Best universities for jobs: Top 21 for graduate employability – Part 3

Age is no barrier to achieving positive outcomes for jobseekers.

Many of the top performers in the final part of The Courier-Mail’s exclusive report on graduate employability are young universities.

They’re assessed on four criteria:

  • Graduate employment rates
  • Employer partnerships
  • Real-world-ready courses
  • Reputation with employers

And check out what some of their alumni are up to now.

Griffith University

From criminology to film, hospitality to aviation, a number disciplines have become synonymous with Griffith University.

Griffith ranks 18th in Australia for graduate employability (QS), and is the 32nd best young university in the world.

With three campuses in Brisbane and one each on the Gold Coast and in Logan, it places 9th globally for hospitality & leisure management..

The only university in Australia with two professors of midwifery, Griffith is also Queensland’s No.1 ranked university for Nursing and Midwifery (ARWU).

The School of Criminology is also highly regarded, with graduates scoring jobs with the Queensland Police Service, Suncorp, Queensland Corrective Services, Energex and the Department of Justice.

Griffith’s partnership with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is delivering more than 205 internships and potential jobs in marketing, IT and law.

New double degrees from 2018 include a Bachelor of Creative and Interactive Media/Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Photography/Bachelor of Business.

Drones and artificial intelligence will be offered as majors in engineering and computer science degrees to meet the growing need for pilots and engineers to design and maintain vehicles.

Notable alumni: Greg Clark, CEO, Symantec; Jackie Trad, Queensland Deputy Premier; Dami Im, singer-songwriter; Professor Mark von Itzstein, founder, Griffith’s Institute for Glycomics; Michael Pennisi, CEO, Q Super; Jodie Fox, co-founder Shoes of Prey; Judd Armstrong, founder, Jaybird.

Central Queensland University

Founded in 1992, Central Queensland University offers seamless pathways from vocational training through to higher degrees.

The 15th best young university in Australia, it has campuses or facilities at 11 towns and cities in Queensland, including Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Mackay, Noosa and Rockhampton.

Engineering students find jobs with major employers like ConocoPhillips, NRG, Rio Tinto (Hail Creek Mine), Aurecon, Ergon, Queensland Transport and Main Roads and BHP Billiton.

QCU also has scholarships and job opportunities with the likes of Bendigo Bank, Bundaberg and Gladstone Regional Councils.

Don’t be deceived by the name, CQU also has campuses in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and Perth.

It is well regarded for allied health courses such as medical imaging, sonography, echocardiography, oral health and paramedic sciences.

Students often find work before they graduate, at interstate clinics and with the Queensland Ambulance Service.

CQU is tapped emerging global trends with courses in permaculture.

It is recognised as Australia’s only Changemaker Campus, a global group of 30 institutions working towards overcoming social disadvantage.

Notable alumni: Wayne Blair, filmmaker; William McInnes, actor, author; Paul White, CEO, Brisbane Broncos; Ian McPhee, former Australian Auditor-General; Alexander Horneman-Wren, Judge of the District Court of Queensland; Bevan Slattery, technology entrepreneur.

University of New South Wales

Ranked first in the world for studying finance, the University of NSW has the national distinction of having the most number of millionaires among its alumni.

When it comes to graduate employability, UNSW ranks 3rd in Australia and 36th in the world.

Its MBA program is the most consistent performer of any Australian business school, and offers work experience towards course credit.

As part of its 2025 Innovation Strategy, UNSW aims to create more than 100 start-ups per year.

It already hosts scores of multidisciplinary interactive “sandpit” programs with researchers and industry to stimulate novel thinking.

Also strong in law, UNSW has a new Designing Technology Solutions for Access to Justice course which combines practical experience and state-of-the-art technology through partnerships with law firm Gilbert + Tobin and software company Neota Logic.

Latest data show 87 per cent of domestic undergraduates find full-time or part-time work.

Notable alumni: Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales; Mark Bouris, CEO Yellow Brick Road, TV personality; Roger Corbett, former chairman, Reserve Bank of Australia; Charlie Teo, neurosurgeon; Scott Morrison, Federal Treasurer; Glenn Murcutt, architect; Campbell Newman, former Queensland Premier.

University of Southern Queensland

With three-quarters of its student body studying online, the University of Southern Queensland has innovative ways of connecting grads with employers.

These include online careers fairs and a partnership with Little Tokyo II to host the Entrepreneurship Summit at Springfield, in Ipswich.

About 89 per cent of students find work within six months of graduating, earning USQ a five-star rating in graduate employment in The Good Universities Guide.

USQ has two campuses in Ipswich, one in Toowoomba as well as facilities like the Queensland College of Wine Tourism in Stanthorpe.

The flight simulator used by Bachelor of Aviation students is based on a Boeing 737-800 and is the only one of its kind at a Queensland university that’s approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for multi-crew training.

