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Australian Graduate Survey finds female graduates paid 3% less

In the 2009 Australian Graduate Survey conducted by Graduate Careers Australia, female bachelor degree graduates were found to be paid around 3 percent less on average than their male counterparts.

Australian Graduate Survey 2009Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) conducts the Australian Graduate Survey yearly in 2009 polling more than 122,000 graduates who completed a course at an Australian higher education institution.  In the 2009 Australian Graduate Survey GGA found that female graduates earn on average 3 percent less than male graduates of a similar background and in similar employment, sparking questions as to why this problem arises.

GCA Senior Research Associate, David Carroll, was quick to caution against seeing this differential as evidence of widespread discrimination against female graduates, but that it highlighted overall problems within within the Australian labour market as a whole.

“This does not necessarily suggest that a graduate is paid less because she is female,” Mr Carroll said. “It does suggest, however, that female graduates do not always have the same access to highly-paid positions as male graduates within a given field of employment.”

Salaries for graduates rose by $3,000 between 2008 and 2009, shrugging off the impact of the Global Financial Crisis, lifting the Australian median graduate salary from $45,000 to $48,000.

The highest median Australian salaries for graduates were in the fields of dentistry ($70,000), optometry ($64,500) and engineering ($57,500), while the three fields with the lowest median starting salaries in 2009 were humanities and social sciences (each with $42,000), art and design ($37,300) and pharmacy ($35,000).

Mr Carroll noted that graduates’ starting salaries were not always reflective of their lifelong earning potential. “Graduates from some fields may be required to complete a period of supervised practical experience immediately after graduation, which may be relatively low paid,” Mr Carroll said.

The Australian Graduate Survey is an annual survey of graduates who complete a course at an Australian higher education institution. More than 122,000 graduates completed the 2009 survey.

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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