4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Jul 2011
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/08/2011 First Issue
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MEDIAN STARTING SALARY OF RECENT BACHELOR DEGREE GRADUATES
In 2010, the median starting salary of recent female graduates, aged less than 25 years and in their first full-time employment, was $48,000, while the median starting salary of the recent male graduates was $50,000.
Information about the earnings of recent university graduates provides a perspective on immediate financial outcomes of higher education. (Endnote 1)
The differences in overall median starting salaries between males and females can be partly explained in terms of the differing enrolment profiles of the males and females. However, there are many other factors that can influence the starting salary differences of males and females. While they may have studied in the same field, differing employment factors such as occupation, type and location of the employer, or the hours worked, can also have an impact on the earnings. (Endnote 2)
The data on graduates' earnings are collected as part of an annual survey (Australian Graduate Survey) conducted by Graduate Careers Australia. The survey gathers data on the employment and further study outcomes of graduates who completed their study in a given year. The data are collected approximately four months after the completion of their respective course of study. The graduates are surveyed in two cohorts, those who completed their study in the first half of the year are surveyed as at 30 October, and those who completed their study in the second half of the year are surveyed as at 30 April. The salary data for a given year reflect the data for that whole financial year (i.e. 2010 salary data reflect 2009-10 salaries of new graduates as collected in October 2009 and April 2010).
The median starting salaries for both male and female recent Bachelor Degree graduates in 2010 ($50,000 and $48,000 respectively) were below the starting salaries in 2009. The median starting salary of a male graduate in 2009 was $51,200, and for a female graduate it was $48,100 (in 2009-10 dollars, adjusted using changes in the Consumer Price Index). The falls probably reflects the effects of continued recruiter uncertainty in, what is hopefully, the backwash of the global financial crisis. (Endnote 3)
The median starting salary for recent female Bachelor Degree graduates has been consistently lower than their male counterparts in the last 10 years. In 2010, their salary was 96% of the median starting salary of recent male graduates. This difference was less than the difference in 2009 (94%) but was greater than that in 2005 (97%).
Median starting salary by field of study
The field of study offering the highest median starting salary in 2010 for both male and female recent Bachelor Degree graduates was Dentistry ($71,500 and $75,000 respectively), with the starting salary $3,500 higher for females. Female graduates also had a higher median starting salary than males in six other fields. For example for female graduates in the field of Physical Science and Psychology, the median starting salary was $2,500 higher than males for both Bachelor Degrees.
Two fields where female graduates earned less than male graduates were Architecture and Building, and Economics and Business (nearly 90% of median starting salary of males). These are the fields where median starting salaries of female Bachelor Degree graduates have been consistently lower than their male counterparts for the last decade. Earth Sciences was another field where the median starting salary of female Bachelor Degree graduates was only 91% of the median starting salary of male graduates in 2010.
The median starting salary of female Bachelor Degree graduates has increased by 29% from 2001 to 2010 in the field of Dentistry (from $58,000 to $75,000), while the median starting salary of male graduates in this field has grown by 11% in the same period (from $64,400 to $71,500). Optometry is the field where the median starting salary of male Bachelor Degree graduates has increased notably in the last decade, from $52,800 in 2001 to $70,000 in 2010 (almost 33%), while the median starting salary of female graduates in this field has increased by 21% in the same period (from $58,000 to $70,000).
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002, Education and Training Indicators, Australia, 2002 (cat. no. 4230.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.
2. Graduate Careers Australia, 2009, Graduate Salaries: A Report on the Earnings of Recent Graduates, 2009, GCA, Melbourne <www.graduatecareers.com.au>.
3. Graduate Careers Australia, 2010, GradStats: Employment and Salary Outcomes of Recent Higher Education Graduates, 2010, GCA, Melbourne <www.graduatecareers.com.au>.
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