Allan Reinikka

Study shows it pays to go to university

RESEARCHERS studying the working habits of Australian university graduates have found it pays to seek higher education after leaving high school.

The Graduate Careers Australia study discovered 68.1% of new graduates in 2014 secured employment within four months of completing their studies.

Only 3% of all graduates in Australia were unemployed.

"This compares very favourably with the May 2014 unemployment rate for those without post-school qualifications, which was 8.2%," the report stated.

The median starting salary for bachelor degree graduates aged less than 25 remained unchanged from the previous year at $52,500.

Males started work with a higher salary of $55,000 compared to $52,000 for females.

At $75,000, the median starting salary for dentistry graduates was the highest for any field, followed by optometry ($70,000), engineering ($62,000), and earth sciences, mathematics and medicine ($60,000).

Graduates employed in the Northern Territory ($59,000) and Western Australia ($58,000) earned the highest median starting salaries of any state or territory.

The findings come less than a fortnight after the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics survey revealed graduates from Australia's elite "group of eight" universities earned no more on average than those from regional universities.

It found having a bachelor's degree increased males' earnings by 41% and women by 32% compared to people who completed Year 11 schooling or below. 



Northern Territory - $59,000

Western Australia - $58,000

ACT - $56,000

South Australia - $54,000

Tasmania - $52,900

NSW - $52,000

Queensland - $52,000

Victoria - $50,000



Dentistry - $75,000

Optometry - $70,000

Engineering - $62,000

Earth sciences - $60,000

Mathematics - $60,000

Medicine - $60,000

Education - $59,000

Computer science - $55,000

Paramedical studies - $55,000

Physical sciences - $55,000

Social work - $55,000

Law - $53,000

Agricultural science - $41,000

Accounting - $50,000

Economics, business - $50,000

Psychology - $49,900

Social sciences - $49,000

Architecture and building - $48,800

Biological sciences - $48,000

Veterinary science - $46,300

Humanities - $46,000

Art and design - $40,000

Pharmacy - $40,000


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