Each year, the Top 100 Graduate Employers report takes a deep-dive into which companies offering the best job opportunities for graduates, the industries in favour of young staff and the companies that students are most interested in working with.
The report is a joint production by the Australian Financial Review and GradConnection, containing plenty of insightful content in the form of infographics, testimonials and articles. This year saw a strong focus on government jobs and data analytics. The list of top 100 graduate employers is the hero of the report, with some familiar faces at the top.
We’ve collated a cheat sheet to ensure you’ve got the important bits.
The top 100 graduate employers list is the main drawcard of the report, with the potential to shape the preferences and selection of graduates who finish at the top of their class.
Unsurprisingly, the Big Four accounting firms featured in the top ten. This year’s top 10 graduate employers are:
- NSW Government
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Dentsu Aegis Network
The state of employment
The report paints a very positive picture of the current job market for graduates — in fact, it states that ‘there’s never been a better time to be a graduate looking for a job’. The rate of graduates landing full-time employment within four months continues to rise year-on-year and pay rates for graduates continue to increase.
The top sectors that employers are recruiting graduates for are IT and telecommunications (50%), finance and economics (45%) and accounting and auditing (38%).
A focus on soft skills
A GradConnection survey of graduates from the class of 2018 showed that 88% thought soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and self-awareness were more important to an employer than university qualifications.
When assessing graduates, the following percentage of employees considered these skills to be ‘very important’:
- Communication skills (89%)
- Teamwork (75%)
- Interpersonal skills (69%)
- Resilience (43%)
- Planning and organising (34%)
The following percentage of employees considered graduates to lack certain skills:
- Knowledge of the business (40%)
- Commercial awareness (35%)
- Resilience (17%)
- Emotional intelligence (16%)
- Relevant work experience (14%)
Keeping courses relevant
To ensure students are graduate ready for the workforce, universities are doing more to offer work experience as part of their degree. However, the report notes that universities are failing to keep courses relevant to the subtleties of the workplace and ensuring that course content is up to date with industry practice.
As a result of universities being slow to update their course content, many companies are taking on trainees’ midway through university to ensure they gain essential skills.