Lighting the way
You don’t have to start over to start afresh, writes Lauren Ahwan
GRADUATES wanting to change their career path can increase their job opportunities by reskilling at a postgraduate level.
Rather than start over with a new undergraduate qualification, there are many postgraduate options that do not call for specific bachelor degree prerequisites, says University of Sydney postgraduate student recruitment officer Michaela James.
She says postgraduate teaching programs are among the most popular courses for students wanting to change career direction. This is often because they may not find work in their chosen undergraduate speciality so choose to teach in their area of expertise instead.
If people are looking towards more secure professions then you can go into a (postgraduate) teaching degree and you are basically handed a long-term career.’’
James says there are many study options with either no particular undergraduate prerequisites or needing only completion of a general degree, such as arts or science.
There’s even a Master of Professional Engineering for people who didn’t work out that (engineering) is what they wanted to do at the undergraduate level,’’ she says.
University of South Australia career services manager Catherine Klimes says there are typically two categories of people who choose to reskill through postgraduate studies.
The first is those who want to remain in the same industry but take on a different role, such as a senior engineer asked to take on a board position who may need to complete a management qualification.
The second group want to do the same job but move to a different sector.
They may be a consultant, for example, in the commercial sector and want to move sideways into the environmental sector. To understand that sector they will need to do some study to make that transition,’’ Klimes says.
Liz Keane, 46, worked as an IT project manager until the global financial crisis prompted her to consider a career as a lighting designer.
She is studying a Master of Design Science (Illumination Design) and hopes to incorporate designing light fixtures into her future career.
Keane works at Beacon Lighting and says she chose to reskill at a postgraduate level because it was more convenient than undergraduate courses.
The classes are undertaken in intensive blocks – a number of Friday and Saturdays over a short number of weeks – rather than a course that is spread over many days and weeks,’’ she says.
POST GRAD: Liz Keane is completing a Master of Design Science.