Deloitte is the number one graduate employer in Australia according to the latest data from the joint report by the Australian Financial Review (AFR) and GradConnection.
The Top 100 Graduate Employers 2019 list followed tact on previous editions, with the Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and EY) featuring in the top 10, alongside IBM (#3), NSW Government (#4), Accenture (#6), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (#8), Quantium (#9) and Dentsu Aegis Network (#10).
Deloitte jumped from number three to top spot, displacing 2018 number one PwC into second position. NSW Government was a big mover, shifting from outside the top 10 (#12) into third, as was Commonwealth Bank of Australia (#18 to #8) and Denstu Aegis (#22 to #10). However, it was rapidly growing data analytics firm Quantium that made the biggest surge into the top 10, sliding 21 places down the list from #30 to #9.
||6.1 per cent
||5.3 per cent
||4.2 per cent
||3.3 per cent
||2.9 per cent
||2.8 per cent
||2.7 per cent
||Commonwealth Bank of Australia
||2.5 per cent
||2.3 per cent
||Dentsu Aegis Network
||2.2 per cent
The report from the AFR also delved into the state of the graduate market generally in 2019.
It is fast becoming a graduate’s market
Job prospects are looking good for recent graduates, with the most recent edition of the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching’s (QILT) Graduate Outcome Survey finding that full-time employment rates have increased for alumni across all study levels. Greater access to the labour market means that graduates are becoming more particular when engaged in the job hunt, as they take active steps to chase down the roles that they desire. Graduates tend to apply for multiple roles to gauge their options, and are happy to turn down roles if another company comes along and presents them with the most attractive opportunity.
Companies are beginning to move with the times
As a new generation of graduates enter the job market, companies are being forced to evaluate their current policies to remain competitive to prospective talent. Modern university graduates have a fresh set of expectations that have challenged companies to create more flexible employment programs that preach a distinct work and life balance. For example, top-ranking consulting firm EY has implemented a flexible working policy that was designed with the emerging millennial workforce in mind. Initiatives that reach out to students during their studies have also been created to foster career development and long-term employment after graduation.
Public administration is an employer on the rise
While large consulting firms continue to dominate the upper echelons of the Top 100, government employers have experienced a rise up the ranks of this year’s report. In the 2017 edition of the Top 100, the New South Wales (NSW) Government reached No.40. This year, they are wedged in fourth spot between typical high-flyers IBM and KPMG. Government employability is increasingly being seen as a viable option for graduates due to the ability to work in a number of different areas, while the highly competitive renumeration and lifestyle policies continue to attract young job seekers.
Soft skills are becoming an important part of graduates’ arsenals
Technical skills are vital to specific jobs, but transferrable skills such as problem-solving, collaboration and self-motivation are becoming crucial hiring criteria in the world of recruitment. Employers are looking for skills that can be applied to multiple roles, as well as graduates who understand the nuances of the workplace.
University courses need to adapt to the changing job market
The world of work is changing, with internships and work experience now becoming a vital feature on graduates’ CVs. The report flags a need for universities to keep their course content relevant to current industry practices, while ensuring that students are learning skills that are applicable to the workplace. What is studied in the first year of a course may become outdated by the time a student graduates, so the onus falls on universities and other education providers to ensure that their curriculum is reflecting the changing demands of the job market.