SNAPSHOT | Australian Business Schools

150228 todays topicBusiness faculties and schools play an important role in Australia’s university sector. The Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) represents the collective voice of pro vice-chancellors, deans and heads of business faculties and schools of all 39 Australian universities. The ABDC’s mission is to advance and promote the value of excellence in business education and research through engagement across Australian universities, industry, the government and the community.

The ABDC has compiled some key facts that highlight the importance of the sector to the Australian economy.

Australian business schools are a significant part of the Australian university sector

  • Australian business schools graduate one in three Australian university students.[1]

Australian business schools contribute significantly to the fourth largest export industry (and largest export service industry) in Australia.

  • Australian business schools graduate three out of  five international university students in Australia.[2]
  • Australian business schools educate 58 per cent of all students enrolled at Australian offshore campuses.[3]
  • Australian business school students contribute an estimated $4.9 billion in export earnings to the Australian economy per annum[4]  – equal to Australia’s eleventh largest export.[5]
  • Australian business schools will be a vital part of one of the five key sectors – international education – as identified by Deloitte as crucial for Australia’s future economic growth to 2035.[6]

Australian business school graduates are in demand.

  • Australian MBA graduates have the second highest average salary world-wide at US$115,600.[7]
  • Australian business masters graduates, compared to other masters graduates, are five per cent more likely to gain full-time employment and earn 23 per cent more.[8]
  • Australian business students, compared to other students, are seven per cent more likely (at 23 per cent) to have secured full-time employment before graduating with a bachelors degree.[9]
  • Australian accounting students, compared to other students, are 11 percent more likely (at 27 per cent) to have secured full-time employment before graduating with a bachelors degree.[9]

Australian business school graduates greatly contribute to Australian leadership and economic growth.

  • Two-thirds of Australia’s top 50 CEOs have a business school qualification with:
  • Two in five holding an undergraduate business degree.
  • One in four holding an MBA.[10]

Australian business schools rank among the world’s best.

  • Quaquarelli Symonds (QS) rank Australian business schools as among the world’s best for accounting, finance, economics, econometrics and management.
  • Australian business faculties and schools represent:
    • Seven out of the top 50 business schools in Accounting and Finance.
    • Six out of the top 50 business schools in Economics and Econometrics. [11]
    • Six out of the top 50 social sciences and management faculties.[12]
  • In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), one-in-five Australian business schools are listed in the top 200 (or two percent) of universities worldwide in economics and business. [13]
  • In the US News Best Global Universities ranking, Australian business schools represent seven out of the top 100 universities for economics and business.[14]


[1] Calculated from Department of Education, ‘Completion Count by ‘Management and Commerce’ Field of Education,’ Higher Education Statistics Data Cube (uCube) and ‘Economics completion count data’ provided on request, 2012. 34 per cent of all university completions in 2012 were from a management, commerce or economics discipline.

[2] Department of Education (uCube) data. 59 per cent of all university completions by overseas students in 2012 were from a management, commerce or economics discipline.

[3] Australian Education International – ‘Research Snapshot: Transnational education in the higher education sector’, 2013 enrolment figures for management and commerce, Oct 2014.
[4] Calculated from Department of Education (uCube) data, ‘Management and Commerce International Student Load Count (EFTSL),’ plus Economics EFTSL data provided on request, 2012 by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), ‘Australia’s International Education Industry – Analysis of Strategic Trends,’ February 2013, p. 14, ‘each international student in Australia contributes an estimated $49,240 per year to the local economy’.
[5] Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), ‘Trade at a Glance 2013‘, Australia’s major goods and services exports 2012. In 2012 education-related travel services were Australia’s fourth largest export at $14.5 billion and included secondary, VET, ELICOS and pathways.
[6] Deloitte Australia, ‘Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave‘, October 2013 

[7] QS Intelligence Unit, QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2014/15, October 2014, p.44.

[8] Graduate Careers Australia (GCA), ‘Postgraduate Destinations 2013’, p.10, ‘Graduate Salaries 2013’, p.24. (Calculations are for four months after graduation and for ‘Business Studies’ versus the median for all disciplines at coursework masters level, equating to $18,000 more at $98,000).

[9] GCA, ‘Graduate Destinations 2014’, p. 6.

[10]   Suncorp Bank, ‘Power Index‘ , August 2012. Survey of the CEOs of the 50 largest ASX-listed companies. 64 per cent have a business qualification; 40 per cent have an undergraduate business degree and 25 per cent hold an MBA.

[11] Quaquarelli Symonds (QS), ‘QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014′

[12] “QS World University Rankings by Faculty 2014-15‘ – Social Sciences and Management.

[13] 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) – Economics and Business.

[14]  US News Best Global Universities Ranking 2014 – Economics and Business.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (