University of Southern Queensland graduates are the highest paid in nation

The University of Southern Queensland has cemented its position as one of Australia’s leading universities, outperforming its metropolitan counterparts when it comes to graduate salaries and post-study employment opportunities.

Within four months of graduating from USQ, 82.5% of students have found full time employment, according to new research published in this year’s Good Universities Guide 2018.

That’s compared to the national average of 69.5%.

USQ graduates are also, on average, the best paid in the country, with the report finding the average starting salary is $61,000 – $5,000 above the national average.

The guide gave USQ a five star rating for graduate employment as a result of the findings.

USQ, Central Queensland University and James Cook University are the only universities in Queensland to receive a five star rating for graduate employment results from the guide.

The Toowoomba university managed to beat out other reputable institutions such as Bond, Australian National University, and Monash, in its graduate employment results, despite have 32% of its students coming from a low socioeconomic background.

That is the second highest rate of any Australian university and more than double the rate of the nearest Group of Eight university, which was Adelaide, at 15%.

It has eight times the number of low socio-economic status students served by the Australian National University.

However, regional students didn’t rate their university experiences as favourably as those in the cities did, suggesting a good experience at university and landing a job upon graduating were not necessarily linked.

Ross White, Head of Data and Analytics at Good Education Groups said the employment success of regional students suggested graduates may benefit from a move away from the traditional metro employment hubs.

“Fewer graduates and a demand for qualified workers in regional areas could be driving the success of graduates from regional universities in an otherwise tough employment market”, White said.

“When it comes to city-based universities, many more students study full-time and on-campus, and this may be a factor in stronger student experience measures.”

USQ interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Verbyla said the University’s stellar results in The Good Universities Guide 2018 came down to “a focus on courses and a high level of students who worked part-time during their studies.

“A lot of our offerings are around the professions and many of our students are already in part-time work,” Ms Verbyla said.

“That combination means they get more out of their education, finish with high employability skills and often have already gained employment.

“We partner with industry to design and develop world-class and practical programs to develop graduates who are both workplace ready and future proofed.”

The guide criteria is broken down into quality of educational experience, overall employment rates of graduates and the median salary of graduates from different universities across Australia.

USQ was awarded a five-star rating in the areas of Starting Salary, Full-Time Employment and Social Equity.

Engineering led the way with the highest percentage for the full-time employment measure.

Another highlight was in the field of Psychology where USQ excelled with five-star results in six measures including both Starting Salary and Full-Time Employment.

Professor Verbyla said she was proud of staff and students for making this top ranking a reality.

“We are very proud of these results and it is a credit to everyone involved with USQ,” she said.

“USQ is highly regarded for its student experience and celebrated for its successful graduate outcomes.”

The Good Universities Guide is produced by Good Education Group and is available online [at Good Education Bookshop] and via selected newsagents.

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This article originally appeared in The Chronicle – USQ graduates are the highest paid in nation

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