STEM graduates receive top marks for employment outcomes

By Good Education Group

STEM graduates can earn almost $10,000 more than the average starting salary, according to The Good Careers Guide 2016.

The first annual Good Careers Guide was released today, detailing some compelling employment statistics for those studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Chris Lester, Chief Executive Officer of the Good Education Group, which publishes The Good Careers Guide, expressed the importance of students exploring STEM careers.

‘With the government’s renewed focus on the importance of studying STEM subjects, it seems students would do well to consider these fields — both for positive employment and salary outcomes,’ Mr Lester said.

The Good Careers Guide has been produced to fill the gap left by Job Guide, which was published for the last time in 2015.

‘With a focus on science and technical innovation in 2016, the Guide provides advice on the importance of STEM-related education and the job opportunities that follow,’ he added.

While the average graduate starting salary for degree graduates is $52,840, the Guide shows that some of the best salaries are gained from STEM-related study.

Engineering degree graduates earn an average of $62,102 — putting them at almost $10,000 above the national average. A range of other fields requiring STEM skills can also strengthen graduate prospects, including dentistry, which sees graduates enter their first full-time job at an average salary of $77,633 — the best outcome of any field nationally.

In the vocational sector, information technology and engineering boast the strongest salaries, at $51,700 and $51,100 respectively, which compares to a national VET graduate average of $46,900.

Dr Paul Willis, Director of RiAus — Australia’s Science Channel, said ‘we’re asking the next generation to achieve goals that we can’t even describe yet and get them to take on careers in industries that do not exist today. The best we can do for them today is give them the best tool kit with which to tackle the future. The best tool kit is a sound education in the STEM subjects’.

Employability is another indicator pointing to the strength of outcomes in STEM disciplines. National graduate employment data shows that graduates in fields requiring STEM aptitude fare best, with employment rates as high as 97 per cent (medicine) and 91 per cent (pharmacy).

The Good Careers Guide has been developed in consultation with Australian career advisers to provide accessible, relevant and comprehensive information to inform students about the education and career pathways available to them.

David Carney, Executive Director of Career Industry Council of Australia, said ‘as the Australian economy transitions it is vitally important that young people have access to high-quality, accurate and up-to-date career information resources to assist them to make well-informed career decisions’.

The Good Education Group’s mission is to be the leading independent provider of high-quality resources that empower generations of students to make informed decisions about their education and career goals. The Good Careers Guide is the Good Education Group’s first publication for 2016 and will be followed by the well-known Good Universities Guide and Good Schools Guide, with a stable of other resources to be published later in the year.

Source: The Good Universities Guide 2016

Employment data for higher education refers to the proportion of jobseeking graduates, aged under 25, who were successful in gaining full-time work within four months of completing an undergraduate degree. Salary data provides the average starting wage for graduates who found full-time work.

Source: National Centre for Vocational Education and Training (NCVER)

Data for Vocational Education and Training (VET) graduates refers to the proportion of graduates who had gained work at the conclusion of training, and the salaries paid to those entering their first full-time job.