Prospects for the Class of 2019

The Department of Education estimates that approximately 192,809 bachelor’s degrees will be awarded in the 2019 academic year in the Australia. These graduates will be entering the job market with a degree for the first time.

A strong economy with low unemployment and robust growth projections should indicate that the graduates of the Class of 2019 have bright prospects for finding their first job after graduation. And while it is true that many graduates will benefit from the current strong demand for talent, others may face unexpected challenges.

Despite the obstacles that some new graduates may face, the members of the Class of 2019 in Australia will be entering the workforce at a time of record high job openings. Yet a study released earlier this month notes that three-quarters of this year’s graduating class do not have jobs lined up after graduation. In the current extremely competitive job market, employers hoping to attract these first-time job seekers need to understand their concerns and expectations.

Wage Pressures for 2019 Graduates

According to the HELP the average debt to a student borrower is $20,000. A significant number of candidates from the Class of 2019 will be entering the job market with student debts that they will seek to pay off as soon as possible. This makes compensation a major factor in choosing a job. In addition, many of the most attractive employers are located in large cities with a high cost of living. The Class of 2019 job seekers may find themselves balancing their need for a sizeable paycheck with other attributes employers have to offer.

Which Majors Pay the Most?

While many students choose their field of study based on interest and applicability to their future careers, graduates of the Class of 2019 can evaluate their choices based on projections of their future earnings.

The average starting salary for a 2019 graduate in engineering is $55,000-$75,000 followed closely by those majoring in computer science at $71,000. Math and sciences majors will average $60,000. While an undergraduate degree in business was once thought of as a ticket to a high starting salary compared to a degree in social sciences and humanities, the initial average earning for business is only slightly higher for the Class of 2019. A business major can expect an average income of $55,000 while a business MBA graduate can plan to earn an average of $115,000.

Global Outlook

Australian university graduates are increasingly turning to part-time work for employment. The Guardian reported earlier this year that there is a pronounced trend towards part-time employment among graduates. Between 2008 and 2017, the proportion of employed graduates working part time increased by 17 percentage points to 38 percent of all graduates. And part-time employment is growing in Australia. In the March 2018 Australian Employment Report, part-time jobs grew while full-time jobs decreased.

Finding the Perfect Match

A key element in solving this “graduate to job mismatch” is in the recruitment process itself.  Take a moment to consider what attributes a new graduate should have to be an ideal candidate for your company. How can you know if these ideal candidates exist? And if they do exist, how can you successfully compete with other companies to attract them?

What steps do you need to take to increase the chances that it will be your job offer that is accepted and not one of your competitors? If the answers to these questions are not addressed in your current recruitment process, it may be time to turn to an expert. Enterprises that have shown success in the delivery of products and services should consider turning to a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) company to provide the needed expertise to attract the millions of new graduates coming into the job market this year. And with many graduates receiving their degrees this month and job markets tighter than they have been in years, the time to act is now.