Andrew Carr asks if I can compare the skills mismatch of international and local students. To re-cap, a study of former overseas student migrants in 2006 found that:
18 months after their arrival found the skills match for former overseas students at the following levels: accounting 35%, business/commerce 5%, education 31%, engineering 23%, IT 35%, law 50%, nursing 90%.
I can’t get a direct matching comparison but there are surveys relating to this issue.
The Graduate Destinations Survey (summary results are free), which surveys graduates about four months after completion, now has a question which asks about the link between the graduate’s qualification and their main paid job (it’s only asked of those in full-time work, so I will put in brackets the percentage still looking for full-time work). The answers combine those who answered either a ‘formal requirement’ or ‘important’:
Accounting 81% (15%), Business 62% (23%), Education 90% (22%), Engineering 73% – 95% depending on sub-field (8-22%), Computer Science 65% (20%), Law 78% (12%), Nursing 96% (4%).
I should note that 2009 was the worst year since 1997 for initial graduate employment.
The new Beyond Graduation survey, for graduates 3-4 years out, asked them whether they were in employment relevant to their long-term career goals. Of course this may not be related to their original qualification, so with that caveat and limited by their use of broad fields of study:
Management and commerce 80%, Education 89%, Engineering 82%, IT 75%, Health 89%.
So overall local graduates do appear to be doing better in getting a match with their skills.
One additional point that I should have noted in the original post: in the statistical analysis of the 2006 results by far the most important variable in explaining which migrants were successful in the labour market and which were not was their English language proficiency. English requirements were subsequently increased, and so if the study was repeated we would probably see improved employment outcomes.