Updating Results

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE)

3.9
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

About Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE)

  • Education & Training
  • Government & Public Service

What it does: Oversees Australia’s education and employment systems

Staff stats: Around 3600

The good bits: Engaging work, friendly colleagues

The not so good bits: Bureaucratic procedures

Hiring grads with degrees in: all degree disciplines

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment story

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment was established in February 2020 when the Department of Education was consolidated with several functions from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

As the name suggests, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, known by the acronym DESE, is responsible for the policies and programs that ensure Australians can access quality education, skills and employment and the wellbeing and economic benefits they provide. Our primary focus is to equip Australians – at all life and career stages – with knowledge, skills and attributes to live well, thrive at work and contribute to community life.

Departmental staff can find themselves doing many different things; from evaluating educational services; preparing and reskilling the future workforce; and helping people find, keep, create or change jobs to enjoy fulfilling careers. The department has committed to using a strong evidence base as the underlying basis for the development and implementation of effective education, skills and employment policies.  

The department is led by a Secretary, who reports to the Minister for Education and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. The department is structured into six main groups, each headed up by a deputy secretary. These are: Corporate and Enabling Services; Early Childhood and Childcare; Schools; Higher Education, Research and International; Skills and Training; and Employment.

The culture

Our culture is important to us and underpins how we work. DESE strives for a culture that positions us with the right capability, passion and pride to make a difference in delivering education and employment outcomes, which enable all Australians to thrive.

Like many employers, DESE is committed to diversity and inclusion. Our commitment is demonstrated by the size and presence of our employee-led networks. These networks, which focus on disability, LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, gender equality, and cultural heritage, ­are very active and work towards strengthening our workplace inclusiveness. DESE is a member of Pride in Diversity, Diversity Council Australia and Australian Network on Disability.

DESE also has a strong commitment to reconciliation and is improving employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the use of the Affirmative Measures – Indigenous recruitment process, and investment in professional development opportunities. To support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff we have the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network, and an Indigenous Liaison Officer.

DESE encourages people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, mature-age people, people with disability, and other job seekers regardless of their sex, sexuality or gender identity to apply.

Social contribution

You will have the opportunity to help support local charitable organisations through involvement in the Graduate Fundraising Committee.

The recruitment process

People with any degree awarded in the last five years are welcome to apply for the department’s graduate program.

The department seeks to attract enthusiastic and motivated people, who are passionate and want to make a difference to the lives of all Australians.

The ten-month program runs from February to December and is based at our national office location, in Canberra. The Program offers several career pathways including Legal, Corporate (Finance and Human Resources), ICT, Data, Economics and Generalist. Please refer to the department’s website for further information about the career pathways at www.dese.gov.au/graduate-and-entry-level-programs.

The recruitment process involves a range of assessments, should you continue to progress through each stage. An online application, psychometric and cognitive online assessment, video interview, attendance at an assessment centre and a reference check.

The generalist graduate program provides diverse work placements that help graduates understand the core business of the department. The placements provide a good opportunity to build on an understanding of the different areas across the department. In addition to a generalist program, the department offers career pathways in various streams such as HR, legal, finance and data, which provides graduates a unique opportunity to undertake placements and additional learning and development relevant to their chosen career. Our graduates receive on-the-job experience and participate in an extensive learning and development program. Graduates receive support from their supervisor, buddy and the Entry-Level Programs team.

Remuneration

The department offers excellent employment conditions with competitive remuneration, superannuation and employee entitlements. Graduates commence at APS3 level and will be advanced to APS4 level following successful completion of the program. Information relating to salaries is set out in our Enterprise Agreement and Determination. Departmental staff have access to a wide range of allowances and many different forms of leave, also available in our Enterprise Agreement and Determination. A copy is available on our website.

Career prospects

You will emerge from the program as a strategic and innovative thinker with a comprehensive understanding of how government policies are developed, and programs implemented. You will also develop excellent communication skills, problem-solving, stakeholder engagement, and research capabilities. These skills will be invaluable whether you wish to remain in the public service or move into different employment.

The vibe of the place

The department promises graduates a workplace culture that is supportive, inclusive and rewarding.

Star Rating:  3.9 stars

From the Employer:

"The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is responsible for maximising opportunity and prosperity through national leadership on education, training and employment policy to contribute to an inclusive and productive Australia.

