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Graduate Jobs in Canberra (ACT)

Find the best Graduate Jobs in Canberra (ACT)

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That Requires a Degree In
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Graduate Job, Internship

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Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
L
Law, Legal Studies & Justice
4.5

Graduate Job, Internship

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Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
4.4
  • Closing in 3 days

Graduate Job

Mainfreight Australia is currently looking for enthusiastic university graduates to join our thriving team.
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
Applications Open
3 Feb 2020
Applications Close
21 Feb 2020
Start Date
ASAP
Minimum Salary
$55,000
Maximum Salary
$59,999
3.6

Graduate Job

Win the trip of a lifetime to Las Vegas! Schneider Electric is on the lookout for bold ideas that can shape the future o…
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
Applications Close
28 Feb 2020
Start Date
Ongoing

Graduate Job

As Associates of Strategy&, you will provide support on client assignments, helping to develop and execute strategie…
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
Applications Open
17 Feb 2020
Applications Close
1 Mar 2020
Start Date
Ongoing

Graduate Job

KPMG 2021 Graduate Program Applications OPEN NOW!
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
Applications Open
10 Feb 2020
Applications Close
6 Mar 2020

Graduate Job

PwC will help you create the career you want, where you can confidently tap into your passions and do more with your deg…
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
Applications Open
17 Feb 2020
Applications Close
15 Mar 2020
Start Date
Ongoing

Graduate Job

Digital disruption, next-gen technologies, and big ideas are our play space – and we’re inviting you to join us!
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
Applications Open
10 Feb 2020
Applications Close
16 Mar 2020
Start Date
1 Feb 2021

Graduate Job

Where do you start if you want to change the world? You start right here.
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
Applications Open
17 Feb 2020
Applications Close
26 Mar 2020
Start Date
Ongoing

Graduate Job

ASIO’s Technologist Graduate Program (TGP) is aimed at graduating university students who want a technical career with a…
Hiring Graduates with Degrees In
E
Engineering & Mathematics
I
IT & Computer Science
S
Sciences
Applications Open
3 Feb 2020
Applications Close
30 Mar 2020
Start Date
1 Jan 2021

Graduate Jobs in Canberra (ACT) overview

Graduate Jobs in Canberra

Australia’s capital city might be small, but it’s also a leader in providing in-demand job opportunities for graduates. Thousands of people move to Canberra every year, many of them jobseekers who have just completed their studies. Thanks to this influx of young people, the median age of Canberra residents is lower than the rest of the country.

Canberra is a meticulously planned city, resulting in suburbs connected by strategic roads and beautiful parklands. Commuting times are generally within 20 minutes or less, and there are over 2,400 km of dedicated bicycle trails and lanes.

Canberra is able to offer a range of job opportunities unavailable anywhere else due to its position as the seat of government, but they can be difficult to secure. Positions in the Australian Public Service graduate programs, for example, are highly competitive. Bigger departments can receive as many as 2,000 applicants for only 30 graduate positions. While there are fewer opportunities in terms of numbers, the jobs that do exist are often lucrative and ideal for kick-starting a graduate career.

Graduate jobs in Canberra

Canberra hosts 1.9% of all graduate employment opportunities in Australia, but these jobs create 2.22% of income earned in the country due to the higher salaries on offer than the opportunities available in other parts of Australia. 3.6% of all Australian graduates looking for work will find it in the ACT. Canberra’s main sectors are public administration and safety, with the head of most Australian Public Service agencies located in the city, as well as a number of Australian Defence Force institutions.

Figure 1: Number of employing businesses in Canberra vs other Australian cities

What is the job market outlook for graduate jobs in Canberra?

Figure 2: Employment status of graduates with bachelor degrees in Canberra

91% of graduates who hold a bachelor-level degree have found employment in Canberra, 73% of all graduates have found full-time work. However, it’s worth taking into consideration that the low number of unemployed graduates could be due to many job-seekers coming from another area and only moving to Canberra once employment is secured.

Five-year outlook

Figure 3: Canberra annual growth rates vs other cities in Australia

Canberra’s growth rate is fairly low when compared to other major cities in Australia. At 6.1%, only Hobart and Adelaide have a lower growth rate and Canberra is predicted to grow at a speed well below the national average of 8.3%. Utilities and mining have experienced a negative growth rate, offsetting the growth in the accommodation and food service industries, as well as healthcare and social assistance.

