University graduates with vocationally-focused degrees have the best employment outcomes immediately upon graduation, a new report reveals.
Pharmacy (95.7 per cent), rehabilitation (92.4 per cent), medicine (91.1 per cent) and dentistry (86.2 per cent) had the highest rates of full-time employment on graduation in 2019.
The 2019 Graduate Outcomes Survey report shows that within three years of graduating, more than nine out of 10 university graduates are in full-time jobs, with an average salary of $72,800.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data also shows that in May 2019 the graduate unemployment rate was 3.3 per cent, well below the national average of 5.3 per cent.
Sutherland Hospital medical student Rohan Nandurkar, 24, aspires to become a surgeon or radiologist. But it's not the potential solid dollars he could earn that attracted him to the role, but rather the passion for the work in treating patients.
"It's a satisfying and rewarding role," he said. "My dad is a haematologist who works with blood-born diseases and cancers, and mum is a radiologist. I was always interested in science and learning about the human body, and I've always been people-orientated."
The University of NSW student moved from Melbourne to Sydney to build a career in the medical field, training within South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
"I initially wanted to be placed at St George but Sutherland, even though it's smaller, was lovely," he said. "It has a community feel to it. Doctors really take you under their wing and nurture you."
He will return home to work in a hospital in Victoria in 2020.
"People will always fall sick and doctors will always be needed," he said. "I want to make a difference in helping people, whether it's a high paying job or not."
Minister for Education Dan Tehan says the federal government has made graduate employment outcomes the primary metric of its performance-based funding model for universities.
"We want universities to strengthen their focus on producing job-ready graduates with the skills to succeed in the modern economy," Mr Tehan said.
"The productivity gains from improving graduate employment outcomes and lifting completion rates are worth an estimated $3.1 billion a year by 2030.
"Further improving the job readiness of university graduates will help the Morrison Government achieve its goal of creating another 1.25 million jobs over the next five years, including 250,000 new jobs for young Australians."