Top 6 University Courses To Explore If You Want to Work in Australia

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Australia offers many benefits for its students, including allowing them to study at the world’s top-ranked universities and giving them the flexibility of working for extra allowances while studying. On top of this, you would also have the option of working there once you graduate. 

When building a career, working in another country offers exposure you would never get back home. It allows you to apply what you have learned in university in an environment you’ve grown familiar with and comfortable with.

As such, to legally work in Australia after graduation, you need 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, with each having differing requirements. Therefore, be sure to look through your option before deciding what you want to study in Australia. 

Click this list of eligible skilled occupations to explore your options.

To ease your planning, we have also compiled top courses for you to take so that you can increase your chances of working in Australia once you have graduated:

6 University Courses to Consider if You Want to Work in Australia

1. Engineering

Australia University Engineering course

A popular field in Australia, Engineering courses attract students with high-standard results, according to research by Engineers Australia

There is an abundance of Engineering professions that students can think about applying to once they are done with university. 

In another report, there is also a yearly increase in 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 in Australia for Engineering (based on QS World Rankings 2018): 

  • Australian National University 
  • The University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • The University of Sydney
  • Curtin University

2. Accountancy

Australia University Accountancy course

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 with other qualifications. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, they have an average pay of 22% higher than other occupations. 

Eligible occupations (as of 2018): 

  • Accountant
  • Management Accountant
  • Taxation Accountant
  • Finance Broker
  • Finance Manager
  • Financial Investment Manager

Top Universities in Australia for Accounting (based on QS World Rankings 2018): 

  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney
  • Australian National University

3. Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Australia University ICT Information and communications Technology course

If you love working with computers and other forms of technology, why not take university courses in Australia? It has a budding ICT industry to make it happen.

Moreover, the country has product development facilities for global companies, such as Canon, Citrix, IBM and Google Maps. As such, 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 in Australia for ICT (based on QS World Rankings 2018): 

  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney
  • Australian National University

4. Education

Australia University Education course

Teaching is a noble profession. In Australia, you will find a rising demand for teachers as the population of students is increasing.

Moreover, research has reported that the starting salaries for a teacher are considered reasonably competitive compared to 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 in Australia for Education (based on QS World Rankings 2018):

  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Queensland
  • Deakin University

5. Nursing

Australia University Nursing course

Overseas nurses are highly sought-after in Australia. The Australian Department of Health predicts that by 2025, the country will need around 85,000 nurses. Furthermore, an extra 123,000 is required to continue delivering care to the population by 2030.

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 in Australia for Nursing (based on QS World Rankings 2018):

  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Sydney
  • Deakin University
  • University of Melbourne

6. Medicine

Australia University Medicine course

Australia has a growing healthcare industry. It is one of the country’s highest-performing sectors economically. 

 According to PwC, the healthcare system ranks among 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 in Australia for Medicine (based on QS World Rankings 2018):

  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Queensland
  • Australian National University

Important Note: How to Work Legally in Australia After Graduation

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After receiving your final results, you must lodge your visa application within 6 months

International students can apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). This visa’s processing times varyand it can take up to 5 months. 

This visa branches into two streams: 

  1.  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 for this visa. However, this visa is only valid for 18 months.
  2. The Post-Study Work Stream is for international students who recently graduated with an eligible qualification from an Australian educational institution. Regardless of the course you took, all students are welcome to apply. That being said, students need at least a Degree to apply for this visa. This visa is valid for 2-4 years

Note: You will 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. You can get details about this workstream here.

However, you can also settle in Australia for an indefinite time. Your Permanent Resident status can be applied through the General Skilled Migration (GSM) scheme. Remember to complete your application before your Temporary Graduate visa expires. 

Here are the two common visas to apply for to live and work in Australia for an indefinite amount of time: 

  1. 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.
  2. Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), valid for those who are sponsored by the agencies mentioned previously.

Made up your mind about study and work in Australia? Sign up here for free counselling on everything you need to know about Australia, and get matched with the best scholarships to study abroad at Australian universities. It is quick and easy!  

Meanwhile, you can also read: Let Uni Enrol Prepare You For Australia