Figure 4: Annual growth rate across industries in Canberra

Graduate unemployment rates in Canberra

Figure 5: Unemployment rates in Canberra vs other cities in Australia

Canberra has a slightly lower unemployment rate for both youth and the general population than the Australian average. However, the rate of graduate unemployment is the lowest in the country, well below the national average of 11.3%. Once again, the low rate of unemployment is probably largely due to the lower numbers of people moving to Canberra without having first secured a position.

Figure 6: Graduate unemployment rates in ACT vs other locations in Australia

What are the typical roles for graduates in Canberra?

GradAustralia surveyed graduates, and the five most common job titles in Canberra are:

  • Policy officer
  • Patent examiner
  • Consultant
  • Graduate officer
  • Performance Analyst

The Australian government and the ACT government are the biggest graduate employers in the city, taking graduates from a range of disciplines,  including management, intelligence, environmental management, international relations, law, business, engineering, science and HR.

What salary should I expect for graduate jobs in Canberra?

Median and mean employee income in Canberra

Canberra has the highest median and means employee incomes in Australia, significantly higher than the Australian mean of $58,011 and median of $46,999. Canberra employees earn a median of $62,618, with a mean income of $68,084. The mean income is 8.7% higher than the median earnings, suggesting that graduate jobs in Canberra offer higher wages in general, but that there are a number of positions available with high earning potential.

Figure 7: Median and mean employee income in Canberra compared with other capital cities

Median graduate starting salaries

Figure 8: ACT median graduate starting salary vs other states/territories

Graduates in the ACT earn $4,000 more per year than the national average, with only graduates who secure positions in the Northern Territory earning more on average. In Canberra itself, starting salaries for graduates can be significantly higher. The disciplines that earn the most are law and the sciences, while health and medical sciences start out on a lower salary. That being said, the average salary for someone entering the health and medical science industry in Canberra is still significantly higher than the median graduate starting salary figures for the ACT.

Figure 9: Average graduate starting salary by discipline in Canberra

What working hours should I expect in Canberra?

Figure 10: Average hours worked per week by graduates in Canberra

While just under 80% of graduates in Canberra say they work 40 or fewer hours per week, there are a number of people who work far more. A further 21% work more than 40 hours, with a small percentage of graduates stating they average between 70-80 hours a week. While these positions might be in the minority, it’s worth considering that the competitiveness of many graduate jobs in Canberra, as well as the higher salaries, might call for an increased work week when compared to other major Australian cities. In general graduate positions in Canberra actually offer a shorter average number of working hours when compared to many locations around the country, one of the advantages of working for the government.

Figure 11: Average work hours per week for graduates in Canberra compared with other cities

Job satisfaction for graduates in Canberra

When asked to rate their job satisfaction out of 10, the average graduate working in Canberra scored their satisfaction at 8.5. That makes Canberra third last out of all the Australian major cities, although Canberra graduates are level with the national average for job satisfaction.

Figure 12: Average job satisfaction score in Canberra vs other cities

Diversity

Figure 13: Average diversity score in Canberra vs other cities

In GradAustralia's survey of Australian graduates, Canberra rated well for diversity, ranking in the top half of Australian cities and just slightly higher than the national average.  

Gender diversity

The ACT is the only state or territory in Australia where, on average, females are likely to start on a higher wage than their male counterparts. A female graduate in the ACT has an average starting salary of around $59,000, which is $6,000 more than the national average for female graduates. At $56,000, male graduates in the ACT will earn only $1,000 more than the average starting wage for male graduates across Australia. Only the Northern Territory pays female graduates a higher average starting salary, whereas men are likely to earn more on average if they start a job in the Northern Territory or Western Australia.

Figure 14: Median graduate starting salary for males and females in ACT vs other states

Where to find graduate jobs in Canberra

Positions in the lucrative Australian Public Service graduate programs in Canberra are highly competitive. The process of applying takes around eight months and is not a typical job application, involving role-playing and psychometric tests, as well as interviews.

The most sought-after employers in Canberra include:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • CSIRO
  • Departments of Agriculture, Defence, Education, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Health, Social Services, and Prime Minister and Cabinet

When looking for graduate jobs, keep an eye on new listings on the GradAustralia website, and consider attending a graduate careers fair. Tertiary to Work provides opportunities to students of all disciplines, usually held in March each year.

Universities also offer various career events to help you learn more about your graduate jobs and employers:

  • Australian National University offers: ANU Law Careers Fair, ANU Science Society Careers Fair, and others.
  • The University of Canberra offers an event called Employer Connect.

Many employers also offer ‘entry-level’ jobs that are not specifically advertised as ‘graduate’ jobs. Keep an eye out for these on job boards such as SEEK.

