Release type: Media Release


Graduate employment increases despite COVID-19 impacts


The Hon Alan Tudge MP
Minister for Education and Youth

University graduates are securing full-time employment at a greater rate in 2021 than 2020, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey released today shows that full-time employment four months after graduation increased from 68.7 per cent in 2020 to 68.9 per cent in 2021.

Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the increase in graduate employment compared to last year, was welcome news for graduates as they hit the ground running and enter the workforce impacted by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

“It’s encouraging to see that despite the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, students are getting on with their lives, graduating and moving quickly into full-time work,” Minister Tudge said.

The top performing degrees for employment outcomes following graduation include:

  • Pharmacy 95.0 per cent
  • Engineering 80.3 per cent
  • Teacher Education 79.1 per cent

“The results of the survey also back the rationale that underpins our Job-ready Graduates reform package, where student fees were reduced in study areas of national priority, in courses such as health and science, where students are most likely to get a job.”

Universities with the highest rates of employment post graduation were:

  • Charles Sturt University at 84.6 per cent  
  • Central Queensland University at 83.4 per cent
  • University of New England at 80.9 per cent
  • University of Southern Queensland at 79.2 per cent
  • James Cook University at 78.0 per cent.

The 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey was conducted across three rounds and the full-time employment rate improved substantially from 60.6 per cent in November 2020 to 67.9 per cent in February 2021 to 72.1 per cent in May 2021.

The survey can be found at