Higher Degree by Research graduates receive high employer satisfaction ratings

Tuesday 18 April 2017


In the first national Employer Satisfaction Survey that directly links the experiences of graduates to the views of their direct supervisors, employers were asked to report their degree of satisfaction with the skills of recently employed graduates from Australian universities.

The survey found that in 2016, recent graduates of PhD and Masters by Research courses received high employer satisfaction ratings compared with other graduates across a range of skills [see Figure 1]. Differences were greatest for foundation skills1, adaptive skills2 and technical skills3.

Figure 1: Employer satisfaction with graduate skills, 2016

The high supervisor satisfaction rates with Higher Degree by Research graduates were also reflected in a higher full-time median starting salary of $85,000, compared to $80,000 for postgraduate coursework graduates or $57,900 for undergraduates.


  1. General literacy, numeracy and communication skills and the ability to investigate and integrate knowledge.
  2. The ability to adapt and apply skills/knowledge and work independently.
  3. The application of professional and technical knowledge and standards.

The full report is available on the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching website.