University of Wollongong students have a better-than-average chance of securing a job quickly, and a well-paid one at that.
The university ranks extremely well in the 2013 Good Universities Guide released on Friday, gaining five stars in a number of key areas including "getting a job" and "graduate starting salary".
The guide shows that in every field of study offered by UOW, students have an average, or better-than-average, starting salary compared with the rest of the nation's graduates.
For instance, engineering graduates are among the best paid in the country, with an average starting salary of $64,377 compared with an already strong national average of $52,575.
UOW graduates also are more likely to get a job quickly. For example, the guide shows that only 14 per cent of its business and management graduates are still seeking full-time, first-time employment four months after graduation - compared to the national average where 29 per cent are still job seeking.
The rankings were welcomed by UOW students, with engineering students in particular happy to hear that their hard work would eventually pay off.
"I'd be happy with that starting salary," mechanical engineering student Matt McCann said.
"I chose this university because I'm local [from Kanahooka] and because the engineering faculty has a great reputation, and it hasn't disappointed."
Nick Minehan is also in the second year of his mechanical engineering degree.
"It's a pretty difficult degree so I'm pleased to hear there's some reward for the amount of work you do," he said.
"Plus most students will have a pretty big course debt to pay off at the end, so a good salary will help get rid of that."
UOW was the only university in this year's guide to achieve five stars for each of the six student-centred categories, which include "positive graduate outcomes", "teaching quality", "generic skills" and "graduate satisfaction".
It also received five stars for "staff qualifications" and four stars for "student demand", "research grants" and "research intensivity".
Under the independent guide's ranking system, only the top 20 per cent of universities can be awarded a five-star rating in any one category.
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor John Patterson said faculty staff, and the university's careers service, worked to ensure graduates had good job prospects.
"Our faculties are here to award degrees, but they also try to give students portfolios and the skills to show off those portfolios to get them into employment," he said. "For instance, our education faculty uses current and retired school principals to conduct mock interviews with students before they have to face the real thing, and these kinds of initiatives exist in all faculties.
"We've again ranked well in all categories, and it just reinforces that we are doing something right."