1. Healthcare

An ageing workforce and high turnover rate (particularly in rural regions) means healthcare graduates will have ample opportunity to find work. According to research released by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA), more than 97 per cent of graduates holding bachelor degrees in medicine and pharmacy (as well as engineering) found full-time employment within four months of graduation. In particular, Dentistry graduates topped the median starting salary list at AU$80,000.

Across Australia and online, there are more than 330 health courses available across various disciplines. And, according to the US-based Georgetown University’s Center of Education and the Workforce report, a health-centred background makes people “more employable than postgraduate qualifications in most other fields.”

2. Engineering

Fortunately for engineering students, the booming mining sector in Australia calls for expertise across several engineering disciplines. Mining, mechanical, electrical, petroleum and metallurgical engineering courses are all showing growth as job opportunities continue to become available in this vast sector.

3. Business

An undergraduate business degree doesn’t hold the same value as an MBA, but having a business background – be it commerce, international-focused, green-centred or entrepreneurial – is a valuable asset on your CV. The 2011 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey of 1,509 employers representing over 900 companies from the US and 50 other nations reported an average MBA graduate’s salary of US$94,542 – not too shabby.

4. Computer Science/IT

Interest in pursuing this degree program has increased significantly in the US, but expertise in information systems and computer technology is valuable on a global scale. The GCA’s December 2011 ‘Grad Stats’ survey found that a computer science graduate’s starting salary was approximately AU$51,000.

5. Education

Mathematics teachers are in high demand: a 2006 Australian Council of Deans of Science survey found that 75 per cent of secondary schools were struggling to find quality maths and science teachers and the decline continued into 2011. Both subjects were deemed areas of National Priority by the Australian Government with a maximum CSP student contribution rate set at AU$4,355.

6. Accounting/Finance

Accounting services are always in demand on both corporate and personal finance levels, particularly in big cities. Popular job seeker website Jobaroo.com pinpoints Sydney as Australia’s financial centre with a 65 per cent industry presence that includes the Reserve Bank, ASX, Sydney Futures Exchange, and several global companies’ Asia-Pacific headquarters.

7. Earth/Environmental Science

This degree offers graduates a transition into expanding sectors such as mining and petroleum exploration. Between 2010 and 2011, this field experienced the largest increase in a graduate’s starting salary, from AU$54,000 to AU$65,000, according to the GCA’s December 2011 ‘Grad Stats’ survey.

8. Sustainable Development

Perth’s Curtain University of Technology capitalised on this growing sector by establishing the Australian Sustainable Development Institute (ASDI) in 2009. The course educates students on water conservation, climate change adaption, sustainable urban development, Asian nation partnerships, and green energy initiatives – all topics that may be integrated into other branches of business and science-related fields.

9. Human Resources Management

As the resources, engineering and health industries grow, so does the need for top-down organisation. Making decisions and maintaining order within the company, as well as handling relations with others in the industry, are vital to the company’s success.

10. Agronomy

The agriculture industry in Australia represents 12 per cent of the country’s total GDP. This sector has shown constant growth over the past several decades thanks to free trade agreements and ever-expanding overseas export markets, according to Invest in Australia.




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