When it comes to their future employment opportunities, an interplay of age, gender, study level and discipline influence the confidence levels of university students. With students calling on their universities to provide more internships, practical work experience, and training, more needs to be done within the sector to help students bridge the gap between academia and employment.
HASS students are least confident about their future employment
Students in Nursing, Medicine, Business, Law, STEM, and Journalism/Communications disciplines are most confident about their future employment opportunities. Between 52 and 82 per cent of these students report that they are confident they will get a job in their field within six months of graduation.
For students in the Humanities, Psychology, Languages, and Creative Arts, there is a more pessimistic outlook about their future employability. Within this cohort of students, 50 per cent and fewer are confident that they will have a job in their field within six months of graduation.
Students need support to develop job applications
Our research shows that only one in five students are very confident in writing a job application. This suggests that the higher education sector must implement initiatives and resources to support university students grow their skillset in developing applications for work. Such supports will go some way to grow student confidence in conveying their skills and knowledge to potential employers.
In this space, confidence levels also vary by demographics. Women report being less confident than men (56% vs. 65%), as well as younger students aged 18 to 23 compared to students 24 and over (53% vs. 69%). This trend continues with students who are not currently employed (47% vs. 61% employed) and students who are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) (54% vs. 62% non-CALD students).