Come For The Education, Leave For Employment

UOW Statistics

The University of Wollongong’s success is undeniable, yet the jobs seem to be elsewhere

The University of Wollongong is a highly successful institution, ranking in the top 2% of Universities worldwide; yet the employment sector in Wollongong cannot accommodate the graduates, and many are forced to move elsewhere for employment.

Toni Dobbs, reporting and data manger at the University of Wollongong, conducted a post-graduate survey where she discovered that in 2011 a mere 25% of graduates from the university are now working full-time in Wollongong area.

The University of Wollongong rates highly globally, the employment however, does not.

The University of Wollongong rates highly globally, the employment however, does not. (D.Little 2013)


Alice Tamsen graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2011 with a Bachelor of Commerce and Accountancy and is one of many graduates who was forced to search for employment elsewhere. Alice is now working in Sydney, while remaining a resident of Wollongong, taking the daily commute to and from her workplace.

“Its punishing getting up at five and not making it home until after dark… but what else could I have done?” Ms. Tamsen told the FreshlyScooped.

“Sydney can also be hard as there is still competition from graduates of other universities… They need the work too.”

Post-graduates looking to further their experience with extra studies also have a hard time in Wollongong. Many of the post-graduate traineeships and further qualifications are based in areas such as Canberra and Campbelltown.

“I was offered a traineeship in Canberra but I had to decline. It was too far to travel daily and I couldn’t have afforded to live out of home.” Said Ms. Tamsen.

The QS intelligence unit, which is responsible for the World University Rankings, has recently awarded the University of Wollongong with a five-star rating over a broad range of criteria including research, reputation and facilities. This achievement establishes UOW as one of the leading institutions globally. Yet Wollongong’s highly qualified graduates are moving away from the town into areas such as the Sydney CBD for work.

Ms. Tamsen says Sydney is the destination for most of her fellow classmates, and believes the varied opportunities available is the reason. “Sydney has a broader employment sector… But in no way does that make Sydney a guarantee: finding employment will always be tough no matter where you go.”

If you’re a Wollongong resident The Freshly Scooped encourages readers to comment on their employment experiences below, or to vote in our online employment poll to the right of the article. ➡

– TheFreshlyScooped


4 thoughts on “Come For The Education, Leave For Employment

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  3. What a shame! If wollongong really wants to grow and become an academic town then they need to do something about this! all of our well trained workers are moving to other places!

  4. I definitely agree, although we’re only a relatively small place, we’ve always been a mining town. It would be impossible to have varied industries to pop-up to provide jobs. its a slow process… Maybe in a few decades we can be like sydney and have greater opportunities, but it isn’t going to happen over night. It’s sad we have to lose all our great graduates though.

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