Light­ing the way

You don’t have to start over to start afresh, writes Lau­ren Ah­wan

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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.

Pic­ture: Ro­han Kelly

POST GRAD: Liz Keane is com­plet­ing a Master of De­sign Sci­ence.

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