Other options for recent graduates in Canberra

If you're set on gaining a position in Canberra but still not sure what you want to do, or if you haven't had any luck locking down a graduate job, you might want to consider:

Lastly, if you’re not sure if moving to Canberra is the right path for you, check out our comprehensive moving guide.

Advice for Graduate Jobs in Canberra (ACT)


Top tips from Graduates of KPMG

Graduates of KPMG share tips on the graduate application process.

Insider tips to get hired at Boston Consulting Group

What does it take to get a graduate job at one of the most coveted consulting firms in Australia?

How to make a lasting impression in the first minute

Whether it is the first few minutes of an interview or meeting an employer at a career fair, coming up with a quick and …

Our top 15 insider tips for getting a graduate job at CommBank

GradAustralia surveyed recent graduates and spoke to the recruitment manager at CommBank to bring you the top tips for a…

5 insider tips for DFAT grad program applications

GradAustralia surveyed recent graduates at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to bring you the top five essenti…

Who's who in a consulting firm

‘But isn’t everyone who works in consulting called a consultant?’

Top tips from Graduates of KPMG

Graduates of KPMG share tips on the graduate application process.

Insider tips to get hired at Boston Consulting Group

What does it take to get a graduate job at one of the most coveted consulting firms in Australia?

How to make a lasting impression in the first minute

Whether it is the first few minutes of an interview or meeting an employer at a career fair, coming up with a quick and …

Our top 15 insider tips for getting a graduate job at CommBank

GradAustralia surveyed recent graduates and spoke to the recruitment manager at CommBank to bring you the top tips for a…

5 insider tips for DFAT grad program applications

GradAustralia surveyed recent graduates at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to bring you the top five essenti…

Who's who in a consulting firm

‘But isn’t everyone who works in consulting called a consultant?’

Videos for Graduate Jobs in Canberra (ACT)


Graduate recruiter tips - In-person assessment

Here are some tips on our in-person assessment for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - Digital interview

Here are some tips on digital interview for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - Online assessment

Here are some tips on our online assessment for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - What we look for

Here are some tips on what we look for when hiring for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - How we hire

Here are some tips on how we hire for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - Preparing to apply

Here are some tips for you before you apply in 2020 for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - In-person assessment

Here are some tips on our in-person assessment for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - Digital interview

Here are some tips on digital interview for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - Online assessment

Here are some tips on our online assessment for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - What we look for

Here are some tips on what we look for when hiring for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - How we hire

Here are some tips on how we hire for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate recruiter tips - Preparing to apply

Here are some tips for you before you apply in 2020 for our Graduation and Vacation programs

Graduate Jobs in Canberra (ACT) Graduate Sucess Stories


  • Graduate stories
Knowing that I’m literally working towards (albeit in very small steps) making the world a better place, and working alongside like-minded colleagues makes for a rewarding job.

George Pass

  • Graduate stories
Knowing that I’m literally working towards (albeit in very small steps) making the world a better place, and working alongside like-minded colleagues makes for a rewarding job.

George Pass

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Set a small achievable goals for yourself along the way and aspire to learn something new every day.

Marina Zavaleeva

  • Graduate stories
Set a small achievable goals for yourself along the way and aspire to learn something new every day.

Marina Zavaleeva

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
There is a lot to learn and the best way to do this is by physically doing it yourself

Haydon Gassman

  • Graduate stories
There is a lot to learn and the best way to do this is by physically doing it yourself

Haydon Gassman

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
My advice would be to learn as much as you can from the people around you, see the best way to do and go about things but at the same time be proactive in trying to be involved and show your interest to demonstrate what you are capable of

Anthony Crucitti Page

  • Graduate stories
My advice would be to learn as much as you can from the people around you, see the best way to do and go about things but at the same time be proactive in trying to be involved and show your interest to demonstrate what you are capable of

Anthony Crucitti Page

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Having a positive team environment is very important as you work with the team for the duration of the project

Akshay Chudasama

  • Graduate stories
Having a positive team environment is very important as you work with the team for the duration of the project

Akshay Chudasama

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
The most surprising part is how much you can learn in a short amount of time, and how much I feel like I’ve made a contribution in the short time I’ve been in the NIAA

Jennifer Li

  • Graduate stories
The most surprising part is how much you can learn in a short amount of time, and how much I feel like I’ve made a contribution in the short time I’ve been in the NIAA

Jennifer Li

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Knowing that I’m literally working towards (albeit in very small steps) making the world a better place, and working alongside like-minded colleagues makes for a rewarding job.

