Australian Psychology Learning and Teaching

First Roundtable for 2024

Title: Understanding Industry Demand for Australia’s Psychology Graduates

Summary: In this project we wanted to answer the question of where Psychology students can work after graduating, particularly those who exit at the 3-year degree. Together with our ANU collaborators, we analysed more than five million job ads using Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to identify job roles suitable for psychology graduates. Our analysis shows that graduates of the undergraduate Psychology degree have a wide range of unique skills and knowledge that are explicitly needed and wanted in whole variety of industries, not just the health sector, and allowed us to pinpoint those jobs right down to job titles. Our approach, in which we mapped jobs which asked for the underlying skills of Psychology graduates, identified a wide range of jobs suitable for graduates straight out of the three-year degree, and also those jobs that would be a good fit for Psychology graduates after additional training or experience. Potential job roles spanned nearly every industry, from health to education, business to social professions, science, IT and design, and included jobs where are Psychology graduates are unlikely to be currently sought after as potential employees due to assumptions about what they can do.

These findings can be used to help potential students, current students and graduates to be confident in their decision to pursue a Psychology degree and have a better understanding of how they can apply their skills in the real world once they graduate – we have created specific educational materials for those teaching Psychology degrees to help them use our findings to do this. In addition to clarifying current misconceptions about Psychology courses and related careers among graduates, employers and the general population, we hope the project findings will spearhead a rethink of job search training for Psychology students and graduates, support new internships and work-integrated learning, and help universities build new relationships with potential employers.