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Trying to decide on the best course to study at university? Check out our top 12 picks to future-proof your career!

best course to study

If you’re looking to enrol in a university degree in 2021 or beyond, it’s absolutely critical to know the career outcomes that will be available to you when you graduate.

Equally important when deciding on a career is having some knowledge of which skills and qualifications are in demand.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a high school student or looking to pivot your career. Knowing which occupations have strong projected growth is an important indicator of the likelihood of being able to secure a job. This is an essential part of making a career decision.

I’ve trawled through my favourite labour market information resources to compile a list of 12 in-demand occupations which require tertiary qualifications.

This post is about the best course to study at university to future-proof your career.

A few things important things to note before we jump right in:

  • This information is aggregated as Australian-wide skills shortages. Skills shortages are not necessarily consistent across the nation and will differ from state to state and region to region.
  • The information in this post was sourced from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and Job Outlook.
  • Although this post includes 12 occupations that are in high demand in the Australian job market, this isn’t an exhaustive list! Check out the references above if you’re interested in learning about other occupations in high demand.
  • This information is current at the time of writing. Various factors can affect the labour market which means projected occupation outlooks can change rapidly.

Nursing

The projected occupation growth for nursing, including midwifery, is strong.

Completing an undergraduate nursing degree allows for a career as a registered nurse is settings such as hospitals, medical practices, aged care, mental health, community health, critical care and emergency, telehealth and more.

Nursing positions are particularly in demand in rural and remote areas.

Physiotherapy

The projected occupation growth for physiotherapy is very strong.

Completing an undergraduate physiotherapy degree allows for a career as a physiotherapist. Often practitioners go on to complete further postgraduate studies to specialise in a particular discipline (such as women’s health), which often dramatically increases employability.

Physiotherapists are particularly in demand in rural and remote areas.

Software and Application Programming

The projected occupation growth for software and application programmers is very strong.

Completing an undergraduate degree in Information Technology (IT) related disciplines such as programming, software engineering or development, or computer science will facilitate software and application programming, and related careers.

These positions are mostly available in metropolitan areas. Some remote working jobs may be available.

Medical imagining

The projected occupation growth for medical imagining practitioners is strong.

Completing an undergraduate degree in medical imagining prepares you for a career as a radiographer. Often practitioners go on to complete further postgraduate studies to specialise in areas such as sonography.

Medical imagining professionals are particularly in demand in rural and remote areas.

Optometry

The projected occupation growth for optometry is very strong.

To practice as an optometrist, students must complete the appropriate undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. This is very similar for an Orthoptist career path as well.

Optometrists are particularly in demand in rural and remote areas.

Data Analyst

The projected occupation growth for data analysts is very strong. There is currently a worldwide shortage of Data Analysts (yep!) which extends to Australia.

Many Data Analysts complete undergraduate degrees in disciplines such as maths, IT, computer science, data and so on.

It’s becoming increasingly common for Data Analysts to have tertiary qualifications, however it may not be an essential requirement for all positions.

Psychology/counselling

The projected occupation growth for these practitioners is very strong.

To become a registered psychologist, completing both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees is needed.

Counseling courses are available from Diploma to Master level. A diploma is the minimum level qualification required to become a registered counsellor.

Dentistry

The projected occupation growth for dental practitioners is strong.

Completing a degree in dentistry prepares you for a career as a dentist. Often practitioners go on to complete further postgraduate studies to specialise in areas such as orthodontics.

Dental professionals are particularly in demand in rural and remote areas.

Accounting

The projected occupation growth for accountants is strong.

Completing an undergraduate accounting degree allows for a career as an accountant in settings such as tax agents, companies, the public service and so on.

Accounting positions are in demand nationwide.

Teaching

The projected occupation growth for some teaching disciplines is strong. This includes early childhood teaching, secondary STEM teaching and all specialist education and languages studies.

Teachers of most disciplines are particularly in demand in rural and remote areas.

Engineering

Engineering covers a very broad range of disciplines. There’s also a very broad range of demand for skills and qualifications in this profession.

The engineering disciplines listed below have a very strong projected occupation growth:

  • Civil
  • Aeronautical
  • Agricultural
  • Biomedical
  • Environmental
  • Acoustic
  • Mechatronics
  • Product design

These occupations require unique qualifications so it’s recommended each position is researched individually.

Summary

When deciding on the best course to study at university, it’s important to consider the demand for your skills and qualifications in the labour market.

Undertaking a course with strong projected future growth will give you some assurance you’ll easily find work in your desired field and location after you graduate 🙂 It will also ensure the longevity of your career.

For more information on skill shortages, check out Occupational skill shortages information. 

You might also like: Graduate Interview Questions – the most comprehensive list you’ll find!

This post was about the best course to study at university to future-proof your career.

Hi there, I'm Danielle Ward

Hi there, I'm Danielle Ward

Your go-to career development and human resource practitioner, guiding your career towards true north.

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Help others with their career development!

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Hi there, I'm Danielle! I've got a combined 15 years of experience in the career development and human resource industries. I'm passionate about helping people live empowered, purposeful and fulfilled lives through engaging in meaningful work. Calibrated Career provides innovative and affordable self-guided career exploration tools and resources to facilitate your career development and empower you to achieve your career goals.
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