Don’t wait until next year to start on your new path, writes Cara Jenkin
START studying now to get a head start on your career and a jump on your competitors.
Tertiary career advisers tell workers there is no time like the present to change or further their career with further study.
They say it can advantage those who are looking for work when they complete their qualification.
A mid-year start increasingly is a popular choice for students in the wake of the new year start or ahead of the traditional intake in March.
Figures from higher and vocational education admission centres show an average of 15 per cent of students now start their course in July, compared to about 7 per cent in 2002.
Applications are now open or will soon open for a semester two start for courses at most university, TAFE and other training providers across Australia.
Kelly Services’ Global Workforce Index, released last month, finds many workers are contemplating a career or job change, with up to 33 per cent of employees frequently thinking about quitting their job and 66 per cent intending to look for another job in the next year.
Only 41 per cent of workers say their current job is providing them with a sense of meaning.
University of South Australia career services unit careers adviser Frederick Stokes-thompson says starting midyear does not make much of a difference to the study program and usually only the order that subjects are completed changes.
‘‘ Any time that you realise you’re on the wrong career path or change a career path, it’s always good to decide as soon as practicable to do that,’’ he says.
‘‘ Career isn’t about ‘ it’s all work and no play’ – it’s about the work that you do and the play you do as well, the other life activities you do around it.
‘‘ There’s no hard and fast rule as to what you do in your degree.’’
He says places often come up in courses mid-year as: STUDENTS started a course then dropped out when it was not what they thought it was going to be;
DEMAND for courses may not have been as strong as predicted, leaving places which can be filled mid-year; and
SOME institutions set aside a certain number of places to meet expected interest midyear.
‘‘ To some extent, there is less of a formal start and finish time these days,’’ StokesThompson says.
Mid-year applicants often are:
STUDENTS who were unsuccessful in their first choice to start in March and waited to see if a spot was available mid-year; and
MATURE-AGE people who applied too late for the March intake and have waited for their next opportunity.
Graduate Careers Australia policy, strategy and stakeholder relations adviser Bruce Guthrie says it can be a ‘‘ glass half full or glass half empty’’ view on how a mid-year start affects employment outcomes.
‘‘ I would certainly think people who finish towards mid-year, it might give them a slight advantage,’’ he says. Institutions typically are moving away from a traditional two semester year starting in March, with varied intake and semester dates and summer semesters, Guthrie says. ‘‘ The sector is going through a bit of a shake-out in terms of enrolment and graduation. The start in early March might go by the wayside,’’ he says. ‘‘ We’re seeing a return to three semesters but the third runs over summer.
‘‘ These changes are to assist or speed up the length of time people spend studying so they can start their careers more quickly.’’