Uni degrees losing worth in jobs market find Grattan Institute report
A university degree is less likely to be a ticket to a well-paid job, according to a report. Compiled by the independent Grattan Institute, the report shows young graduates are getting less financial benefit from their degrees than in the past.
Commerce and science graduates were among the worst affected, though female graduates were less affected.
The study found graduate employment outcomes were less certain because of changes to the economy and a surge in university enrolments after funding caps were lifted 10 years ago.
Grattan Institute higher education program director Andrew Norton said there were more graduates chasing fewer available professional jobs.
“What we are seeing is an increasing proportion of graduates are doing jobs they could have got straight out of Year 12 or doing a much shorter vocational qualification instead,” he said. “So, for these people, unless they really enjoyed their degree, higher education probably isn’t paying off, at least in a financial sense.”
Mr Norton said younger graduates aged 25 to 34 were having a tough start to their careers.
“Compared to 10 years ago, men are actually earning less in real terms after tax and women are earning about 4 per cent more,” he said. “But those gains are really going to women with children and not across the board to all women.”
He said successive governments had been promoting science, but there were not enough jobs for science graduates.
Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said the data showed there was still an earnings premium for young people who pursued a university education. “While there has been a slight decline in the size of that advantage over a decade, that advantage is still pretty significant,” she said.