Australia offers a lot of benefits for its students, including allowing them to study at the world’s top-ranked universities, and giving them the flexibility of working while studying to make extra allowance for themselves.
On top of this, you would also be given the option of working there once you graduate. Working in another country offers exposure you would never get back home, and allows you to apply what you’ve learned in university in an environment you’ve grown familiar and comfortable with.
In order to legally work in Australia after graduation, you are required to apply for a visa different from the one you have as a student. There are several other types of working visas, and they will determine how long you’re allowed to work in Australia.
Your visa application is heavily dependent on the needs of the Australian job market. You can refer to a list of eligible skilled occupations, which is updated yearly, before making your decision on what you want to study in Australia.
To ease your planning, we have compiled top courses for you to take so that you can increase your chances of working and residing in Australia once you’ve graduated:
University Courses to Consider
A popular field in Australia, Engineering courses attract students with high standard results, according to a research by Engineers Australia. There is an abundance of Engineering professions that students can think about applying to once they’re done with university. In another report, there is also a yearly increase of permanent visas granted to migrant engineers in Australia.
Eligible occupations (as of 2018): Aeronautical Engineer, Agricultural Engineer, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Biomedical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Electronics Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Mining Engineer, Petroleum Engineer
Top Universities for Engineering (based on QS World Rankings 2018): Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, Curtin University,
Interested in numbers and pursuing a career in accountancy? Accountants are in high demand in Australia: 86% of individuals with an accounting qualification are employed, compared to other qualifications, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, they have an average pay that’s 22% higher than other occupations.
Eligible occupations (as of 2018): Accountant, Management Accountant, Taxation Accountant, Finance Broker, Finance Manager, Financial Investment Manager
Top Universities for Accountancy (based on QS World Rankings 2018): University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, Australian National University
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
If you’re interested in working with computers and other forms of technology, Australia has a burgeoning ICT industry that has a lot of potential. The country has product development facilities for global companies such as Canon, Citrix, IBM and Google Maps, which means that you have a wide range of companies to apply to and possibly gain exposure from.
Eligible occupations (as of 2018): ICT Account Manager, ICT Business Analyst, ICT Quality Assurance Engineer, ICT Business Development Manager, ICT Security Specialist
Top Universities for ICT (based on QS World Rankings 2018): University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, Australian National University
Teaching is a noble profession, and in Australia you will find that there is a rising demand for teachers, as the population of students is increasing. It was also reported that the starting salaries for teacher is considered reasonably competitive in comparison with the general graduate market.
Eligible occupations (as of 2018): Teacher of the Hearing Impaired, Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Special Needs Teacher, Secondary School Teacher, Early Childhood Teacher, Vocational Teacher, University Lecturer
Top Universities for Education (based on QS World Rankings 2018): University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Deakin University
Overseas nurses are popular in Australia; the Australian Department of Health predicts that by the year 2025, the country will need around 85,000 nurses, and by 2030, an extra 123,000 is required to continue delivering care to the population. On top of that, Registered Nurses can earn an average of AUD 65,000 a year!
Eligible occupations (as of 2018): Nursing Clinical Director, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Manager, Nurse Educator, Nurse Researcher, Registered Nurse (Mental Health, Paediatrics, Perioperative, Surgical, Medical Practice, Disability and Rehabilitation, Aged Care, Child and Family Health, Community Health, Critical Care and Emergency, Developmental Disability)
Top Universities for Nursing (based on QS World Rankings 2018): University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, Deakin University, University of Melbourne
Australia has a growing healthcare industry; it is one of the country’s highest-performing sectors economically. It is ranked in the top three within the region in terms of its private-public partnerships, and ability to attract overseas healthcare talent to live and work in the country. The latter is especially evident as 25% of Australian medical practitioners come from overseas.
Eligible occupations (as of 2018): Renal Medicine Specialist, Specialist Physician (General Medicine), Thoracic Medicine Specialist, Intensive Care Specialist, Medical Oncologist, Medical Practitioners
Top Universities for Medicine (based on QS World Rankings 2018): University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Australian National University
How to Work Legally in Australia After Graduation
Once you’re notified of your final results, you must lodge your visa application within 6 months. International students can apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). Visa processing times vary; it can take up to 5 months.
This visa is divided into two streams:
- The Graduate Work stream is for international students who recently graduated with skills and qualifications closely related to an occupation identified as being in need in the medium to long term in the Australian labour market. Students with a qualification lower than a Degree (e.g a Diploma or Vocational Education and Training) can apply. The visa is valid for 18 months.
- The Post-Study Work Stream is for international students who recently graduated with an eligible qualification from an Australian educational institution, regardless of what course they had taken. Students need at least a Degree to apply. This visa is valid for 2-4 years.
Note: You increase the likelihood of getting a PR status with the Post-Study Work stream, provided that your occupation meets the needs of Australia’s labour market. This can be checked here.
If you intend to stay legally in Australia for an indefinite amount of time with a Permanent Resident status, you can apply through the General Skilled Migration (GSM) scheme. This must be done before your Temporary Graduate visa expires.
Below are the two common visas to apply for to live and work in Australia for an indefinite amount of time:
- Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189), valid for those who are not sponsored by an employer/family member or nominated by a state or territory government.
- Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), valid for those who are sponsored by the agencies mentioned previously.
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