Finding a graduate career in Australia for Singaporeans
Australia has always been top of the list for Singaporean students when it comes to choosing a country to study abroad. With almost half the time and distance it takes to travel to as compared to Europe, a consistently strong dollar, world-class universities and good weather, it is no big surprise that many graduates would like to stay on and start their career Downunder right after graduation.
How do you go about making arrangements to remain in the country and what are your prospects as an international student? Read on to find out more:
WHAT IS THE GRADUATE MARKET LIKE?
Although there were recent economic setbacks in the previous years and the number of employers hiring graduates had seen better days, the Bank of Australia predicts that the economy will grow by up to 3.25% from 2014 onwards.
Hence, just like in Singapore, the Australian government releases a Skilled Occupations List every year to highlight what jobs are in demand. If your field falls into the category, then you might be one of the lucky ones who will be able to secure yourself a job and kick-start off your career.
From the current list, it looks like Australia is looking to hire people with qualifications and skills in Teaching, Healthcare, Engineering, Accounting, Architecture, Agriculture, Telecommunications, Trading, Mechanics and Construction.
The biggest pool of professionals required appear to come from the healthcare sector, with the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council looking to hire nurses, various therapists and specialists, surgeons and doctors.
Furthermore, professional service firms are also expected to add AU$400 billion in the next 20 years, to boost agriculture, tourism, international education and wealth management. Australia is also further developing its mining industry, so those with qualifications in Geology or Mining Engineering might find plenty of opportunities in the rural parts of the country in the near future.
HOW CAN I STAY IN AUSTRALIA?
Australia is known for its strict immigration laws and fresh graduates would only have 3 months after graduation to find a job, if they wish to stay on. Therefore, students will need to sort out a work visa beforehand.
As an international graduate, your best option would probably be the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485), which will allow you to work in Australia for a defined period depending on which stream you fall under.
Under this visa category, there are 2 streams: the graduate work stream or the post-study work stream. Although the application process is similar, but you will get 18 months under the graduate work stream and 2-4 years under the post-study work stream. Which stream you fall under will depend on your qualifications.
If your skill is particularly in demand in the country, you may even be able to apply under the ‘Skilled Nominated Visa’ by registering an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) with national body SkillSelect. The immigration department will assess your application and once approved, you will be invited to apply for a visa, which you could do so online.
Permanently migrating to Australia is a time-consuming process, so students are advised to contact the Australian embassy to discuss their options, once they have decided it is the route they are willing to take.
WHERE CAN I FIND A JOB?
There are no specific places for international graduates to look for a job, so you can look anywhere, just like the local Aussie graduates. Search engines are plentiful and the popular ones are Seek, Australian JobSearch and CareerOne.
Paid work experience programmes are also common place for graduates to start off, and eventually land a permanent job. Most common areas that offer work experience are Finance, Banking, Business Management and Journalism.
Take note that sometimes companies do not publicly advertise available positions, so take the initiative and look up the companies that you would like to work for and check out their individual career sites online. If you could make contact via LinkedIn or attend their networking events, that would be even better.
Universities are also key places to contact to look for job postings. For example, the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide both have extensive career sections for students, dedicated to providing career resources and a job vacancy board.
A Singaporean globe-trotter who is now based in London. Khai has travelled and lived in several countries due to her airline background. She enjoys dancing, painting, cooking, taking scenic photographs and writing about her adventure travels.