Australian graduates may have a tough time landing their dream job this year

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We’re approaching the final throngs of 2017, and that means that many younger Australians are about to finish university.

Graduation, and with it a job, are no doubt at the forefront of their minds.

For the class of 2017, it appears to be a good time to be entering the jobs market with recent labour market data nothing short of stellar.

According to the ABS, 321,000 jobs were created in the year to August, with the vast majority of those created in the healthcare, construction and education sectors.

And with vacancy levels sitting at record highs and job ads growing at double-digit rates, labour market conditions haven’t been this strong in years.

However, even with booming levels of employment growth, it’s still not going to be easy for many graduates to land their dream job, according to new data from job search site Adzuna.

The group says that of the 138,582 jobs advertised on its site in September, only 5,783 were graduate-specific vacancies. In comparison, over 130,000 students are expected to graduate with bachelors degrees this year, meaning that, on average, 22 graduates will be competing for every job opening in the months ahead.

22 to 1.

Not the best of odds, even when considering that not all graduates will be immediately searching for a job.

“Many graduates will need to apply for non-graduate roles, in an industry outside their discipline, just to get their foot in the jobs market,” says Raife Watson, CEO of Adzuna Australia.

In particular, Watson says that those seeking a graduate placement should look to Australia’s healthcare sector, noting that of all the graduate positions advertised on its site, half are in that sector alone.

“I encourage all graduates to take a look at the healthcare industry. We need to remember that the healthcare sector does not solely employ graduates with healthcare related degrees,” he says.

“I have seen numerous job vacancies in HR, accounting and finance, and legal, all in the healthcare sector.”

The healthcare sector is the largest employer in Australia, accounting for around 13.5% of the total employed workforce.

By geographic location, Watson says that graduates in the Northern Territory will have the easiest time finding a graduate position, with six graduates competing for each role.

Meanwhile, those in South Australia may want to weigh up whether they should move to find work with 46 graduates set to compete for each graduate opening — the highest ratio across Australia.

This table from Adzuna shows the ratio of graduates to graduate positions by individual state and territory.

Source: Adzuna

The group says that the level of graduate openings have increased by 12% since 2015, with the average graduate salary on its site currently standing at $54,021.