It’s where, not just what, you study


MASSIVE discrepancies exist in the employment outcomes for students studying the same qualification at different institutions, with experts warning it pays to check before you enrol.

Good Education Group product head Ross White says many prospective students spend vast quantities of time researching courses but often overlook the most important factor – how long it will take to get a job.

“There’s lots of variation in graduate employment rates and it’s definitely worth considering, particularly when you consider the time and costs (involved with study),’’ White says.

“University graduate employment rates (which track the employment outcomes of people three months after graduation) vary from 55 per cent all the way up to 83 per cent.

“The data is out there, it’s available. But I don’t think (prospective students) are thinking that far ahead.’’

The Good Education Group publishes university graduate employment outcomes in The Good Universities Guide.

media_cameraNatasha Bridges got a job at L’Oreal after studying at the International College of Management. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Prospective students can also find employment outcomes for a broad range of higher education institutions, including vocational providers, on the Social Research Centre’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website.

Professor Dominic Szambowski, chief executive and president at the International College of Management Sydney, says it is vital students enrol with educators that have a strong career focus.

“In the past few years, we’ve found students are realising not all higher education institutions are as focused on industry outcomes,’’ Szambowski says.

“Every provider is different and prospective students should look for institutions that prioritise student outcomes in real jobs.’’

media_cameraIf only half the students get a job when they graduate, where will that leave you? Picture: iStock

Szambowski says the best employment outcomes are not always reserved for those at university, with QILT recording a 75.8 per cent graduate employment rate for ICMS graduates, compared to a QS World University Ranking Survey which found the top five ranked Australian universities averaged a graduate employment rate of 70.6 per cent.

“We recognise that graduates need more than a qualification to be competitive in a challenging job market,’’ Szambowski says.

“All of our students graduate with extensive industry experience.’’

Natasha Bridges, 23, completed a Bachelor of Business Management with ICMS and immediately secured a role with L’Oreal, where she now works as a communications executive.

Bridges, who completed work experience with L’Oreal during her studies, says the cosmetics brand contacted her on the day of her final exam to alert her to a job opening.

“(Studying) is not just about learning – it’s about finding a job,’’ she says.

“You need to do the right course, at the right place, to get the right job and to make sure you’re job-ready, and job-savvy.’’


Originally published as It’s where, not just what, you study

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