1136.0 - A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/03/2009   
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Research Manager
Graduate Careers Australia (GCA)
PO Box 12103 A’Beckett Street VIC 8006
Telephone (03) 9605 3700


The Australian Graduate Survey (AGS) is carried out by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) in association with Australian higher education institutions. The AGS includes the Graduate Destination Survey (GDS), Course Experience Questionnaire, and Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire. The AGS is designed to collect information on the destination of recent university graduates: their participation in the labour market, and further education. The survey asks graduates, four months after the completion of their qualifications, the extent to which they are employed, seeking employment, engaged in further study, or unavailable to work. Their commencing salary, industry of employment, and opinions on their course of study are also collected.


Graduates in scope must have completed their course in the previous calendar year, studying at an Australian higher education institution, and qualified for the award of a bachelor degree, higher degree, graduate diploma, or other award.

The survey scope includes two groups of continuing students:

  • Students who have met the requirements for the award of a pass bachelor degree, and are continuing with honours courses which include an additional year of study; and
  • Graduates undertaking a combined degree who have completed the first half of that combined degree, and are now allowed to graduate. They are again in scope when they complete the second half of the combined degree.

Reference Period

April or October, depending on the graduand's course completion date. Enumeration is timed to coincide with graduation ceremonies.

Frequency of Collection


Method of collection

The GDS is a census of all in-scope higher education institution graduates. Data are collected using a self-enumeration, mail-out and mail-back questionnaire distributed by each higher education institution to its graduates, on or about 30 April (or 31 October, for first semester completers).


Release Schedule

First results of the GDS are released late in the reference year. Results of the Postgraduate Destination Survey are released in October of the year following the reference year.


The following annual publications may be purchased from the GCA website
Graduate Course Experience, GCA, Melbourne
Graduate Destinations, GCA, Melbourne
Graduate Salaries, GCA, Melbourne
Grads, Jobs, and Dollars, GCA, Melbourne
Postgraduate Destinations, GCA, Melbourne
Postgraduate Research Experience, GCA, Melbourne


Information is available for Australia and all states and territories. Each institution receives the results for its participating students.

Data Service

Free summary data are available on the GCA website in two products,
GradFiles (for secondary students) and GradStats (for the general public). Additional data are available on request.


Personal Characteristics


Indigenous status
Residency status
Home state
Disability status
Non-English speaking background
First educational qualification post school
Highest educational qualification prior to course

Course Characteristics

Level of qualification
Field of study
Length of time taken to complete course
Whether the graduate received recognition for prior learning
Work in final year
Employer support during course

Employment Characteristics

Labour force status at reference date
Whether employed full-time or part-time
Whether a short-term or permanent employee
Occupation at reference date
Industry of employer at reference date
Annual salary
Length of service

Further Study Plans

Level of qualification
Field of study
Month course began

Historical Data

The GDS was first conducted in 1971.