A Wagga university graduate is not surprised that Charles Sturt University has been ranked as having the highest three-year graduate employment and salary levels.
Brittany Hatty graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science in 2015 and is now working as a radiologist at the Temora Health Services.
The 26-year-old said she is earning a salary of about $84,000 per annum which trumps the median wage of $78,300 for graduates in their third year of employment.
“I’m not surprised by this ranking at all and I think it’s a great university,” Ms Hatty said.
“I have been told at a few placements that they preferred CSU grads, because we have better patient rapport as our skill levels can be developed.”
The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal ranked CSU as the top Australian institution for undergraduate full time employment and incomes three years after graduation.
Living just outside of Ganmain, Ms Hatty said the amount of work placement hours could be what separates CSU graduates.
“I think maybe what separates us from other graduates is the amount of hours we spend on placements during our course,” she said.
“The fourth year of our degree was purely placements and I’ve noticed that most other radiography degrees have now become four years instead of three.”
The report emphasises that factors such as course offerings, the composition of the student population and variations in state/territory and regional labour markets, might also impact on employment outcomes.
The survey compares 2015-2018 data from more than 38,000 graduates from 60 institutions (39 universities, and 21 non-university higher education institutions).
Ms Hatty agreed that there is “definitely less competition” for regional students than those in metropolitan areas.
This comes after CSU ranked the highest for graduate employment outcomes.
CSU’s acting vice-chancellor Jenny Roberts said the survey findings reflected the commitment to educating professionals for regional Australia and the world.
“I think at CSU we focus on preparing students to go out in the real world and contribute to their communities because they’re equipped with extra values,” she said.
“Our courses are connected to industries and what they want; we’re designing what the future workforce needs and constantly refreshing our courses and making sure our students are working in the industries that will get them a job.”
Ms Roberts argued that regional students are succeeding because they understand the importance of working hard.
“Students that come through regional universities do it tough because they’re usually the first in their family and it’s not an expected thing,” she said.
“We have students from lower SES, those who have to support themselves and are maybe working full-time while studying, and therefore the reason why they’re successful is because they get in and know they have to work hard.
“I think it’s just this regional background knowledge of hard workers and diligence.”