USQ’s engineering faculty ranks third in Australia, according to the Uni Reviews Subject Rankings.

Budding engineers can develop new ideas for intelligent irrigation systems at the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture on the Toowoomba campus.

In the health industry, there are partnerships with more than 100 organisations, including global hospital group Ramsay Health Care.

In 2016, USQ provided more than 1900 connections with industry, yielding over 4000 placements for students.

Notable alumni: Ian Stewart, Queensland Police Commissioner; Miranda Kalinowski, global head of recruiting, Facebook; Jenny Woodward, TV weather presenter; Dr Derek Sikua, former prime minister of the Solomon Islands; Carole Wainaina, assistant secretary-general for human resources, United Nations.

University of Wollongong

Ranking 13th in Australia for graduate employability, The University of Wollongong is also one of the world’s best new universities.

Second in the country, and 17th internationally, it has a five-star rating for employability.

From next year, new courses will include majors in big data and cyber security as part of a computer science degree.

The NSW institution will also offer a new Bachelor of Sustainable Communities, a multidisciplinary degree combining human geography, health, economics, science, international studies and politics.

UOW’s Faculty of Business has partnerships with over 400 organisations, including the Australian Taxation Office and KPMG where internships are offered, plus ACCOR Hotels hosts students for roles in event management, communication, marketing and HR.

The university receives five stars for graduate outcomes in The Good Universities Guide across science and maths, computing and information systems, business and management.

Employment rates are particularly high for grads in medicine (100 per cent), nursing (98 per cent) and teaching (97 per cent).

UOW’s Engineering – Minerals and Mining program ranks in the top 50 in the world.

Notable alumni: Sunil Chandra, vice-president (people operations), Google; Susie Burrell, nutritionist and author; Michael Noonan, deputy chief, Royal Australian Navy, Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO, Standards Australia; Dr Andrew Cannon, deputy chief magistrate, South Australia.


Paid placements in Boeing, Rolls-Royce and EADS Space Transportation in Europe, Asia and the USA are on offer for high achievers at Melbourne’s RMIT, which ranks eighth in Australia for graduate employability.

Entrepreneurial initiatives are open to all current and former RMIT students.

These include industry networking and mentoring through eLab and the Fastrack Innovation Program, start-up funding via the New Enterprise Investment Fund, advice from an entrepreneur in residence, and access to the RMIT Accelerator and Incubator.

With a five-star QS ranking for excellence in higher education, RMIT is particularly well regarded in the fields of Art and Design (No.1 in Australia, 17th in the world) and Architecture and the Built Environment (fourth in Australia, 28th in the world).

It is a breaking new ground in the booming area of nanotechnology, the science and engineering of material less than a micrometre.

Its double degree, Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology)/Bachelor of Science (Applied Sciences), encompasses physical, chemical, biological and engineering nanoscience and nanotechnology, giving students access to the $30 million MicroNano Research Facility.

Of RMIT’s latest cohort of graduates, 69.9 per cent found full-time employment within four months.

Notable alumni: Robert Thomson, CEO, News Corporation; Dr Amanda Barnard, theoretical physicist; Sir Jonathan Mills, former Edinburgh International Festival Director; Jacques Nasser, former chair, BHP Billiton.

Australian Catholic University

One of the nation’s fastest growing universities, Australian Catholic University focuses on four faculties: education and arts, law and business, health sciences, and theology and philosophy.

First in Australia for education, and second in physio and occupational therapy (Uni Reviews Subject Rankings 2017), it offers a range of experiential learning with industry partners.

These include The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane Catholic Education, Suncorp, Brisbane City Council, Flight Centre, Care Australia, Mater Health Services, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Volunteering Queensland, and Deloitte.

Upskilling students to meet industry demand, the Business School has introduced minors in data analytics and entrepreneurships.

Embedded in its business degrees are two internships, including a not-for-profit volunteer position and a professional placement.

With a campus in Rome, ACU places equal 30th – with Bond, Central Queensland and Sunshine Coast – in the nation’s THE top universities.

Job placement is solid, with 77 per cent of students finding full-time work within four months of graduating.

Notable alumni: Daniel Billing, CEO, founder, Indigenous Reading Project; Milly Tapper, Paralympian, Olympian; Oscar Martin, co-founder, Pedestrian TV; Genevieve Radnan, CEO, founder, Gennarosity Abroad; Ruth Jebb, international health delegate, Australian Red Cross.

Sources: * The Good Universities Guide; QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2018; Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018; QS World University Rankings 2018; QS Top 50 Under 50 2018; Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017; Centre for World University Rankings 2017; Uni Reviews Subject Rankings 2017; THE Young University Rankings 2017.


Part 1: Best universities for jobs: Top 21 for graduate employability

Part 2: Leaders in their field: Top 21 for graduate employability


This article originally appeared in The Courier Mail – Best universities for jobs, part 3: Top 21 for graduate employability

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