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EY Australia

  • #2 in Accounting & advisory
  • > 100,000 employees
  • Accounting & Advisory
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Management Consulting
  • Technology

What it does: One of the ‘Big Four’ global professional services organisations  

Staff stats: 284,000 spread across more than 700 offices in 150 countries

The good bits: Opportunities to learn, network, grow and move around within a huge company

The not so good bits: Long hours, especially during busy periods, bureaucracy

Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Law & Legal Studies; Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Medical & Health Sciences; Property & Built Environment; Teaching, Education & Human Welfare.

The EY story

What’s now EY started off in 1849 with the founding of Harding & Pullein in England. Since then what’s now EY has gone through several iterations. In 1989, Ernst & Whinney, a descendant of Harding & Pullein and the world’s fourth-largest accountancy firm, merged with the world’s fifth-largest accountancy firm, Arthur Young, to create Ernst & Young. (In 2013 the name got shortened to EY).    

EY’s main service lines are assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. In contrast to its three major competitors, EY is not centrally managed. Rather it is organised into four regions: EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa), Americas, Asia-Pacific and Japan. Each region has the same business structure and its own Area Managing Partner. EY believes this arrangement allows it to more effective service its global clientele.

The company has annual revenues in the neighbourhood of US$30 billion. It now numbers among its clients the Pope, who hired the firm in 2013 to help sort out the Vatican’s finances.

The culture

In 2019, EY came in at number nine on GradAustralia’s list of Top 100 Graduate Employers. Over the years, EY has won a trophy cabinet worth of awards for being a great place to work from publications such as Forbes, BusinessWeek, Fortune and ComputerWorld. It’s also been lavished with recognition for its initiatives to further gender equality, disability inclusion and LGBTI advocacy.

In 2018, EY Australia won employer of the year at the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) awards and is now listed as a Platinum Employer.

Social contribution

EY has a well-earned reputation as a good corporate citizen. It backs programs such as Entrepreneurial Winning Women and Strategic Growth Forum that, respectively, provide encouragement to high-potential female entrepreneurs and facilitate entrepreneurs from around the world meeting up to share their experiences. It also supports education and mentorship programs and environmental efforts. EY’s people are encouraged to engage in skills-based volunteering with this classified as a “key professional development experience”.

The recruitment process

You’ll require a bachelor degree in an appropriate discipline with at least a pass average. EY recruits students from many different degree backgrounds including accounting and finance, business, commerce, economics, engineering, IT and information systems, law and science. Those with psychology and HR degrees are encouraged to apply for the People Advisory Services team.

The process begins by going to the company website to fill out an online application and undertake cognitive and behavioural testing. The next step is to attend an assessment centre to undertake a group activity and interview. (Expect to have to deal with case-study scenarios and demonstrate industry knowledge). Before applying you will need to choose to work in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin or Sydney.


Remuneration is on par with the other ‘Big Four’ graduate programs, with salaries in the $50-70,000 range. There are attractive leave arrangements, including generous parental leave, the ability to purchase up to six weeks of extra annual leave and the option to take three months’ unpaid leave to enjoy a ‘career break’. There are flexible working arrangements and discounts on an extensive range of goods and services. EY will pay for or subsidise training and professional memberships. It also has a well-resourced health and wellbeing program that includes free flu shots and cheap gym memberships.

Career prospects

Senior people are encouraged to mentor less experienced people and there’s no shortage of formal and on-the-job training. Although you’ll have to stay in Australia for the duration of your graduate program, there are opportunities to work with people from around the world. Given the size of the business, there are always job opportunities coming up both domestically and internationally. EY sees its greatest asset being “high-performing teams”. If you’re a high performer you can expect to rise through the ranks from a graduate, to senior manager to partner.    

The vibe of the place

Being one of 284,000 people in one of the world’s largest businesses means you have to deal with bureaucracy. That noted, EY does what it can to make its people feel valued, in particular by providing the training and coaching they need to advance their careers. It’s a high-performance culture but teamwork is encouraged and most people find the workplace friendly and supportive.

Overall satisfaction rating among grad employees: 3.8 stars

From the Employer:

Share in our purpose and see the world through the lens of better

Would you like to work side-by-side with the entrepreneurs, game-changers, disrupters and visionaries of tomorrow? At Would you like to work side-by-side with the entrepreneurs, game-changers, disrupters and visionaries of tomorrow? At EY, you can.

Just imagine every day you could play a part in the rise and success of the world’s greatest companies, as well as maintain the foundations of economic stability and growth. By helping the best in the business to innovate, you’ll be building on their legacy and creating a better working world.

At EY we’ll encourage you to do all this and more. Here the scale of your impact is matched only by the scope of your ambition. We’ll help you to develop the mindsets to ask and answer the most challenging questions posed by unrelenting disruption and unlimited innovation.

Take control of your career

Whether your future lies in Assurance, Tax, Transactions or Advisory, we’ll provide the learning, experiences and coaching you need to become a successful professional.

At EY, there is no one path for everyone. You’re encouraged to create a path that reflects your individual talents and aspirations. We’ll work with you to help you succeed professionally and personally. With EY you can influence the future of your career, the businesses you work with and even the world you live in.

Your exceptional EY experience begins here.

As a Cadet, you’ll combine work with university studies. It takes drive and commitment, but we’ll provide you with the support you need to succeed.

Our exclusive Game Changers Club will show you it’s never too early to explore how your skills could build into a career as you attend various EY events throughout the year.

Our Career Compass Program offers you a unique learning experience that will help you make smart decisions about your professional career.

Our Vacationer Program is a great way to experience the working world during your summer (or winter) holidays. Show us what you’re capable of and you may be invited to join us after graduation in a full-time position.

Our Graduate Program will put your knowledge to the test. Build your technical skills. Join us full-time as a graduate and you’ll get early responsibility, support and training.


Graduate Review

Overall score based on 31 reviews
Office Work Environment
Office Work Environment
  • The people and the opportunities for growth. We are known as the 'friendly firm' and it couldn't be more true. Our people are also made great because of the incredible mentoring programs we have embedded into our culture. There is also so much opportunity to move around in the company and challenge yourself. It's made clear that your career here is whatever you want it to be.
  • Global network, unlimited access to online training, emphasis on personal development.
  • The people Lots of social events.
  • Working with people from all different backgrounds on engagements that benefit society.
  • Range of experiences.
  • Big employer = hard to navigate takes a while to build your own brand.
  • Long hours, pressure.
  • It can be quite disempowering and impersonal, and you often do not have a say in the engagements or projects that you work on; and are allocated into long term projects with little consultation.
  • Being shared across ACG and not being able to focus more on interest areas.
  • I feel like there is nothing distinguishing it from its competitors. Also working for such a big company gives me the impression that I'm not making any real impact. I also can't relate to most of the company - my team is too specialised.