Graduate Program

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At the Department of Education, our goal is to create opportunities and drive better outcomes for all Australians through access to quality education.

By supporting a strong early childhood education system, we help children build social and behavioural skills to help them prepare for school.

Through education and learning, we change lives – opening a world of possibilities for children and young people to achieve their life goals by creating pathways from school to higher education or employment.

We provide advice to our Ministers and lead the implementation of Government policies and programs to build a strong education system. To do this, we draw on the best available research, evidence and data and work collaboratively with industry, stakeholders and state and territory governments. This is diverse and rewarding work.

As an organisation of approximately 1,400 staff, we pride ourselves on our positive, supportive and inclusive workplace culture that nurtures talent and encourages employees to achieve their full potential.

To learn more about our role, refer to our 2022–23 Corporate Plan.

About the Graduate Program

Our Graduate Program is a great way for you to transition from education to employment and begin your leadership career. 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.

As an Education Graduate, you will be provided with varied and challenging work as well gaining recognised qualifications and on the job training and mentoring to help you begin your career journey.

Successfully completing our program will help you apply your skills in new ways while building a strong foundation for a fulfilling career at the department or across the Australian Public Service (APS).

As an Education Graduate your work will have impact – improving the lives of Australians through education.


The program starts in February each year.

To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • be an Australian citizen or will be by 1 October
  • must have completed your university degree within the last five years or be in your final year of study and have completed all your course requirements before commencing our program
  • be prepared to obtain a baseline security clearance.

You must be an Australian citizen and willing to undergo a National Police Check and health checks as required. If you secure a place in our Graduate Program the department will guide you through the process of obtaining your baseline clearance as part of your onboarding process.

Why join us

  • Career progression: Start as an APS Level 3 and progress to APS Level 5 on successful completion of the program. Refer to the Australian Public Service Commission website for more information on APS levels.
  • Salary increase: Start at $69,863 (plus 15.4% superannuation) and progress to $83,908 (plus 15.4% superannuation) when you graduate.
  • Program details: 10-month program, involving two 5-month work placements, allowing you to work on a variety of priority policies, programs or projects.
  • Supervisor: You will be assigned a dedicated supervisor to help you transition into the department and get the most from our program.
  • Buddy Program: We will match you up with a ‘buddy’ from the previous year’s graduate program, who can support and guide you by sharing their experience and insights.
  • Location options: Canberra (some opportunities may be available in Melbourne, Adelaide, or Brisbane). Relocation assistance is provided to candidates who relocate to Canberra, including temporary accommodation and travel assistance.
  • Employee Networks: Help contribute to a positive and inclusive workplace culture by joining our Employee Networks.
  • Community: Participate in Social Club activities and events to connect with colleagues at every level across the department.

How to apply

Applications for the 2024 Graduate Program have now closed.

You can find out more information about the streams we participate in below:

Visit the APS Jobs Career Pathways website for more information.

Applications for the 2025 Graduate Program will open in March 2024.

Make a difference by creating opportunities through access to quality education. You have what it takes. Join us!

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