The recently released 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal (GOS-L) measured the medium-term outcomes of higher education graduates including employment opportunities and remuneration rates. The data was compiled from 39,744 completed surveys taken by students from 60 Australian institutions who graduated in 2014 and began their professional lives in 2015.
The report revealed that a postgraduate business and management program – like an MBA – provided the highest average earning potential between 2015 and 2018.
Of the 21 study areas recorded for the report, Business and management also experienced the highest salary increase of all, rising $15,000 since 2015.
“In 2015, the study areas with the highest full-time median salaries were Business and management with $100,000 and Engineering with $92,000,” the report stated.
“In 2018, study areas with the highest median salaries were Business and management with $115,000 Medicine with $103,100 and Engineering with $100,000.
“By 2018, the range of salaries across study areas had increased somewhat with the standard deviation of median salaries in 2015 being $11,000 and increasing to $20,100 by 2018. This compares with the range of salaries reported by undergraduates where the range of salaries across study areas increased over time from a standard deviation of $9,100 to $12,200.”
Other areas with substantial increases in median salaries included Pharmacy with an increase of $29,400, Psychology with an increase of $20,000 and Rehabilitation with an increase of $19,600. The study areas which saw the lowest increase in median salaries were Science and mathematics with an increase of $5,000, Computing and information systems with an increase of $7,100 and Communications with $7,000.
Business and management’s high salary potential appeared to contribute to high popularity within the business industry, as the study area held one of the highest proportions of graduates entering the labour force. According to the report, the labour force participation rate for Business and management study was 96.5% in 2018, which was one of the highest of all the study areas behind Computing and information systems, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary science, Rehabilitation.