Graduate diplomas, often the poor cousin of the university degree, are acutely job-specific and in high employment demand. Statistics published in the Financial Review in late 2014 showed that up to two-thirds of university graduates in some courses had failed in finding full time employment within four months of completing their course.
It seems that these days, more than ever, when deciding on a course of study, employment statistics play a very important role. Would you study law only to have a 39 per cent chance of still not being employed full time four months from graduation, or would you choose electrical engineering and guarantee full time employment?
Of course, there’s more to a graduate diploma qualification than meets the eye. According to University of Sydney senior lecturer Dr Doug Auld, to achieve a mechanical engineering degree the diploma will “draw on peoples’ background experience in engineering and to extend this to the level required to take leadership in design, project supervision and innovation in the mechanical area.”
Let’s focus on five of the highest-demand industries:
- Electrical Engineering: with a 100 per cent employment rate, the high demand areas are systems and controls, energy and telecommunications. To achieve a graduate diploma, one must have a four-year undergraduate engineering degree.
- Mining Engineering: 100 per cent employment with a focus on automated systems, changing environmental elements and deeper mines. Often a natural up-skilling process for those already in the sector, as full time study isn’t mandatory.
- Medical Statistics: 96.8 per cent employment and another upskilling environment for bachelors of psychology, nursing, economics, health services, maths or statistical science. With public health being a sector that will not slow down due to our aging population, this area has even more potential for growth.
- Clinical Nursing: with 95.6 per cent employment the focus remains on public health as a long-term strong industry. It’s ideally suited to nurses wanting to advance to the next level and focuses on managing teams, strategic thinking and mental health.
- Rehabilitation: with 95.4 per cent employment, it’s non-specialised and is ideal for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists gain a higher level of expertise in aged and neurological fields.
As mentioned, graduate diplomas are often very specific in terms of career development, although, as listed in the above points, there is the occasional non-specialised qualification. Some can propel professionals forward by offering a quick transition into better-paying work while others allow one to increase their daily challenge by taking on greater knowledge and responsibility.