4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Sep 2017  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2017   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product



EDUCATION

The Education section contains the following sub-topics:
    • Attainment (formal and non-school qualifications, literacy and numeracy skills)
    • Participation (participation and retention rates, participation in a non-school qualification, work-related learning)
    • Education and Employment (whether fully engaged, starting salaries)


Detailed data for these sub-topics is available from the Downloads tab above (see Tables 4 (Attainment), 5 (Participation & Education and Employment) and 6 (Expanded population tables)).


INSIGHTS

Attainment

Year 12/Certificate II or above

In 2016, around 77% of working aged men and women (15-64 years) had attained Year 12 or a formal qualification at Certificate II or above. These proportions were much higher for younger men and women, however, with 92% of young women and 89% of young men aged 20-24 having qualifications at this level (see Table 4.1). Rates of attainment at this level for young men and women have been increasing for some decades.

Rates of attainment at the Year 12/Certificate II level or above for younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are also increasing. In 2014-15, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 20-24 were more likely to have completed Year 12 or a formal qualification of Certificate II or above (64%) than they were in 2008 (47%). Just under 60% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men aged 20-24 had completed qualifications at this level in 2014-15, compared with 44% in 2008. See Table 4.2 for more detail.

Certificate III or above

Looking at people aged 25-29, who have had longer to attain a non-school qualification, around two thirds had attained a formal qualification at Certificate III level or above in 2016 (67% of women and 65% of men in this age group). Patterns of attainment by sex at this level have changed over time. While more men than women aged 18-64 have attained formal qualifications at this level, the pattern is reversing for younger men and women. See Figure 1 below, and Table 4.3 for more detail.

Graph Image for Figure 1 - All persons 18 years and over, Certificate III or above, by age and sex, 2006 to 2016 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes any of the following: Certificate III or IV; Advanced Diploma or Diploma; Bachelor Degree; Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate, or Post Graduate Degree.

Source(s): Customised data, ABS Survey of Education and Work, Australia, 2006-16



In 2014-15, 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women aged 18-64 had attained a Certificate III or above, which is a significant increase from both 2002 (with 15% of women and 19% of men respectively having attained qualifications at this level) and 2008 (25% and 24% respectively). See Table 4.4 for more detail.

Bachelor degree or above

Over recent decades, women aged 25-29 have been more likely than men the same age to have attained a Bachelor Degree or above. In 2016, 40% of women and 31% of men aged 25-29 had attained a Bachelor Degree or above (see Table 4.5 via the Downloads tab). In fact, over this time, women aged 18-64 years have been consistently more likely than men in this age group to have attained a qualification at this level (see Table 4.5 via the Downloads tab).

Graph Image for Figure 2 - Attainment of a Bachelor Degree or above, by sex, 25-29 years, 2006 to 2016

Source(s): Customised data, ABS Survey of Education and Work, 2006-16



Around 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and 6% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 18-64 had a Bachelor Degree or higher qualification in 2014-15 (see Table 4.6).

Non-school qualifications

In 2016, 4.8 million women and 4.7 million men aged 15-64 (61% of both men and women) had attained a non-school qualification (see Table 4.7).

In 2014-15, proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women aged 15-64 with a non-school qualification were 47% and 49% respectively. This proportion has increased significantly since 2002, from 27% of both men and women in this age group (see Table 4.8 for more detail).

Field of study

In 2016, women were more likely than men to have completed qualifications in the fields of Management and Commerce, Society and Culture, Health and Education, while men were more likely to have completed qualifications in Engineering and Related Technologies, Architecture and Building, and Information Technology.

Women were most likely to have qualifications in Management and Commerce (28%), and least likely to have qualifications in Architecture and Building. In fact, Architecture and Building accounted for an average of just 1% of female graduates between 2006 and 2016, and men were ten times more likely to have qualifications in this field. Women were three times more likely than men to have qualifications in Health, and nearly four times more likely to have qualifications in Education.

Men were most likely to have qualifications in Engineering and Related Technologies (30%) than in any other field. See Table 4.10 for more detail.

