Three years after finishing university, 80 per cent of graduates will be in a job which is directly related to their long-term career goals.
These figures were revealed in a survey of more than 7000 graduates conducted by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) and presented in its new Beyond Graduation report.
GCA senior research associate Graeme Bryant said it was encouraging to see so many graduates in employment that they considered to be relevant to their career goals.
"There is typically a lot of emphasis placed on the percentage of graduates who secure full-time employment after graduation, but it is reassuring to see that the considerable majority of graduates believe that they are in a job that is helping them to advance their careers," said Bryant.
The research also revealed that bachelor degree graduates, three years out from study, experienced an unemployment rate of only 2.2 per cent, compared with an overall unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent. Further, over the three-year period following the completion of studies, the median annual salary for full-time employed bachelor degree graduates increased by more than 40 per cent, growing from an average of $42,500 to $60,000.
Of all of the fields under examination, engineering and related technologies graduates earned the highest median salary, being around $75,000.
According to the research, the benefits of studying for a degree extended beyond the labour market, with more than 80 per cent of all graduates saying that higher education had made a lasting contribution to their broader personal development, and more than 65 per cent of all graduates indicating that it contributed to their ethical and cultural awareness.