Two-thirds of university graduates in some courses are failing to find a full-time job within four months of completing their course.
New job-finding data published last week reveals specific courses that lead to tough job prospects, according to a comprehensive student survey.
Some of the worst job outcomes are: the University of Sydney’s build environment courses, in which 71 per cent of graduates were still looking for a full-time job four months after completing their course; and communications courses at the University of Adelaide (68 per cent) and the University of Tasmania (73 per cent).
Students also report job hunting difficulty after completing creative arts courses at Flinders University (69 per cent), James Cook University (69 per cent), the University of Newcastle (71 per cent) and the University of the Sunshine Coast 77 per cent); environmental studies at Griffith University (70 per cent); and health services courses at the University of Adelaide (69 per cent).
Other courses whose graduates report difficulty in finding a job include languages at Griffith University (73 per cent), the University of Newcastle (73 per cent) and the University of Tasmania (70 per cent): paralegal studies at Flinders University (73 per cent); psychology at James Cook University (75 per cent) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (71 per cent); science at Bond University (82 per cent); social work at the University of Western Sydney (75 per cent): and sport and leisure at the Australian Catholic University (68 per cent).
The figures are from the 2015 edition of The Good Universities Guide, published last week, and based on surveys of graduates which are collected by individual universities.
Graduates from bachelor degrees (including honours degrees) were asked four months after completing their course to report their employment status and, if they have a job, their salary. The proportion seeking a full-time job is defined as the number who are looking for their first full-time job compared to the number who either have a full-time job or are not seeking one. Responses are restricted to graduates under the age of 25 and data is only reported where more than half the students in a course area have provided information.
The figures show that for many courses, the university attended has a big impact on graduate employment prospects.
Of the 24 bachelor law degrees with sufficient data, only one in 10 graduates of University of NSW and University of Notre Dame Australia were still looking for full-time work after they finished their course.
In contrast, almost 45 per cent of University of Adelaide law graduates were still looking for full-time work.
The variation in employment levels is even higher for the 33 bachelor accounting courses. Only 6 per cent of University of Newcastle graduates were still looking for full-time work at the time of the survey.
In contrast, more than half of the bachelor accounting graduates of seven universities – University of South Australia, Australian Catholic University, Flinders University, Edith Cowan University, Central Queensland University, Victoria University and Federation University Australia – were still looking for full-time work.
Only 15 per cent of University of NSW computer and IT graduates were still looking for work four months after finishing their course, compared with almost 63 per cent of Federation University of Australia graduates.
And while 22 per cent of UNSW humanities and social science graduates were looking for a full-time job four months after graduating, 61 per cent of graduates in this field from the University of Adelaide and Victoria University were still job hunting.
This article originally appeared in the Australian Financial Review – The degrees of unemployment