The Australian Graduate Survey collected 110,707 responses from a total of 198,003 new graduates.
The survey of starting salaries, graduate destinations and attitudes found the median starting salary for bachelor degree graduates aged under 25 last year was $40,000. The starting salary for females, at $39,000, was 97.5 per cent of males" earnings.
The 2005 study found that the fields of university study which produced the lowest proportion of graduates in full-time employment were the humanities (70.7 per cent), languages (74.9 per cent), visual and performing arts (60.3 per cent), social sciences (67.2 per cent), computer science (73.7 per cent), life sciences (71.3 per cent) and psychology (70.5 per cent).
The fields with the highest proportion of graduates in full-time jobs were mining engineering (98.8 per cent), pharmacy (98.7 per cent), nursing (96.2 per cent), civil engineering (95.7 per cent), veterinary science (94 per cent), building and planning (91 per cent).
Alumni from the elite research universities were more likely to be in full-time employment than those from new-generation, technology or regional universities. In 2005 some 84.8 per cent of graduates from the universities of Sydney, Melbourne, Monash, Queensland, Adelaide, Western Australia, New South Wales, and the Australian National University - the so-called group of eight - were in full-time employment.
This compares with 77.7 per cent of graduates from the Innovative Research Universities of Flinders (South Australia), Griffith (Queensland), La Trobe (Victoria), Macquarie (NSW), Murdoch (Western Australia) and the University of Newcastle. Meanwhile 78.9 per cent of graduates from new-generation universities such as the University of Central Queensland, and 80.1 per cent of regional university graduates, were in full-time employment.