Graduate Program – Applications are now closed

Applications for the 2023 program have closed.

On this page:


During our ten-month program you will:

  • Undertake two diverse work placements over ten months
  • Complete a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration
  • Progress from APS Level 3.1 to APS Level 5.1 classification on successful completion of the program

A diverse range of opportunities

Our work here at DESE is broad and requires people with all types of qualifications. We are looking for graduates from a wide range of disciplines, with a focus on mainstream, economic, finance and legal graduates.

It is important to know that if you choose a specialist pathway as your preference in the application process, you will still be considered for the generalist pathway too. 

There are so many opportunities and ways to use your degree in ways you never imagined. You have what it takes.

Our Graduate Program

The department offers a ten-month graduate program to those with Higher Education (university) qualifications. Successfully completing the Program will help you apply your skills and build on your experience for a fulfilling career in the Australian Public Service (APS).

The ten-month program provides the opportunity for graduates to experience a holistic view of working in a government agency and it establishes the foundation for graduates to learn core APS fundamentals.

The successful completion of the graduate program offers you a platform to launch your career in the Australian Public Service.

Our 10-month Graduate Program runs from February to December each year.

Located in Canberra, the program offers:

  • a holistic view of working in a government agency through two diverse work placements which provide the opportunity to work on a variety of programs and policies developed and implemented by the department
  • formal learning and development opportunities including a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration
  • a supportive, inclusive and flexible working environment
  • on-the-job experience 
  • dedicated Graduate Sponsor
  • various opportunities to be involved in a wide range of networks and fundraising events.

Why Join Us?

Our graduate program is a great way for you to transition from education to employment. We know firsthand the significance of this milestone and you’ll find our graduate program connects you to friendly, experienced professionals who will help you apply your skills and knowledge as you start your career pathway in life.

Graduates who join DESE come from across the country and each of you bring unique and diverse experiences, knowledge and insights that will help inform and enrich our workplace.

Our graduate program provides the platform for your degrees to come to life through the experience you will gain through the application of your skills and knowledge. In fact, over the course of your career, you will use your degree in ways you never imagined

Creating opportunities through education, skills and employment is at the heart of our department’s purpose.

When you join the Graduate Program you also get:

  • relocation assistance to move to Canberra
  • permanent ongoing employment in the Australian Public Service
  • career progression from APS Level 3 to APS Level 5 on successful completion of the program
  • support from a buddy/alumni
  • an Employee Assistance Program for wellbeing and career support
  • a dedicated Graduate Sponsor passionate about seeing you thrive.

Our Graduate Career Streams

Career streams are designed to give graduates the opportunity, to be placed in areas relevant to their qualifications and career of choice and engage in relevant specific on-the-job learning and development.

This differs to the mainstream pathway which is intended to provide graduates with strategic and diverse policy and program placements across the department.

As part of the application process, you can identify your preferred pathway stream. If you choose a specialist pathway you will also be considered for the mainstream pathway as well. 

Graduate Program

Each year as part of our Graduate Recruitment Program we recruit graduates with various skill sets. Our work is broad and requires people with all types of qualifications, which is why it is so important that we encourage as many applications as possible to our Graduate Program.

We encourage applications from people with a broad range of skills for our mainstream graduate program including:

  • Finance
  • Business and Commerce
  • Economics
  • Public Policy
  • Legal
  • IT
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Education
  • Human Resources
  • Project Management
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Media & Communications
  • Actuary
  • Administration
  • Data Science & Analytics
  • Digital Technology

Specialist career streams – 2023 Department of Education Graduate Program

The Department welcomes applications from all degree disciplines for our program. For the 2023 Graduate Program, the department will offer mainstream positions and a number of specialist career streams including Economics, Finance, and Legal.

Career streams are designed to give graduates the opportunity to be placed in areas relevant to their qualifications and career of choice and engage in relevant specific learning and development (and/or additional qualifications).

Specialist career streams - AGGP

We participate in the Australian Government Career Pathways (AGGP). 

The department works collaboratively with AGCP to recruit talented individuals through speciality graduate programs. 

In 2023, we participated in the following career streams:

Applications for the 2024 AGCP specialist streams will open again from March 2023.

Eligibility

To be eligible for our Graduate Program, you will be required to:

  • be an Australian Citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship before you commence and be able to provide evidence of this
  • have successfully completed a Bachelor degree or higher within the five years prior to the start date of the Graduate Program. You will be required to provide evidence of completion before the start of the program
  • obtain and maintain a valid Australian Government Baseline security clearance
  • relocate to Canberra for the commencement of the program if the position requires you to.
  • satisfy the relevant medical check (if required for the position).

Recruitment process

As part of the application process, you will be able to identify your preferred pathway.

DESE Graduate Program - Our recruitment process

You will be advised at each stage of the process if you have progressed further.

The recruitment process involves a range of assessments which may include:

  • psychometric and cognitive online assessment
  • video interview
  • attendance at assessment centres (face to face or virtual) including an interview, written/technical task and group activity
  • reference check.

You have what it takes. Join us!

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Use your degree in ways you never imagine #desegradprogram
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Career Pathways 2023 Graduate Program
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Australia Top 100 Graduate Employers
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Top 100 Finalist 2021 Financial Review
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2021 AGRIAS Winner
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Australian Network on Disability
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Diversity Council Australia
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Pride in diversity

The department has consistently featured in the Top 100 Graduate Employer rankings over the past few years. This achievement highlights our active commitment to supporting talented graduates, helping them to expand their skills and experience, and reach their full potential.