Jan 24, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

While women continue to fight for equal pay in the workplace, a new employer satisfaction survey backs their case. Here’s a closer look at this and other findings from the survey, as recently reported by The West Australian.

“A Better Bet”

A survey of more than 4,000 employers which sought to determine how well universities were preparing graduates for the workforce found that female university grads topped their male counterparts both regarding skill and performance. Specifically, employers reported satisfaction rates of 85 percent and 82 percent for women and men, respectively.

The takeaway? When it comes to choosing between candidates, women may have the inside edge.

The Degree Disparity

Another discrepancy indicated by the survey? The degree to which employers and graduates viewed degrees as unimportant for their jobs. While 19.5 percent of supervisors said employee’ degrees weren’t important, a full quarter of graduates said the same.

Furthermore, higher employer satisfaction levels for graduates correlated with course of study. Engineering, health and other vocationally-oriented coursework was associated with 10 percent higher employer satisfaction levels than management, commerce and other generalist coursework.

Key Insights

According to Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham, the survey results are a call to arms to universities. “We expect students to work hard on their performance, and we ought to expect our universities to try to improve their performance for their students as well,” he said. “That the relevance of degrees, the content of those courses must be up to scratch to ensure that students are as employable as possible when they leave uni and go into the job market.”

At the same time, Universities Australia’s acting chief executive Catriona Jackson pointed out that four out of five employers reported being satisfied with the work of graduates. “These results tell a positive story about graduates in the labor market and that universities are preparing their students well,” she said.

Learn more about studying in Australia.




Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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