Graduates with disability and/or medical condition can sometimes have more difficulties making the transition from tertiary study to employment than graduates without disability. Competition for employment is high amongst graduates across Australia, so the need to prepare for employment while still studying is crucial for success.
Most tertiary providers have a careers service with counsellors to assist with career planning and job hunting. Careers services staff can assist you in developing a resume or curriculum vitae that outlines effectively your qualifications, skills, experience and abilities. They can also provide assistance in seeking employment vacancies and graduate employment programs.
As a student, there are a number of ways you can gain valuable experience and skills, learn about work environments, meet people and build a network:
- working part time or casually
- undertaking voluntary work
- joining societies
- being a member of student advisory committees
- some courses of study may offer an opportunity to undertake practical work experience such as an internship or placement
- involvement in mentoring programs such as the Willing and Able Mentoring Program (WAM) which pairs a student with a business professional over a specified period of time
- undertake an internship, such as Stepping Into Internships, a 4-week paid internship for students with disability/medical condition which is run during winter and summer breaks
- participating in social networking sites designed specifically for business such as LinkedIn may help you develop your business network and increase your opportunities.
Note: not all these options are available in all locations or through all providers. Make an appointment with your provider's career service to discuss what may be available to you.
The Graduate Outcomes Survey managed by the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) monitors graduate outcomes for students graduating from higher education.
The latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021 shows that undergraduates with a disability had a full-time employment rate of 58.7 per cent, which was 11.3 percentage points lower than the 70.0 per cent for undergraduates without a disability.
Undergraduate employment outcomes by demographic group, 2019 and 2020 (%)
|Full-time employment 2020||Full-time employment 2021||Overall employment 2020||Overall employment 2021||Labour force participation rate 2020||Labour force participation rate 2021|
Source: QILT Graduate Employment: 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey National Tables (xls 2MB)
Survey respondents indicate that disability or health condition is one reason they are not in full-time employment but other considerations includes participating in further study, carer responsibilities or no suitable jobs in areas. To maximise opportunities use a range of resources such as those mentioned on this page to explore specific programs and initiatives tailored to graduates with disability.