Finance Graduates – Applications are now open

Apply now for the 2023 DESE Graduate Program by 3 July.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) is responsible for national policies and programs that contribute to the economic prosperity and social wellbeing of all Australians, throughout their early learning, education, skills and employment pathways.

DESE welcomes applications from all degree disciplines for our DESE Graduate Program. For the 2023 Graduate Program, the department will offer mainstream positions and a number of specialist career streams including Finance.

Our work is diverse and meaningful offering you many ways to use your degree in ways you never could have imagined? Join us!

On this page:

What our Finance graduates do

Graduates working in our finance area will help shape the delivery of essential services within the financial resource management framework. By providing sound financial management advice to the executive team, the department helps shape policy that impacts on the lives of Australians. DESE graduates are given real responsibility from the start, and experience learning on the job that firmly sets up their careers in the public service and beyond.

  • Prepare detailed budgets and costings for projects, initiatives and DESE groups.
  • Interpret accounting standards and provide financial analysis and reporting.
  • Write briefs including senate estimates and updates to internal policies and guidelines
  • Detailed account reconciliations and reporting
  • Assist in procurement activities including interpretation of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines
  • Problem solve, conduct process mapping and suggest improvements

‘The DESE graduate program has provided me with the support and training to take the step from University to the APS. I have found the department to be an innovative and positive place that encourages growth and provides opportunities across a range of finance functions.' - Jake Harper, 2021 Graduate

‘The DESE Graduate Program has given me the opportunity to gain work experience in the finance area right after graduating from university. With a supportive network of co-workers and supervisors, I am able to gain exposure to different work areas and their roles.  This is helping me greatly in finding my interests and determining my career for the future.' - Jason Nguyen, 2021 Graduate

Additionally, all graduates in the DESE Graduate Program will undertake a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration as the formal learning and development component of the program. This additional tertiary qualification offers all graduates a strong foundational understanding of working in the APS and in a policy agency. This will benefit you, regardless of what stream you are in.

Who we are looking for

  • Tertiary qualifications in commerce or accounting related disciplines
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively, problem solve and work as part of a team.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to actively engage with co-workers and stakeholders.
  • Enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, and an attitude open to learning and innovation

2023 Finance Graduate Stream FAQ

Want more information about what a day in the life of a finance graduate looks like? Read the FAQ information sheet for more information.


To be eligible for the DESE Graduate Program, you will be required to:

  • be an Australian Citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship before you commence and be able to provide evidence of this
  • have successfully completed a Bachelor degree or higher within the five years prior to the start date of the Graduate Program. You will be required to provide evidence of completion before the start of the program
  • obtain and maintain a valid Australian Government Baseline security clearance
  • relocate to Canberra for the commencement of the program if the position requires you to.
  • satisfy the relevant medical check (if required for the position).

Applying for the DESE Graduate Program as a Finance Graduate

Applications for the 2023 DESE Graduate Program are now open.

If you apply direct through our graduate process the first step in the application process is to submit your application by 3 July 2022.  You will be advised at each stage of the process if you have progressed further.

If you have any questions, email


Careers pathways