Agriculture graduates who studied in regional Australia are more likely to be employed in the country, according to new research published by Charles Sturt University (CSU) Emeritus Professor Jim Pratley.
- Professor Pratley, who is also Secretary of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture, and Mr Nigel Crawley Director of recruitment company Rimfire Resources, have crunched the numbers on the employment of agricultural graduates in an occasional paper published by the Australian Farm Institute.
Professor Pratley said the study is based on information from Gradlink, a program operated by Rimfire Resources that puts graduates in touch with agribusiness.
“Focussing on the years 2004 to 2014, this study draws on the Gradlink database, with graduates or final year students interviewed.
“Although it is not a random sample, the data captures the activities of around one in six graduates in agriculture, agricultural science, animal science, horticulture and agricultural business over the time period.” Professor Pratley said.
The paper compares information from graduates from seven Australian universities and Marcus Oldham College.
- Around half the graduates gain employment in rural areas, about one third in the cities and about 10 per cent leave the sector.
- There was considerable variation between institutions however, with rural campuses having a strong bias towards rural employment and metropolitan institutions producing graduates more likely to have metropolitan-based employment.
- No gender bias is evident in the employment of agriculture and related graduates with males and females employed in all categories.
- Rural financing and retail/merchandising were the main employment sectors. Farm production captured around 10 per cent of graduates.
Download the paper here.
“The data shows that universities are delivering graduates suitable for the full range of agricultural occupations,” Professor Pratley said. “It is also clear that university location is important when employers are seeking new staff. Rural jobs are more likely to be filled and sustained by graduates from rural universities.”
Professor Pratley is a member of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation - a research alliance between CSU and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).