Australian University IT Courses Compared

Australian University IT Courses Compared

If you’re studying IT at university, chances are you’re thinking of it as a career path. Which university courses in Australia see their graduates get the most jobs, and which courses have the highest satisfaction rating? Data from the newly-launched My University site gives us some indications.

Picture by Katykat

Like any top-level summary, the data from the My University site needs to be treated with caution (this post at The Conversation is a handy summary of some of the issues involved). It certainly shouldn’t be the sole basis for choosing where you study, but it can help with the decision.

In the table below, we’ve listed the data for all universities which list computing and information systems as one of their study areas on the site. For each area, we’ve included the overall satisfaction rating (SR); the retention rate (RR, which indicates what proportion of students end up dropping IT studies); the number of starting students in those courses (SS, which is one indicator of the scale of the IT faculty); and graduate employment percentages for the institution (FTE). The graduate employment figures only cover what happens four months out from the end of a course and cover the entire university, so they don’t necessarily indicate your long-term career prospects.

You can click on the column headings to filter or sort results.

The My University site contains additional data on each university and allows you to compare campuses, so once you’ve selected any candidates, it’s definitely worth digging in for additional information. And feel free to share your own university IT course experiences in the comments.

My University


  • for the univerisities that I’m familliar with, SR is pretty funny. I’m surprised to hear that anyone is particularly satisfied with the IT experience at USQ/USC and astonished to see them that far ahead of UQ/Griffiths/QUT.

    The majority of grads who I feel are employable in south east queensland (based on the ones who apply for operational IT/application development roles in that come across my desk)certainly seem to come out of QUT.That’s generally the feeling of the vast majority of CIO/CTO/IT Recruiter types in Queensland who I’ve spoken too.

    • Are you kidding me? I graduate Queensland University of Technology this semester, and frankly it wasn’t worth my money.
      Final year subjects, and you ask your peers what skills they have, and most can generally only answer with “documentation”; that’s because every class is about writing reports rather than learning practical technical skills.
      I am “specialising” (as a major doesn’t even exist in IT at QUT) in Digital Environments, and QUT is horrible for Web Design/Development lectures; two out of three classes I took for this specialisation were majorly out of date (one example being that one lead lecture for unit-coordinator was still teaching that coding entire sites with tables was still acceptable (not tables on sites, but the header, footer, sidebar, etc).
      If I had known that QUT would be this bad prior to going, I wouldn’t have gone at all.

      • I need to be employing more QUT grads then. I’m astonished by IT graduates that can’t document software development, do project plans, write reports for clients etc. Documentation and report writing is a critical skill in the IT field. Anyone that thinks you can just code away and not document your work for others that need to maintain it later or need to know why you have made design decisions is just native. Its only a number of years in the industry that teaches this to graduates. Good on QUT for focusing on some of these “non-technical” skills in IT, it makes a much more rounded IT person.

  • I can vouch for the Central Institute of Technology (WA). They have great lecturers who always have time to explain on a one-to-one basis if you didn’t get it first time around. The IT course I did (Web Develeopment) was very well planned and had a good spread of units. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

  • I’m not sure how reliable those numbers are. Looking at my alma mater – University of Newcastle – it lists an SS of 166. From looking at their website they have 6 different degrees which could be considered IT. That makes less than 30 in each course! When I attended the main Computer Science course had around 120+ starting students and my own degree course (which was only 3 years old so still attracting entrants) had a record 31 students in first year. The numbers don’t seem to be adding up for me.

  • The low figures for Bond are very unusual. I graduated from Bond in Law/IT in 2010 and I’m sure student satisfaction was a lot higher than 60%. To be sure it wasn’t perfect (they taught Java – bleurgh), but anyone with an issue or who couldn’t understand something just dropped in to see the lecturer 1 on 1. They also introduced new courses (IT security) on request.

    I wonder who they actually surveyed for this – I expect from the N/A retention rate they didn’t actually survey IT students, but students from any faculty who took the core IT class (general ‘how to use word & excel).

    I’d highly recommend Bond for IT, especially as a double degree with something else, but keep in mind they don’t offer a Computer Science course, so you have to teach yourself assembler in your own time.

  • These league tables are always a bit of risk. For example comparing the three universities in SA we get Adelaide and flinders having higher student satisfaction (by a small margin) than university of south Australia. However university of south Australia has a higher graduate employment outcome. So It looks like unisa is more focused on student outcomes (eg getting a job) than making the graduates happy at lecture time. I personally have attended both flinders and unisa and preference is unisa as it feels more applied job ready.

    The other thing to be careful about is what does the range mean in context of the percentage is there much difference in student satisfaction between 75% and 85% on the ground when your there?

  • I’m surprised at the relatively low ranking of RMIT. Not that I’m a student (Monash university myself), but the general perception down in Victoria among individuals wanting to go into IT is for RMIT for its strong practical focus and proximity to many It companies.

    Monash Uni is geared slightly more towards the scientific side of IT, especially on the main Clayton campus. Bearing in mind I’m completing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science so that may very well explain the skew.

    Personally, I’ve found Monash Uni to be a great uni in general and not just for IT.

    • To be honest with you, I’m not surprised at all by the low score for RMIT. I’m currently studying an Associate Degree with them and so far in my first year I’ve had;

      – Lecturers lie to me
      – Lecturers not showing up to classes
      – No support from admin/course coordinators or managers
      – Class rooms with nowhere near enough computers
      – Terrible infrastructure

      It is a constant uphill battle, and I’m seriously considering writing a formal complaint to the head of RMIT, and posting an article in the local newspapers.

      A hand-written programming exam in the first semester?

      Safe to say I’ll be leaving this course and looking elsewhere.

      • I just saw this now – but having graduated a few years back and looking back, hand-written programming exams are actually not bad. They’re more geared at logic and process and less-so about syntax. If they’re marking you down for language-specific syntax, then that’s a bit shitty.

  • I would like to know more about how FTE is calculated – and if there are any other metrics that universities collect that relate to their course, their graduates, and the employers who hire their graduates?
    If universities can improve their relationship with employers, it means that the quality of their courses (and their reputation) goes up – and encourage graduates in the workforce to go back to universities to keep up to date.

  • Which uni you choose (assuming you have the high school marks to choose any) depends on if you want a more technical or theoretical perspective to your degree. The group of eight (Go8) unis are very strong on providing a theoretic foundation to IT. Here “learning to learn” is the motto. The former TAFE unis e.g. QUT, RMIT tend to focus more on practical IT skils and even sometimes give you industry qualifications along the way e.g. Cisco CCNA. The Go8 unis are good if you want to be a generalist or continue onto a further academic studies. The technical unis are good if you want to be a technical specailist.

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