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Education and training employment opportunities in Australia
Our education system is among the best in the world. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, in 2010, rated Australian education as sixth for reading, seventh for science and ninth for mathematics*. The Education Index, published with the United Nation’s Human Development Index, lists Australia as amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark and Finland*! No wonder an Australian education is valued so highly in many parts of the world!
Our education system follows a three teir model: primary education (delivered by primary schools), secondary education (delivered by secondary schools) and tertiary education (delivered by TAFE colleges, universities and private training organisations). There is also an emphasis on starting children in education before the start formal school, by having teachers working with very young children in child care centres. This means there are opportunities to pursue a career in education employment in all tiers of the Australian education system. So here’s a quick guide to employment opportunities in education.
Early childhood education
Child care & Pre-school
Where: Child care centres, kindergarten, pre-school
Early childhood education (for children under the age of five) has become a priority in Australia. Starting education and helping children to develop from an early age has been found to have a positive lifelong effect on education outcomes for the child. Child care professionals now need to earn qualifications, such as the Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, to work in childcare and there is a stronger focus on helping them develop skills and abilities.
Child care centres also need to have an early childhood teacher working with the children for a certain number of hours each week, the minimum time depending on a number of factors. You’ll need a degree to be an early childhood teacher. You can check out Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website to see the list of approved qualifications to work as an early childhood teacher.
Child care is a growing industry in Australia, so there’s likely to be continuing opportunities for employment in the sector: both in carer jobs and education jobs.
Schools in Australia
Where: Public schools, private schools, correspondence schools
Pursuing primary school jobs in teaching in Australia is a great opportunity for creative, patient, communicative people to work with children. You’ll get to help your young students develop their social, emotional, intellectual and physical development – a noble cause for anyone.
According to the Australian government’s Job Outlook page for primary school teachers, there is predicted to be strong growth in primary school education to at least 2016-17, along with opportunities for education employment in the sector. You’ll need a degree in teaching to work as a primary school teacher in Australia. To find out more about required qualifications, for primary school jobs and other education jobs, have a look at occupation details on the MyFuture website.
Where: Public schools, private schools, correspondence schools
Secondary school jobs in teaching, in Australia, are somewhat similar to primary school teaching. You’ll still be helping your students develop their social, emotional, intellectual and physical skills. Secondary teachers usually specialise in a handful or even one subject of study – for example, maths, science, English or social studies. You’ll also be working with older children, which can present a different set of challenges and rewards.
Growth in secondary school teaching is expected to be moderate but still respectable. You’ll also need to complete a teaching degree in the specific area you’d like to teach. You can find out more information about the profession and a full list of accepted teaching qualifications here.
Where: TAFE, polytechnics, trade schools, private training organisation, non-profit organisations
Vocational training jobs are ideal if you’ve already earnt qualifications in Australia’s TAFEs, vocational colleges, registered training organisations and trade schools. The system is set up so that if you’ve done a nationally recognised and accredited course, you can then teach it (and qualifications leading up to it!) if you’ve also done the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or other eligible training course.
That means if you’ve completed a Diploma of Project Management, you could teach any courses leading up to the Diploma qualification, such as a Certificate I, II, III, IV or Diploma of Project Management course. You do need to work for a registered training organisation such as a TAFE or private training organisation (or start your own!) in order to issue official qualifications & certificates, verifying your students have completed all the relevant competencies to a satisfactory standard.
The Job Outlook website has more information about vocational training and education jobs, including job prospects and expected weekly earnings (they’re pretty good!).
Where: Public universities, private universities, colleges,
Universities employ lecturers and tutors to deliver (funnily enough!) lectures and tutorials in a wide variety of subjects. In addition to those activities, you can also be involved in conducting research in your specific field of expertise. Under the Australian Qualifications Framework, universities teach the highest level of education in Australia – up to doctoral degrees! That’s a lot of responsibility to take on!
According to the Government’s Job Outlook website, it’s predicted to be a strong growth area now and long term. Working as a lecturer or tutor is a highly skilled job – you’ll need to earn your graduate certificate, master or doctor of education qualification to pursue this line of employment. The pay IS pretty good though… See the University Lecturers and Tutors page for more information.
Training & development
Where: In businesses and organisations
Just love training? Many businesses and other organisations like charities, non-profits and government departments need people to plan, develop, implement and evaluate training and development programs to make sure management, staff and volunteers have the skills and competencies they need to succeed in their roles.
You don’t necessarily have to have formal training qualifications to fill this role, but obviously it will help you find education employment in this area. Don’t forget you can take specific units of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in order to develop the professional skills you need to work as a trainer in an organisation.
This is an area of training and education in Australia predicted to grow very strongly! You can get a complete rundown on all the statistics on the Training and Development Professionals page on the Job Outlook site.
If you’re passionate about education and training, there are many opportunities to pursue a career in education in Australia!
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