Bachelor degree graduates from the University of Newcastle are paid more than the national average for their first professional job, according to the latest findings of the Australian Graduate Survey.
The 2009 survey of graduates found that the median starting salary of Newcastle graduates was $50,000, a $3,000 increase on 2008 figures and $2,000 more than the national average of $48,000 for graduates from other Australian Universities.
The top three-ranked fields for graduate salaries were engineering $56,000, earth sciences $55,000 and physical sciences $52,000.
Engineering graduates from the University remain in high demand, with 100 per cent of electrical engineering graduates finding full-time work within four months of completing their qualification, compared to the national average of 84.5 per cent. This follows a trend of full employment in 2007 and 2008 for Newcastle electrical engineering graduates.
Civil engineering and medicine graduates found work after quickly after completing their qualification with more than 96 per cent finding full-time employment within four months.
The Global Financial Crisis was noted by Graduate Careers Australia, who conduct the graduate survey, as having a negative effect on how quickly 2009 graduates were able to find full-time employment, with 79.2 per cent finding full employment, compared to 85.2 per cent in 2008. This trend was also reflected at the University of Newcastle, with 75.3 per cent of bachelor graduates finding full-time work in 2009.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nicholas Saunders, said despite the economic challenges of last year, Newcastle graduates were well prepared for a competitive job market.
"Getting a job and attracting a good salary in today's post-Global Financial Crisis climate can be difficult. Newcastle's innovative blended approach to teaching and learning ensures graduates are equipped to hit the ground running.
"We offer students academic rigour combined with contemporary professional training. Our graduates are ready for the work place."
The Australian Graduate Survey is an annual study of outcomes for graduates who have completed a course of study at an Australian higher education institution conducted by Graduate Careers Australia.
Applications to study in 2011 open soon. For more information visit www.uac.edu.au or attend one of the University's Open Days Central Coast August 21, Callaghan August 28 or Port Macquarie on September 2. Find out more at www.newcastle.edu.au