Vocational education and training (VET) graduates with STEM qualifications report on outcomes after completing their education.
VET graduate outcomes
Compare income, employment outcomes and training relevance for women and men with qualifications in STEM fields, non-STEM fields and health fields over different years.
In 2020, many women STEM graduates of vocational education and training (VET) reported their training to have some or high relevance to their jobs.
- All STEM (56%, compared to 78% of men)
- Agriculture, environmental and related studies (61%, compared to 81% of men)
- Engineering and related technologies (69%, compared to 81% of men)
- Natural and physical sciences (57%, compared to 61% of men)
- Information technology (56%, compared to 49% of men)
For comparison, approximately 75% of women and men who graduated across all VET fields of education reported that their training was relevant to their job.
The largest gap between women and men, in ‘Agriculture, environmental and related studies’, widened to 20 percentage points from 16 percentage points in 2019.
In 2020, the proportion of women and men who found their training relevant to their work dropped from 2019, in all STEM fields. However, the drop in some fields was small. For example ‘Engineering and related technologies’ results fell by 2 percentage points for women, 3 percentage points for men.
Improved employment outcomes
In 2020, a smaller percentage of women than men reported that they improved their employment outcomes (through gained employment or employment at higher skill level) after graduating from all VET STEM fields (45% for women, 61% for men). However, outcomes were similar for women and men in ‘Information technology’ (1 percentage point gap) and ‘Natural and physical sciences’ (2 percentage point gap).
Women (and men) who graduated from ‘Information technology’ reported the lowest improvement in their employment outcomes. This was also the case in 2019. In 2020, only 31% of women who completed ‘Information technology’ VET courses reported improved employment outcomes.
For comparison, over 50% of women and men reported improved employment outcomes in ‘Engineering and related technologies’ and ‘Agricultural, environmental and related studies’.
Across all VET courses, 54% of women and 58% of men reported improved employment outcomes in 2020.
In 2020, women who graduated from VET STEM courses and entered the full-time workforce earned a lower median income than men in:
- Agriculture, environmental and related studies ($47,000, $5000 less than men)
- Engineering and related technologies ($56,000, $8000 less than men)
- Natural and physical sciences ($45,000, $12,000 less than men)
When considering all STEM fields together, women’s median income was $52,000, which was $11,000 less than men.
However, women earned a higher median income than men after graduating from ‘Information technology’, earning $59,000 ($7,000 more than men). This contrasts to 2019 when women earned $52,000 and men earned $53,000 in this field.
For people entering the workforce from all VET fields of education, the median full-time annual income was $52,000 for women and $65,000 for men.
About the data
Students of vocational education in Australia take the National Student Outcomes Survey the year after they graduate.
The survey collects information on VET students’ reasons for training, their employment outcomes, satisfaction with training and further study outcomes. The survey data in the visualisation covers students awarded a qualification (graduates) who have an Australian residential address.
Income values have been rounded and are presented as medians. Margins of error may impact results.
Read more about our methodology and this data