Graduate Outcome Survey of an Australian Postgraduate Dietetics Program’

Rachel BACON, Mary Nyamayaro, Jane KELLETT

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Posterpeer-review


National dietetics workforce data is incomplete and graduate outcome surveys may not provide meaningful data for small dietetics programs. This research aims to measure the graduate employment outcomes for an Australian postgraduate dietetics program and to identify graduate course recommendation to enhance employability. A convenience sample from the 107 2010–2015 graduates was recruited to participate in a 32‐item (18 closed; 14 open) telephone survey in September 2016. All researchers reviewed the survey to maximise content validity and feasibility. A descriptive approach was used for all data analysis with open questions categorised and counted. Of the 40/49 respondents 98% (n = 39) were female and under 35 years. Within six months 95%, n = 38 of graduates were working as dietitians (x = 30 hours/week; standard deviation = 9). Employment included private practice (45%, n = 19), hospitals (22%, n = 10), community and public health (20%, n = 9), government (15%, n = 6), food service (5%, n = 2) and non‐dietetics roles (5%, n = 2), with 13%, n = 5) working in multiple positions. Graduates identified varied placement settings (60%, n = 24); supportive teaching practices (55%, n = 22) and group work (23%, n = 9) increased their employability. Increased emphasis on communication competencies and an additional four‐week internship was warranted. Recommendations included the addition of more business, management, marketing and innovative technology skills, and increased familiarisation with employer recruitment practices. This research suggests that graduates are being successful in creating their own employment opportunities. It also supports the use of a broader range of placement settings and a review of curricula that aligns with current practice contexts
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Event34th National Conference Dietitians Association of Australia: Cultivating Fresh Evidence - Hobart, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 18 May 201720 May 2017


Conference34th National Conference Dietitians Association of Australia


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