Interestingly, while women were far less likely to study engineering or architecture than men, they tended to study at higher levels than men when they did study in this field. In 2016, 34% of women with a qualification in Engineering and Related Technologies had a Bachelor Degree as their qualification, compared with 15% of men; and 32% of women with a qualification in Architecture and Building had a Bachelor degree as their qualification, compared with 7% of men. Around 61% of men with a qualification in Engineering and Related Technologies, and three quarters (75%) with a qualification in Architecture and Building, had a Certificate III/IV as their qualification (see Table 4.11).

Even when they both have a Bachelor Degree, the starting salary for female undergraduates in the field of Architecture and Building in 2016 was less than that of male undergraduates - $50,000 compared with $59,000. However, the starting salary for male and female undergraduates in the field of Engineering was on par - $62,600 and $62,300 respectively (see Table 5.15 for more detail).


Participation

Participation rates

In 2016, over four in five 15-19 year olds were currently studying for a qualification, as were over two in five 20-24 year olds. In most years between 2006 and 2016, education participation rates were higher for women than men aged 15-64 years (an average of 20% and 18% respectively over that time). See Table 5.1 for more detail.

Graph Image for Figure 3 - Education participation rate, by sex, 15-24 years, 2006 to 2016 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) From 2013 education data is restricted to formal study (study for a qualification, including Year 10 and Year 12 certificates)

Source(s): Customised data, ABS Survey of Education and Work, 2006-16



School Students

The long term pattern of increasing retention rates for full-time school students continues, while differences by gender are narrowing. The apparent retention rate for full-time school students from year 7/8 to year 12 rose from 69% of males and 81% of females in 2006 to 81% and 88% respectively in 2016 (see Table 5.3).

Retention rates for full-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students have also increased, however the differences by gender have also increased, rising from 38% of males and 42% of females in 2006 to 56% of males and 64% of females in 2016 (see Table 5.4).

Enrolment in Certificate III or above

Young women aged 18-24 were more likely to be currently enrolled in a Bachelor Degree or above than young men (see Table 5.5), and young men this age were more likely to be currently enrolled in an Advanced Diploma, Diploma, or Certificate III/IV than young women (see Table 5.6). In the broader age group of 18-64 years, however, women were slightly more likely than men to be currently enrolled in an Advanced Diploma, Diploma or Bachelor Degree than men. See Figure 3 below, and Table 5.6 via the Downloads tab for more detail.

Graph Image for Figure 4 - Enrolment in Certificate III-IV or above, by sex, 18-64 years, 2006 to 2016

Source(s): Customised data, ABS Survey of Education and Work, 2006-16



Enrolment in apprenticeships and traineeships

Between 2008 and 2016, young men aged 15-24 years were three times as likely to be enrolled in an apprenticeship/traineeship as young women this age (12% compared with 4%). Proportions of young men in apprenticeships and traineeships have been decreasing since 2008, while proportions for young women, while fluctuating over this time, have an average of 3.3% (see Table 5.7 for details).


Education and Employment

Not fully engaged in education and/or employment (NEET)

In 2016, around one in eight young people aged 15-19 years (12%) was not fully engaged in either education or employment (that is, they were studying or working part-time only, or not studying or working at all). This proportion almost doubled for young men aged 20-24 years, and more than doubled for young women aged 20-24 years (22% and 26% respectively). Young women aged 20-24 are consistently less likely to be fully engaged than young men (see Table 5.13 via the Downloads tab for more detail). While childcare responsibilities may explain some NEET activity, only a quarter of NEET young women aged 20-24 years in 2016 had one or more children.

Graph Image for Figure 5 - Not fully engaged in education and or employment, by sex, 20-24 years, 2006 to 2016 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) In 2013 and 2014 education data is restricted to formal study (study for a qualification). Data for previous years include some people who may have been studying for a non-formal qualification.

Source(s): Customised data, ABS Survey of Education and Work, 2006-2016



In 2014-15, over half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths aged 20-24 were not fully engaged in education and/or employment (53% of young men and 59% of young women). Proportions of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who were not fully engaged have declined since 2002, however differences for young men over this time were not statistically significant.

Around one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 15-19 were not fully engaged in education or work in 2014-15: 35% of males and 30% of females in this age group (see Table 5.14 for more detail).

Median starting salaries

In 2016, the median starting salary for male undergraduates was $60,000 compared with $56,400 for female undergraduates (a difference of 6%). Only five of the nineteen fields of study for which data are available saw female undergraduates with a median starting salary on par with their male counterparts (see Table 5.15).