Charles Sturt University is ranked number one in Australia for graduate outcomes and Wagga is no exception.
Close to graduating with a nursing degree from CSU Wagga, Leah Vane, 27, said she has already taken promising steps to becoming employed.
“I’ve recently done an interview for a Transition to Professional Practice program with Murrumbidgee Health,” she said.
“It’s been a great four-year degree, I’ve loved every minute of it and we’ve had industry experience throughout the course.”
Ms Vane said she has done “several” placements around Wagga and smaller towns like Junee, and commended the university for their support.
“The uni has been quite accommodating as I'm a single mum juggling university, placements and also a part-time job,” she said.
The Good Education Group’s good universities guide results were based on national survey data and demonstrated that 85 per cent of CSU graduates were employed four months after completing their course, leading the nation’s average by 14 per cent.
The results also highlighted CSU’s position as the state’s leader in graduate starting salary sitting at $62,000, a four thousand dollar increase on the national average.
Ms Vane said there were a few reasons why she decided to become a nurse.
“My nan was a reputable nurse in the emergency department in Dubbo and I spent a lot of my childhood with her and growing up we’d walk down the street and many people would come up to her thanking her for what she had done for them,” she said.
“Also being a single mum, trying to find what would be the best way to support my daughter and also she needed a bit of medical help when she was first born and the support from the nurses we received, really pulled us through.
“I became a nurse to give back.”
Co-owner and veterinarian at the Wagga Veterinary Hospital Becci Brabin said a number of CSU graduates have been employed in the last couple of years.
“Currently in our practice there are three partners and we’re all CSU graduates, two grads started in the last six weeks and another CSU grad started with us 18 months ago,” Ms Brabin said.
“CSU grads seem very practice ready and they are able to hit the ground running when they start the job.
“They’re really personable with clients and although they need support being their first job, they seem to be very capable individuals.”
CSU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said the results are in recognition of CSU’s commitment to students and strong industry connections.
“As a university, we are focused on excellence in education and pride ourselves on providing our students with a strong sense of belonging,” said Professor Vann.
“As a committed partner for regional New South Wales, we equip students with strong and necessary skills for future employment and the results are evidence of this.”
Careers advisor at the university Paul Worsfold said Wagga’s accountancy firm Boyce often “snaps up CSU graduates”.
HR manager Tracey Somerville from Boyce Accountants said over the last three years they have employed more than 10 CSU graduates.
“Boyce offices are located across five regional centres in NSW, so our regional footprint has some cross over with CSU campuses,” she said.
“The university has an excellent distance education program which is a popular choice for those studying in regional areas.
“We find that CSU students graduate with skills and knowledge that are immediately transferable into professional practice and the workplace.”
Ms Somerville said students enrolled in undergraduate business or accounting degrees at CSU complete a practical subject which requires them to complete 100 hours of placement in the industry.
“This equips them for entering the workforce when they graduate,” she said.
“We have had a number of CSU students complete placement with us and go on to having a career at Boyce,” she said.