Degrees equal better job prospects
IF YOU'RE considering embarking on a university degree this year, you're leaving the decision late - but there's still time to apply.
While you'd obviously be applying for a degree in which you have more than a passing interest, considering it's a three-year commitment and largely determines your career path thereafter, it pays to know the job prospects before you enrol.
Graduate Careers Australia released its annual Australian Graduate Survey results late last year, analysing recent graduates' destinations, and how long it took them to get there.
GCA executive director Dr Noel Edge said while the uptake of new graduates into the labour force remained slow, their longer-term prospects were strong.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for May 2012 show that, in the general labour force (aged 15-64), just 2.7% of bachelor degree graduates were unemployed (down from 3.0% in 2011).
The comparative ABS figure for those with a postgraduate degree was 3.5% , and for those with a graduate or postgraduate diploma it was 2.5%.
For the total population (with or without non-school qualifications), the unemployment rate was 5.3% and 7.7% for persons with no post-secondary qualifications.
"Our research also shows that unemployment is not a long-term concern for graduates and it's important to understand that getting a degree is not just about the first job after university," Dr Edge said.
"It's about the potential for huge personal growth and a life-time of advantage in the labour market."
Of graduates who had sought and found employment, almost one-quarter (26.2%) first found out about their current full-time job via an advertisement on the internet - on sites like mycareer.com.au.
As for the strongest career prospects, look no further than medicine and pharmacy.
In 2012, both fields had 98 % of graduates in full-time employment within four months of graduating from their degrees.
Interestingly though, pharmacy offered the lowest starting salary for graduates, about $39,000, largely due to the further on-the-job training required for professional registration.