The department strives to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the Australian community and recognises the important knowledge and skills Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples bring to the work we do.

Many of our policies and programs celebrate diversity and tackle discrimination and bullying, and we continue to build on these initiatives through the appointment of senior executives to diversity champion positions, our employee networks and Employee Support Officers (ESO).

As a graduate in our department, we will offer you:

  • An opportunity to grow your career through two diverse work placements over a ten-month period
  • Dedicated career pathways in different disciplines (Generalist, ICT, Legal, Corporate (Finance and Human Resource Management) Data and Economics)
  • Exposure to our business and our people through the opportunity to get involved in employee networks (including the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network), peer support and mentoring relationships
  • Graduate Alumni activities and Senior Executive Graduate Sponsor
  • Access to professional development and on-the-job learning activities
  • Excellent employment conditions with competitive remuneration, superannuation and employee entitlements (including relocation assistance and access to cultural leave, such as to participate in NAIDOC week)
  • A workplace culture that embraces inclusion
  • A strong foundation for a career in the APS."

Graduate Review

3.9
Overall score based on 31 reviews
8.9
Diversity
8.5
Work Hours
8.4
Office Work Environment
8.1
Corporate Social Responsibility
8.9
Diversity
8.5
Work Hours
8.4
Office Work Environment
8.1
Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Having the opportunity to engaging in international multilateral fora on behalf of the Australian Government.
  • Engaging work that shapes national education policy in Australia, and touches the lives of most Australians.
  • Having the opportunity to work on interesting projects and being given responsibility for work.
  • Acknowledgement of diversity, work conditions.
  • The people.
  • No opportunities outside of Canberra.
  • Overly bureaucratic and hierarchical processes can be challenging to work with.
  • Poor recruitment practices, poor communication about change/ organisational restructure.
  • Too far removed from client for me.
  • It can be tricky to move from one project/area to another (from observations not experience).

Opportunities

  • Canberra
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
H
Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
I
IT & Computer Science
L
Law, Legal Studies & Justice
M
Medical & Health Sciences
P
Property & Built Environment
S
Sciences
T
Teaching & Education

Graduate Success Stories


  • Graduate stories
Jack studied Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Development Studies at the University of Adelaide and is now a Government Lawyer at the Department of Education.

Jack

  • Graduate stories
Jack studied Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Development Studies at the University of Adelaide and is now a Government Lawyer at the Department of Education.

Jack

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
The highlight of the year for Kat was the opportunity to project manage the department’s annual trivia night.

Katarina

  • Graduate stories
The highlight of the year for Kat was the opportunity to project manage the department’s annual trivia night.

Katarina

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Jack studied Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Development Studies at the University of Adelaide and is now a Government Lawyer at the Department of Education.

Jack

  • Graduate stories
Jack studied Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Development Studies at the University of Adelaide and is now a Government Lawyer at the Department of Education.

Jack

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
The highlight of the year for Kat was the opportunity to project manage the department’s annual trivia night.

Katarina

  • Graduate stories
The highlight of the year for Kat was the opportunity to project manage the department’s annual trivia night.

Katarina

Read full story

A Day In The Life Of


  • Day in the life

Jun Sik Nam

Jun Sik Nam studied a Bachelor of International Studies and a Master of Laws and is a Business Analyst at the Federal Department of Education.
  • Day in the life

Jun Sik Nam

Jun Sik Nam studied a Bachelor of International Studies and a Master of Laws and is a Business Analyst at the Federal Department of Education.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Prachi Nagrath

Prachi Nagrath studied Bachelor of International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney and is now a policy officer.
  • Day in the life

Prachi Nagrath

Prachi Nagrath studied Bachelor of International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney and is now a policy officer.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Jun Sik Nam

Jun Sik Nam studied a Bachelor of International Studies and a Master of Laws and is a Business Analyst at the Federal Department of Education.
  • Day in the life

Jun Sik Nam

Jun Sik Nam studied a Bachelor of International Studies and a Master of Laws and is a Business Analyst at the Federal Department of Education.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Prachi Nagrath

Prachi Nagrath studied Bachelor of International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney and is now a policy officer.
  • Day in the life

Prachi Nagrath

Prachi Nagrath studied Bachelor of International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney and is now a policy officer.
Read full story