New data has revealed the graduate employment rate for students at University of the Sunshine Coast has declined.
New data has revealed the graduate employment rate for students at University of the Sunshine Coast has declined.

Coast grads struggling to land a job after uni

Almost half of University of the Sunshine Coast students are still hunting for a job four months after graduating, new data reveals.

The Coast university rated the lowest in Queensland and seventh lowest in Australia for short-term graduate employment this year, according to figures compiled by the Federal Government.

It found 59.3 per cent of students landed a job within four months of graduating, below the nationwide average of 68.7 per cent and down from 62 per cent last year.

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Pro Vice-Chancellor (students) Denise Wood said job outcomes were a key focus for the university, which has six campuses between the Fraser Coast and Brisbane.

She noted the university's long-term rate of employment was 90 per cent.

"Seven in 10 graduates from regional universities go on to eventually work in the regions, so even though it may take slightly longer to find a job, the opportunities are certainly there," Prof Wood said.

"We are continually building our relationships with industry for work placements, work integrated learning, and assisting graduates to find work and we are always keen to speak with new employers about opportunities they have for our graduates."

Prof Wood said the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on employment outcomes.

She said the university helped students prepare for careers through workshops, resume and job application assistance and career counselling.

The data showed overall, students at regional universities were more likely to gain employment than graduates from prestigious "sandstone" institutions.

The top university for full-time employment in Queensland is University of Southern Queensland, based in Toowoomba with a rate of 78.9 per cent.

Across Australia, 68.7 per cent of university graduates found full-time work this year, within four months of graduating - down from 72.2 per cent in 2019.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said nine out of 10 Australian university graduates found full-time work within three years of graduation.

He said the Federal Government would spend $550 million for up to 30,000 extra university places next year, as well as short courses for Australians to upskill during the COVID-19 recession.

The Graduate Outcomes Survey, commissioned by the federal Department of Education, does not reveal whether graduates found work in the same field they studied at university.



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