Australian business schools are a significant part of the Australian university sector.

  • One-quarter of Australia’s university students study in Management or Commerce disciplines.1
  • Australian business schools represent six of the top 100 universities for economics and business in the Times Higher Education ranking3 and seven of the top 100 universities in the US News Global ranking2
  • Seven Australian business schools are listed in the top 200 (or two percent) of universities worldwide in economics and business — the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 4

ABDC President, Professor Keryn Chalmers, on the some of the challenges faced by Australian business schools. 

Australian business school graduates are in demand.

  • 74.3% of undergraduate business and management students had gained full-time employment in 20205
  • In a longitudinal study of business and management undergraduate students, 79.3% of business and management undergraduates were employed in 2017, increasing to 92.9% in 20206
  • Australian business postgraduate students, compared to other postgraduate students, are more likely to gain full-time employment and earn the highest starting salaries four months after graduation7
  • Australian business and accounting students, compared to other students, are more likely to have secured full-time employment before graduating with a bachelor’s degree (at 23% and 30% respectively compared to 17% for all graduates)8

Australian business schools contribute significantly to the third largest export industry (and largest export service industry) in Australia.

  • Business schools graduate more than one third of the international university students in Australia 
  • International education is Australia’s third largest export10 and largest service export valued  at $37.5 billion in 2018-19.

Australian business school graduates greatly contribute to Australian leadership and economic growth.

More than two-thirds of Australia’s top 50 CEOs have a business qualification with:

  • Two in five holding an undergraduate business degree
  • One in five holding an MBA11

Subject Rankings

Accounting and Finance

  • 15 Australian universities are in the top 200 QS rankings for Accounting and Finance12

Business and Management 

  • 13 Australian universities are in the top 300 QS rankings for Business and Management13
  • 6 Australian universities are the in top 100 QS rankings for business and management

Economics and Econometrics

  • 18 Australian universities are in the top 350 QS rankings for Economics and econometrics14
  • 5 Australian universities are in the top 100 QS rankings for economics and econometrics

[1] Australian Government, Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Selected Higher Education Statistics. 2019 student data

[2] US News Best Global Universities Ranking for Economics and Business

[3] 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject: business and economics

[4] Academic Ranking of Work Universities, ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 – Business Administration

[5] QILT 2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey Results

[6] QILT 2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey Results – Longitudinal Results

[7] QS Global 250 Business Schools Report 2017.

[8] Graduate Careers Australia (GCA), Beyond Graduation 2015, p.19 and p.21. (Calculations are for four months after graduation and for ‘management and commerce’ versus the median for all disciplines at postgraduate level, equating to $18,000 more at $92,000 and increasing to $110,000 three years later).

[9] Department of Education and Training, ‘Completion Count by ‘Management and Commerce’ Field of Education, Higher Education Statistics Data Cube (uCube) 2015 – 56% of all university completions by overseas students in 2015 were from a management, commerce or economics discipline. This figure equals completion figures for management and commerce,

[10] Australian Bureau of Statistics International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Dec 2018

[11] Suncorp Bank, ‘Power Index‘, August 2012. Survey of the CEOs of the 50 largest ASX-listed companies. 68% have a business qualification; 40% have an undergraduate business degree and 22% hold an MBA.




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