Top universities don’t mean top wage, says the Government!


 Graduating from a good and ranked university doesn't mean good pay

Don’t pick a university based purely on rankings if you valued monetary benefits and wanted a higher pay upon graduation!

At least that’s what the Department of Education and Training suggests on their new website, QILT.

Quality indicators for learning and teaching – or QILT for short – is a new website recently launched by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, and it covers surveyed results of students’ experiences and job outcomes after graduating.

As per the website’s mission statement, the QILT rankings aims to increase transparency between universities to help aspiring students make informed choices on further education by factoring criteria outside university reputation and rankings, such as those regularly published by Times Higher Education and QS.

For most of us, me included, the dream of a good career that paid the big bucks started from finding and attending a reputable university. The belief was that good and reputable universities produced graduates that were highly sought after, and therefore commanded a pay premium compared to less reputable universities.

The relationship, I thought, was very much a linear one – reputable university means high pay, less reputable meant lower pay.Linear relationship showing pay wage versus university rankingsWell, turns out my belief of the linear relationship was entirely incorrect if the data compiled by the QILT rankings is to be believed.

The QILT rankings survey has uncovered that graduates from the top 10 Australian universities received a pay median of $56,260, compared to those outside of the top 10 receiving a median of $59,000 in wages.

That’s right – “reputable university graduates gets paid more” myth BUSTED!

Some other interesting facts to come out from comparing universities “within top 10” and “outside top 10” rankings :

  • 76% to 87% of graduates outside top 10 universities were employed after leaving university, compared to only 67% to 78% within top 10 university graduates
  • University of Divinity (yep I’ve never heard of them too!) scored an amazing 91.7% positive on student experience, compared to only 83.6% of Australia’s #1 Melbourne University
  • Hard to believe, but University of Divinity also had the most of its graduates employed in the workforce on graduation
  • University of Western Australia had the highest starting graduate salary of $63,000 despite only placing 7th best, all due to the mining boom (survey data was taken between 2012-2013)

There are plenty of other interesting comparisons you could do on the website, like compare student satisfaction between universities on a particular course, for example.

One thing of note is that the QILT website is still new so you might find that data collated might still be limited. The good news is that it will probably get better over time as more participants contribute to the results.

Of course, this is just another tool you could use for research to find the perfect university. I’ve definitely learned something new about universities and pay levels from this website, and wished I had access to it when i was searching for a university back in 2001.

And because I love you, my readers, I’ve created an interactive table drawing data from QILT that allows you sort and filter information to your heart’s content – go crazy and have fun!

UniversityGraduates employed %Starting salary $Uni experience post graduation %Australian Uni RankingWorld Uni Ranking
University of Melbourne72.255,000.0083.6133
Australian National University72.457,900.0085.5252
University of Sydney69.455,000.0079.1356
University of Queensland75.856,700.0083.4460
Monash University71.554,800.0085.7567
University of New South Wales78.358,000.0081.3682
University of Western Australia73.463,000.0080.3798
University of Adelaide69.758,000.0083.78113
University of Technology Sydney72.253,000.0081.19218
Macquarie University67.051,200.0083.310229
University of Wollongong76.855,000.0090.411243
University of Newcastle69.355,000.0083.312256
Queensland University of Technology74.054,000.0084.313263
RMIT University65.350,000.0078.014273
Curtin University74.457,000.0080.115284
University of South Australia76.752,000.0085.416288
Deakin University68.151,000.0086.817324
Griffith University68.253,000.0084.518329
University of Tasmania68.655,000.0080.619379
James Cook University76.355,000.0083.920387
La Trobe University70.850,000.0081.021394
Bond University72.353,000.0087.222500
Swinburne University of Technology66.450,000.0085.722500
Flinders University63.155,000.0083.222500
Charles Darwin University85.558,600.0082.025600
Murdoch University68.855,000.0081.525600
University of Canberra72.855,000.0080.225600
Victoria University64.652,000.0073.428600
University of New England76.260,000.0087.629650
Western Sydney University63.950,000.0084.529650
Charles Sturt University84.258,000.0076.531700
Edith Cowan University65.458,000.0085.631700
University of Southern Queensland85.260,000.0081.031700
University of Divinity87.055,000.0091.7100700
Australian Catholic University74.154,000.0079.9100700
Central Queensland University83.158,000.0080.9100700
Federation University Australia74.555,000.0081.6100700
Southern Cross University69.353,000.0079.3100700
The University of Notre Dame82.058,000.0088.0100700
University of the Sunshine Coast63.650,000.0087.0100700

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