Grad­u­ates set­tle for un­qual­i­fied po­si­tions


UNIVER­SITY grad­u­ates are in­creas­ingly land­ing jobs that only re­quire a Year 12 ed­u­ca­tion as wage growth soars for those who skip ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

While many peo­ple of­ten see sci­ence, com­merce and le­gal de­grees as de­sir­able qualil­fi­ca­tions, a new re­ports shows many who se­cure th­ese qual­i­fi­ca­tions end up tak­ing jobs in sales and ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Grat­tan In­sti­tute report found male grad­u­ates in sci­ence were hit hardest, with work se­cured in pro­fes­sional and man­age­rial ar­eas drop­ping by 10 per cent in five years to 2016.

“Be­tween 2008 and 2016, there were about 970,000 new bach­e­lor de­gree grad­u­ates but only 875,000 pro­fes­sional and man­age­rial jobs cre­ated,” Grat­tan’s Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram Di­rec­tor An­drew Nor­ton said.

The report also found the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit of go­ing to univer­sity is de­clin­ing.

Male univer­sity stu­dents are the worst af­fected with their av­er­age an­nual earn­ings de­creas­ing by 3 per cent from 2006 to 2016 – a trend not re­flected among men who en­tered full-time work straight af­ter school.

The av­er­age an­nual earn­ings for women who worked straight af­ter school grew by 10 per cent over the same pe­riod, out­strip­ping their univer­sity ed­u­cated peers whose av­er­age earn­ings rose just 4 per cent.

For women who were univer­sity ed­u­cated, an­nual av­er­age in­comes in nurs­ing in­creased by 10 per cent over the decade and 8 per cent for those work­ing in ed­u­ca­tion.

For univer­sity-ed­u­cated men, earn­ings sim­i­larly grew at 7 per cent for those work­ing in ed­u­ca­tion but fell 6 per cent for sci­ence and 7 per cent for com­merce grad­u­ates.

While grad­u­ates still earned more than peo­ple who only com­pleted Year 12, the gap nar­rowed over a decade.

In 2016, fe­male grad­u­ates earned al­most $14,000 more than Year 12-ed­u­cated coun­ter­parts – a drop of 8 per cent in a decade – while male grad­u­ates earned al­most $13,000 more – a de­cline of 6 per cent.

Mean­while, school leavers’ in­comes rose by 10 per cent to $32,123 for women and less than 1 per cent to $41,594 for men.

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