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UNSW graduates earn some of the highest salaries in Australia, according to the latest national survey on graduate outcomes.

The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey shows the median annual salary of 2018 undergraduates employed full-time was $61,000, a slight increase over the $60,000 recorded for 2017. The median for postgraduate coursework students was $83,300.

The report, released today, shows that full-time postgraduate coursework students from UNSW Sydney had the highest median salary in Australia three years after graduation, at $114,800. The median full-time starting salary for UNSW undergraduates three years out was the second highest in the nation, at $77,500.

The proportion of undergraduates in full-time employment four months after finishing their degrees increased to 72.9% in 2018, compared with 71.8% in 2017.

Of UNSW students, more than three-quarters (77.9%) of undergraduates were in full-time work after three years, the survey shows. UNSW was also among the top five universities with a high full-time employment rate for postgraduate coursework graduates three years out, at 94.3%.

Professor Merlin Crossley, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) said: “Education provides students with enormous opportunity, in particular the right qualifications to secure jobs that are best for them. It’s pleasing to see graduates’ job prospects increasing, and I am delighted UNSW has such high rankings for employability and earnings.”

The annual survey is conducted under the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey program, which received more than 129,560 responses from people representing 102 higher education institutions.

The report shows that graduates with more generalist degrees can take longer to gain full-time employment after graduating. Study areas with the lowest rates of full-time employment in 2018 were in the creative arts (52.2%) and tourism (59.6%). 

Dentistry graduates from 2018 were the highest paid with an overall median income of $83,700, followed by medicine graduates with a starting median salary of $73,000 and social work, with a starting salary of $65,600.

Women graduates, meanwhile, continued to earn less than men in their first year, with a median gap of $3000.

The survey findings coincide with the release of the first-round university offers in NSW and the ACT.

The full 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey is here.