await UNSW graduates
UNSW graduates are amongst the most employable in Australia – thanks to
strong academic credentials, work experience opportunities and
For Chicago native Samantha Hills, a business degree from the University
of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney opened the door to employment in
ways, she says, would not have been available to her at home.
Before she was headhunted by IT company Click to Cloud, Samantha
completed two internships while studying with UNSW. First, with the
sports team at Yahoo and then with a university department’s marketing
team, where she later landed the marketing officer role. That experience
led to a job offer from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and finally,
the offer from Click to Cloud.
As Samantha says, “In the US internships are incredible competitive, but
in Sydney there are so many job opportunities with some great
Leading the way in graduate outcomes: successful, employable and well
According to the annual Australian Graduate Survey, UNSW graduates enjoy
high rates of employment when they graduate. In fact, in 2012, more than
90% of job seekers were in full-time employment within three months of
completing their degree.
UNSW graduates also achieve better starting salaries than graduates from
most other institutions. Postgraduates from UNSW have Australia’s
highest starting salaries, at a median of A$100,000 per year, while
undergraduates are equal second nationwide at A$55,000.
The Australian Good Universities Guide for 2013 gave UNSW the maximum
five-star rating across all eight key performance indicators. And the
University was also rated in the top group for graduates’ ability to
find a job, their starting salaries and positive graduate outcomes. It’s
no surprise then that more of Australia’s top CEOs studied at UNSW than
any other university in Australia – and the influence of UNSW graduates
doesn’t stop here.
“We have been accepting international students for more than 60 years,
so there is a wide network of alumni around the world, many of whom are
captains of industry or in very significant posts in government and
business overseas,” says Aleksandr Voninski, Executive Director, UNSW
Putting graduates ahead of the pack
Australia recently removed limits on student places in university
programs, which means there is now a place for every student who
qualifies. This will increase the student cohort to nearly one million
nationwide. The Australian Government plans to have 40% of 25 to 34 year
olds educated to bachelor degree level by 2025, by which time the
Government’s workforce and productivity body estimates that a third of
all jobs will require applicants to have a bachelor’s qualification.
With competition in the job market intensifying, UNSW has a raft of
measures to ensure its graduates are job-ready and connected with
This involves daily career development workshops, one of Australia’s
largest Careers Expos, a comprehensive offering of internships and
volunteer placements, and regular presentations by more than 60
employers each year.
International students are also offered a Professional Development
Program, aimed at helping them develop their communication skills in a
professional setting and gain practical workplace experience. In
addition to a three-day training program, it offers a 50-hour office
internship program run in various departments at UNSW.
Gaining this work experience greatly affects graduate outcomes.
According to a 2012 survey by the Australian Association of Graduate
Employers and High Fliers Research, 83% of graduates who successfully
found employment had worked on a part-time or casual basis and 51% had
done volunteer work while at university.
It’s a need UNSW is prepared for – undergraduates are offered the
ability to develop not only their academic and technical skills, but to
pursue a range of extra-curricular and work experience opportunities to
raise their level of employability, says Taye Morris, Manager of UNSW
Careers and Employment.
“UNSW does have a strong reputation with employers. We regularly have
graduate recruiters visiting our campus and specifically targeting
students,” she says.
Phil Barker, Technical Leader of Polymer Research at BlueScope Steel,
which has strong employment and research links with UNSW, has found
several “brilliant” employees among the graduate cohort from UNSW.
“The students come out of their degrees ready to go because they have
already had a lot of experience in the industry,” he says.