Degrees with the best job prospects in Australia

02 June 2021
CSU student working with two classmates

There is so much to consider when it comes to deciding what undergraduate degree you should study at university. You should choose something that interests you and will motivate you to work hard throughout your studies. However, with the financial investment that comes with a degree, it is also important to know which degree courses will give you the best job prospects in Australia.

Research undertaken in the 2020 QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) shows that graduates in specific degree areas are more likely to find employment and earn a higher salary in Australia. Although there’s no guarantee you will get a better job with a certain degree, the research shows that some courses, such as business and management and computing and information systems, could lead to higher chances of employment and better remuneration.

Most employable degrees in Australia

The 2020 GOS showed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an overall decline in employment rates for graduates in full-time employment. 72.2% of undergraduates were in full-time employment in 2019, while the latest survey shows a drop to 68.7%. However, although there is a slight decline across nearly all study areas, the rates of full-time employment are still high. Read on to find out what industries continue to thrive in 2021.

Medicine, pharmacy and rehabilitation

At the top of the 2020 survey are a lot of medical-related fields. Pharmacy undergraduates have the highest full-time employment rate at 96.4%, with rehabilitation and medicine degree employment rates following with 87.3% and 86.7%.

Other notable areas of study

If you’re not looking to enter the healthcare sector, there are still plenty of study areas with strong employment rates for undergraduates.

Business and management undergraduates in full-time employment in 2020 is 74.3% percent - which is unsurprising considering the amount of degree options and career pathways available. From marketing to management, there’s certainly a demand for all types of business graduates in Australia thanks to the real-world problem solving, entrepreneurial knowledge and interpersonal skills gained from an undergraduate business degree.

Other highly employable areas of study include computing and information systems, where 72.1% of undergraduates were in full-time employment in 2020. The professional, scientific and technical services industry is said to increase by 12.5% or 126,400 jobs by 2022 (The Department of Education, Skills and Employment) so it’s clear that there is still a growing demand for IT graduates. Charles Sturt University, #1 in Australia for graduate employment in the GOS 2020, offers a number of IT degrees. Take a look at the IT options available for international students who want to study in Australia.

Top 12 most employable study areas in Australia

Study area and percentages of undergraduates in full-time employment in 2020 (QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020):

  1. Pharmacy - 96.4%
  2. Rehabilitation - 87.3%
  3. Medicine - 86.7%
  4. Engineering - 83%
  5. Teacher education - 80.6%
  6. Dentistry - 80%
  7. Veterinary science - 78.2%
  8. Law and paralegal studies - 75.7%
  9. Business and management - 74.3%
  10. Nursing - 72.7%
  11. Computing and information systems - 72.1%
  12. Architecture and built environment - 67.7%

Highest paying degrees in Australia 

When it comes to degrees with the highest median undergraduate salary in Australia, dentistry tops the latest research in the 2020 GOS. Undergraduates of dentistry were earning an average of $84,000 in the last year, followed by medicine graduates, averaging $75,000. However, there’s more than just medical careers that pay highly.

Computing and Information Systems undergraduates were earning a medium salary of $65,000, thanks to an ever-diversifying industry and growing demand for IT experts. A degree in computer science or information technology will give you the range of skills needed to make you a highly appealing candidate to top employers across a wide range of sectors, as well as giving you more of a chance at international opportunities. You can find out more about how Charles Sturt University Study Centres can help you kick-start your career.

If your passion lies in business and management, you can also expect to be well-paid - the median undergraduate salary sits at $60,000. With such a wealth of career options and opportunities within the business sector your earning potential could be limitless, especially if you find success in starting your own business. A business degree will help you develop the academic and practical knowledge and skills to start and successfully run your own business. You can learn more about entrepreneurship and the skills involved here.

Top 12 highest paying degree in Australia

Study area and median average undergraduate salary (QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020):

  1. Dentistry - $84,000.00
  2. Medicine - $75,000.00
  3. Teacher education - $70,000.00
  4. Social work - $70,000.00
  5. Engineering - $69,500.00
  6. Health services and Support - $65,100.00
  7. Computing and Information Systems - $65,000.00
  8. Rehabilitation - $65,000.00
  9. Law and paralegal Studies - $65,000.00
  10. Architecture and built environment - $64,700.00
  11. Nursing - $64,200.00
  12. Science and Mathematics - $64,000.00

Develop your career with Charles Sturt

Although choosing the right degree and career for you can affect your future earning capacity, it is important to remember that there are many other factors to consider. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of a good job or high salary, but the skills, knowledge and real-world experience you will gain from a university degree will really boost your chances.

At Charles Sturt University Study Centres, we focus on more than just your academic studies. We provide hands-on, practical courses that will help prepare you for a variety of exciting career opportunities. With a degree from Charles Sturt, you can gain everything you need to succeed in your professional career.

If you choose to study at Charles Sturt, you will not only receive an exceptional education program in an exciting city of your choice - Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney, you will also have access to a variety of development programs designed to help you build key career skills and prepare for the world of work after you graduate. Both our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees offer you the ideal balance of theory and practice, in which you will work closely with relevant industries and earn the skills that will help you stand out in the graduate job market. With a graduate employment rate of 84.7% (GOS 2020), which is 15.6% higher than the national average, Charles Sturt University Study Centres will help put you on the path to a successful career.

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