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Graduate Outcomes Survey

The GOS is completed by graduates of Australian higher education institutions approximately four to six months after finishing their studies. The GOS measures short-term employment outcomes including skills utilisation, further study activities, and graduate satisfaction.

   Target population
Recent graduates of Australian higher education institutions, at undergraduate, postgraduate coursework and postgraduate research levels
    Sample size
Over 120,000 recent graduates
   Survey cycle
Conducted annually across three rounds, in November, February and May

2021 GOS Results Summary

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be felt in the Australian labour market throughout the period covered by the 2021 GOS. Nonetheless, after declining between 2019 and 2020, graduate labour market outcomes stabilised somewhat in 2021. Although the overall employment rate for undergraduates recorded a further slight decline, from 85.1 per cent in 2020 to 84.8 per cent in 2021, the full-time employment rate increased slightly, from 68.7 per cent to 68.9 per cent. For further details, see the 2021 GOS National Report and the data visualisation above.

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GOS
Reports
2021
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GOS
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2021
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2021
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2021
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2021
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GOS
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2021
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2021
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2021
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2021
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Reports
2021
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GOS
Reports
2021
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GOS
Reports
2021
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About the GOS

The GOS is completed by graduates approximately four months after completion of their studies. It provides information on the labour market outcomes and further study activities of graduates. Employment data collected includes information on salaries, occupation and skills utilisation. The GOS has been administered annually since 2016.

Recent graduates of Australian higher education institutions are in scope for the GOS, including at undergraduate, postgraduate coursework and postgraduate research level. Information is collected for both domestic and onshore international graduates, however published results refer to domestic graduates only.

The GOS uses labour force definitions which conform to the conceptual framework of the standard labour force statistics model used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Full-time employment relates to graduates employed for 35 hours or more per week. Overall employment relates to graduates employed for one or more hours per week. For more detail, refer to the latest 2020 GOS National Report.

Information on the ComparED website about graduate employment outcomes and satisfaction is sourced from the GOS, including responses from domestic undergraduate and postgraduate coursework level graduates. Survey results from the three most recent collection years are pooled to improve data reliability. Three indicators of graduate labour force outcomes are displayed on the ComparED website:

  1. Graduates in full-time employment
  2. Graduates in overall employment
  3. Graduates in full-time study

90 per cent confidence intervals are displayed to provide a measure of accuracy of the estimates. For technical details about the calculations used to score data derived from the GOS, please see the document, GOS Methodology for ComparED Website.

Graduate incomes data is sourced from records from the Australian Taxation Office.

Full-time employment

The proportion of graduates who were employed full-time

Overall employment

The proportion of graduates who were in any kind of employment.

Full-time study

The proportion of graduates who were undertaking further full-time study, as a proportion of all graduates.

Course Experience Questionnaire

The CEQ provides information about the quality of higher education in Australia, by asking graduates to what extent they agree with a series of statements about their study experiences. It is administered annually in conjunction with the GOS. The CEQ is completed by undergraduate and postgraduate coursework level graduates of Australian higher education institutions, including both domestic and international onshore graduates.

From the 2021 GOS collection cycle, only one overall satisfaction item from the CEQ is being funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. The CEQ in its entirety can be included by institutions on an opt-in basis, funded by individual institutions wanting to participate.


The ‘Overall satisfaction’ item from the CEQ is displayed on the ComparED website, including responses from both domestic and international onshore graduates, at undergraduate and postgraduate coursework level. Survey results from the two most recent collection years are pooled to improve the reliability of the information.

90 per cent confidence intervals are displayed to provide a measure of accuracy of the estimates. For technical details about the calculations used to score data derived from the CEQ, please see the document, CEQ Methodology for ComparED Website.

Overall satisfaction

The proportion of graduates who expressed overall satisfaction with their course, based on an individual survey question.

Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire

The PREQ provides information about the quality of research training in Australia, by asking graduates to what extent they agree with a series of statements about their experiences completing a research degree. It is administered annually in conjunction with the GOS. The PREQ is completed by postgraduate research level graduates of Australian higher education institutions, including both domestic and international onshore graduates.