Female undergraduates were still starting out on salaries worth less than their male counterparts in 2018, with the pay gap particularly stark in fields like dentistry and architecture.
That’s according to the 2018 Graduate outcomes Survey released today, an online survey conducted across 102 higher education institutions.
The study found the gender gap to be $3000 or 4.8 per cent when considering the median full-time salaries of undergraduates working full-time four months after completing their course. The gap has widened from 2017 when it was at 1.8 per cent and worth $1100, but is a little down from 2016, when it was at 6 per cent and $3600.
And the gap only increases with age: with the study finding women undergraduates under 30 to be earning 3.6 per less than their male counterparts, but rising to 10.8 per cent (or $8,100) for men and women aged over 30.
The gender gap in graduate salaries widens again for postgraduate coursework graduates working full-time, at 14.6 per cent in 2018 and worth $13,500 — although that was slightly down from 16.5 per cent in 2017.
The gap narrows significantly for postgraduate research graduates, at just 0.2 per cent, or $200.
According to the study, part of the gender gap can be explained by the fact women are more likely to graduate from study areas with lower levels of remuneration, but it does state that female undergraduates are earning less overall than their male counterparts in most study areas.
But it found some significant gender gaps in the median undergraduate salaries of certain professions. The highest was dentistry, with a massive gender gap of $24,000 when considering the median full-time salary for undergraduates in 2018, followed by architecture and built environment, along with agriculture and environmental studies, both on $7,600. The pharmacy undergraduate gender gap is $5,000, while for law and paralegal studies it’s $5,000.
The high point for women? Those graduates in rehabilitation and veterinary science who were found to be earning a massive… $200 and $100 more than their male counterparts respectively.
In further good news, starting salaries for men and women were equal among engineering and computing, as well as information systems graduates.
There’s also a gap in those employed in managerial positions following postgraduate coursework graduation, at 21.6 per cent for men and 13.6 per cent for women. But then women were more likely than men to be working in professional occupations, at 75.3 per cent to 64.3 per cent
The study found that 72.9 per cent of all undergraduates were in full-time employment within four months of completing their degree, it’s a figure that’s slightly up from 2017 and 2016. Women were actually slightly more likely to be in full-time employment than men at this point, at 73.3 per cent compared with 72.2 per cent.
Further study appears to aid full-time work prospects, with the proportion of postgraduate coursework graduates in full-time employment at 86.9 per cent in 2018.
Certain fields see students achieve a much greater success of finding work than others, with pharmacy, medicine, rehabilitation and dentistry undergraduates boasting the highest rate of full-time employment. Those degrees with the lowest rates of full-time employment including creative arts, tourism, hospitality, personal services, sport and recreation, communications, psychology and humanities, along with culture and social sciences.