What to study in Australia: Recommendations by a migration agent

 When you come to Australia as an international student, there is a huge range of courses to study and sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is right for you. In this blog we will try to explain a little bit more about how you can determine the big question about what to study in Australia.

Some of the common questions we receive from our clients are:

  • What courses help us qualify for in demand occupations?
  • What is the courses count towards the 2 years study requirement?
  • I have an employer willing to sponsor me, which course may help in this case?


What courses help us qualify for in demand occupations?

This is a common question we receive at seminars both in Australia and abroad. My first answer to this question is that regardless of what you’re looking for, it’s always important to study something that you are interested in and want to work in. As we’ve seen over the years, immigration rules can change and studying a course purely for a residency outcome can cause issues. If you study something you are interested in, then there are always other avenues like employer sponsorship or using your skills and qualifications overseas that can benefit you.

The occupations on the Skilled Occupation List are very specific. They include ares like health (Nursing, Social Work, Medicine), education (Secondary, Early Childhood Education), engineering, information technology, trades (Chef, Mechanic, Carpenter, Welder), agricultural science (Agricultural Scientist / Consultant) and many more.

The requirements for courses if you are looking to study in Australia* to meet these occupations vary. For example, to meet a skills assessment as a Nurse, if you are a graduate of a degree, you may be able to study a 2 year graduate entry Bachelor degree and then qualify as a nurse. For a Teacher, you could undertake a 2 year Graduate Diploma, for Engineering you’d need a Bachelor degree and for IT, a Masters + 1 year post qualification experience is required. Trades require 2 years of study and then, while on the graduate visa, require 1 year of post qualification full time experience in that field.

What is the courses count towards the 2 years study requirement?

To gain points for skilled migration, you need to complete two years of study in Australia. Many students undertake Masters programs to meet this but Vocational courses can also help in meeting these requirements. To qualify, the 2 years of study need to be CRICOS registered for 92 weeks. Most university degrees are registered for 52 weeks per year. So a 2 year masters would generally be 104 weeks. For university courses, Graduate Diplomas, Bachelors, Masters and PHD’s can all count towards the 2 years study.

When it comes to Vocational courses, the courses that count are Certificates (only if they are trade qualifications – e.g. Mechanic, Chef, Carpentry) otherwise Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas. This means that if you are an engineer from overseas, and have studied Diploma courses that are closely related, this may count towards the 2 years study and allow you to apply for graduate visas or potentially claim more points for residency. It’s important to see a registered migration agency to make sure this counts and getting the right advice form the start can help ensure you keep all options open.

Example, we often see clients in Australia studying Certificate II, III and IV courses in business and sometimes these students are skilled people from back home. By choosing the right level of course that is closely related instead of the certificates, they may be eligible to apply for 18 month graduate work visas but are unaware as they have not visited an education & migration agency

I have an employer willing to sponsor me, which course may help in this case?

Let’s face it, Australian’s have it good and in many parts of the world, you work harder than we do. Not saying one is better than the other but using your strong work ethic to your advantage, can help you in Australia. Again when it comes to study, it’s important to know what the outcomes of your course can bring. I had a meeting with a client yesterday and we were mapping out all the potential outcomes courses can bring. We can’t give away all our secrets but here are a couple of examples.

If a student studies a Diploma in Management, they may be eligible to be sponsored for either a 457 or even directly or permanent residency through regional sponsored migration in a range of occupations. These include:

  • Cafe or restaurant manager
  • Hotel manager
  • Caravan park manager

We’ve even helped one of our clients this year be sponsored directly for residency as a House Keeping Supervisor directly for residency after finishing a Diploma in Hospitality.

This is only the tip of the iceberg and there are some many things we can share with our clients to help them achieve their goals. As they grow, we grow with them and as an education and migration agency, EMSA has a team of specialists that can help you answer all these questions.

To learn more or to let us help you achieve your education or migration dream, contact us today.

Send us an email to [email protected] and we will assess your case!

Shannon Semenikow

Director EMSA

MARN: 0701777

* many people may qualify for these occupation based on study and experience overseas.