Victoria University graduates have the most employable skills in Australia, an independent survey funded by the federal government has found.
The university was ranked No. 1 for employability skills (92.8 per cent) in the the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) survey, based on 3430 employers’ views about recent graduates.
These skills include working under pressure, being flexible in the workplace, meeting deadlines, understanding the nature of the business, demonstrating leadership/management skills, taking responsibility for professional development and initiative.
Recent mechanical engineering graduate Andrea Hempshall is now working with a company called Resonate Consultants, which specialises in vibration and acoustic reporting for infrastructure, wind energy, buildings and marine sectors.
Despite lacking some experience as a student, Ms Hempshall was heavily involved with an extracurricular group called the VU Academy, which included a study tour to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the US.
“We built model rockets, we built astronaut gloves and we also proposed our own version of a space-debris solution to clean up the space debris in the outer atmosphere,” she said.
“We also went to Silicon Valley … there we got to visit Google, we got to drive a Tesla and we did a lot of exercises with identifying ways to start a business.”
She was also involved with Enactus VU, part of a global non-profit and community of students, academics and business leaders using entrepreneurial action to transform lives.
“Every employer I have interviewed with has specifically asked about either the NASA tour and/or Enactus projects,” Ms Hempshall said.
“There are so many opportunities for engineering students to gain hands-on learning.
“I spent the summer between third and fourth year working as a facilities engineering intern with a company called APA Group, that owns 50 per cent of Australia’s natural gas pipelines.
“I also worked as an undergraduate engineer for 10 months with Marand Precision Engineering. These work experiences have greatly contributed to me gaining the confidence and skills to obtain my position as a graduate consultant for Resonate Consultants.”
VU’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker, said the survey results were significant.
“What makes this result so significant is that it is the employers themselves who have ranked Victoria University’s graduates as Australia’s most employable,” he said.
“In this uncertain and rapidly changing COVID-19 work environment, all kinds of employers are looking for graduates with the skills to hit the ground running and the resilience to deal quickly with change.”