George Pass

  • Graduate stories
Knowing that I’m literally working towards (albeit in very small steps) making the world a better place, and working alongside like-minded colleagues makes for a rewarding job.

George Pass

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Set a small achievable goals for yourself along the way and aspire to learn something new every day.

Marina Zavaleeva

  • Graduate stories
Set a small achievable goals for yourself along the way and aspire to learn something new every day.

Marina Zavaleeva

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
There is a lot to learn and the best way to do this is by physically doing it yourself

Haydon Gassman

  • Graduate stories
There is a lot to learn and the best way to do this is by physically doing it yourself

Haydon Gassman

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
My advice would be to learn as much as you can from the people around you, see the best way to do and go about things but at the same time be proactive in trying to be involved and show your interest to demonstrate what you are capable of

Anthony Crucitti Page

  • Graduate stories
My advice would be to learn as much as you can from the people around you, see the best way to do and go about things but at the same time be proactive in trying to be involved and show your interest to demonstrate what you are capable of

Anthony Crucitti Page

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Having a positive team environment is very important as you work with the team for the duration of the project

Akshay Chudasama

  • Graduate stories
Having a positive team environment is very important as you work with the team for the duration of the project

Akshay Chudasama

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
The most surprising part is how much you can learn in a short amount of time, and how much I feel like I’ve made a contribution in the short time I’ve been in the NIAA

Jennifer Li

  • Graduate stories
The most surprising part is how much you can learn in a short amount of time, and how much I feel like I’ve made a contribution in the short time I’ve been in the NIAA

Jennifer Li

Read full story

Graduate Jobs in Canberra (ACT) Day in the Life Stories


  • Day in the life

Jacob Ferguson

Jacob Ferguson studied Information Technology at the University of South Queensland and a Graduate at Accenture.
  • Day in the life

Jacob Ferguson

Jacob Ferguson studied Information Technology at the University of South Queensland and a Graduate at Accenture.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas studied Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Psychology at The Australian National University, and is now a Graduate at National Indigenous Australians Agency
  • Day in the life

Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas studied Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Psychology at The Australian National University, and is now a Graduate at National Indigenous Australians Agency
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Tristian Delroy

Tristian Delroy studied a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Day in the life

Tristian Delroy

Tristian Delroy studied a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Alexandra Lockhart

Alexandra Lockhart studied a Bachelor of English Literature and Laws at University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology and is an Adviser at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Day in the life

Alexandra Lockhart

Alexandra Lockhart studied a Bachelor of English Literature and Laws at University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology and is an Adviser at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Lachlan McDevitt

Lachlan McDevitt studied Bachelor of International Relations at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Day in the life

Lachlan McDevitt

Lachlan McDevitt studied Bachelor of International Relations at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Cassandra Heffernan

Cassandra Heffernan studied Master of Psychology (Organisational and Human Factors) and is a Human Systems Scientist at the Department of Defence.
  • Day in the life

Cassandra Heffernan

Cassandra Heffernan studied Master of Psychology (Organisational and Human Factors) and is a Human Systems Scientist at the Department of Defence.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Jacob Ferguson

Jacob Ferguson studied Information Technology at the University of South Queensland and a Graduate at Accenture.
  • Day in the life

Jacob Ferguson

Jacob Ferguson studied Information Technology at the University of South Queensland and a Graduate at Accenture.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas studied Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Psychology at The Australian National University, and is now a Graduate at National Indigenous Australians Agency
  • Day in the life

Amy Thomas

Amy Thomas studied Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Psychology at The Australian National University, and is now a Graduate at National Indigenous Australians Agency
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Tristian Delroy

Tristian Delroy studied a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Day in the life

Tristian Delroy

Tristian Delroy studied a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Alexandra Lockhart

Alexandra Lockhart studied a Bachelor of English Literature and Laws at University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology and is an Adviser at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Day in the life

Alexandra Lockhart

Alexandra Lockhart studied a Bachelor of English Literature and Laws at University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology and is an Adviser at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Lachlan McDevitt

Lachlan McDevitt studied Bachelor of International Relations at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Day in the life

Lachlan McDevitt

Lachlan McDevitt studied Bachelor of International Relations at Australian National University and is a Graduate at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Cassandra Heffernan

Cassandra Heffernan studied Master of Psychology (Organisational and Human Factors) and is a Human Systems Scientist at the Department of Defence.
  • Day in the life

Cassandra Heffernan

Cassandra Heffernan studied Master of Psychology (Organisational and Human Factors) and is a Human Systems Scientist at the Department of Defence.
Read full story