The best time for grad job opportunities

job opportunities

Timing is everything! While many graduate programs have a fixed yearly advertising period, other graduate job opportunities pop up throughout the year. So what time of the year do most grad job opportunities appear?

Let’s start with the good news: according to data from job listing platform Indeed, the total number of graduate job postings increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. This continued the positive trend of an uptick in grad postings of 22% in 2017. The most job opportunities for graduates were for jobs based in New South Wales and Victoria, although there are plenty of highly rated graduate programs in other regions.

Job posting cycles definitely show industry-specific trends. The Indeed lab crunched the numbers to reveal the following stats about grad job opportunities for selected industries. The pie graph shows the share of job postings for the top 10 graduate jobs advertised.

Share of postings for top 10 advertised grad job postings. (Source: Indeed)

The results reveal the greatest share of job opportunities for graduate civil engineers, accountants and architects. Surprisingly though, the number of job postings seeking civil engineering grads actually dropped in 2018.


Annual growth or decline in number of job postings for selected occupations. (Source: Indeed)

In terms of timing cycles, most job listings peak earlier in the year (February–April), with another peak cycle around September. The quietest times of the year are May and October–December.


Cycles of job postings for selected occupations. (Source: Indeed)

As for the overall graduate employment opportunities, the latest states show the market is faring well. The results of the 2018 Graduates Outcomes Survey show that the full-time employment rate is 72.9% for 2018 grads within 4 months of graduation, up slightly from 71.8% in 2017. This continues an upward trend in the job market since a low point of 68.1% in 2014.

Looking at employment rates for each industry, there’s good news for STEM grads. Over 80% of science, maths, computing and IT graduates (Bachelor and Honours level) gained full-time employment, compared to the national average of 72.9% for all graduates. Engineering graduates had even higher outcomes, with over 88% of graduates gaining full-time employment.  
For graduates of postgraduate research and coursework degrees, overall full-time employment rates are even higher, with 86.9% of 2018 grads securing employment within 4 months of graduation. Looks like more evidence that Masters and PhDs pay off!

5 job boards you might not have explored

  1. TechCareers.com:  This job board is dedicated purely to technology careers. TechCareers also provides other career resources and online networking.
  2. Dice.com: Dice specialises in programming and IT and also features an extensive news and career-advice section.
  3. CareerBuilder: With more than 40 subcategories under its technology listings, CareerBuilder makes it easy to search for specific roles.
  4. AngelList: This website focuses entirely on startups. Most of the jobs listed involve computer science, and the listings are very detailed and specific.
  5. Indeed.com: With frequent updates, this is one of the world’s leading job boards.
Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

Author: Larissa Fedunik-Hofman

Larissa is the editorial assistant for Careers with STEM and a Chemistry PhD student. Larissa’s goal is to promote public engagement with STEM through inspiring stories.

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