Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting your PR – A Guide for International Students (Part 4) Choosing the Right Course for your Occupation

If you are studying in Australia, it is important to ensure that your qualification will be suitable for skills assessment – preferably in a 60-point occupation. Below are some tips for selecting a course which gives you a good chance of passing assessment in the most common 60-point occupations

1. Accounting – 60 Points, MODL, CSL (if 7 min in IELTS)

If you wish to pass assessment as an accountant, you will need a degree, masters or graduate diploma which covers at least 9 of the 12 core accounting subjects. The core accounting subjects cover topics such as accounting theory, financial accounting, cost and management accounting, auditing etc, but also more general topics such as business law, information systems, statistics, economics and finance. This means that even if you do not have a major in accounting, it may be possible to pass assessment as an accountant.
Choices for courses in Australia will depend if you already have a bachelor degree from your home country:
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting): would take 3 years
  • Graduate Diploma or Masters: would take 12-18 months if you already have a degree
2. Trades - 60 Points, MODL

Trades commonly studied in Australia include cooks, bakers, hairdressers, carpenters, horticulturists and graphic pre-press. You would need to have an Australian certificate III in the trade, along with 900 hours of work experience to qualify for assessment in the trade. In practice, the 900 hours of work experience is the most difficult aspect:
  • Relevant experience can count, even if it is not at the fully skilled level (eg kitchen hand experience can be counted towards the assessment as a cook)
  • However, by the end of the 900 hours, you must be working at the fully skilled level. This is particularly difficult for some occupations, eg hairdressing, where it may take many years to reach the skilled level
  • The work experience cannot form part of your course requirements
  • Voluntary or unpaid work experience can count towards the 900 hours, but it is difficult to evidence
  • Payslips are the best evidence of work experience hours
  • You will also need a detailed reference which gives exact details on tasks & duties and tools & equipment used
Teaching - 60 Points, MODL, CSL (Secondary School)

You will need to have either:
  • 4-year bachelor of education; or
  • Bachelor degree, plus one year of specialised teacher education
If your teaching qualification is completed in Australia, you are exempt from the usual English language requirements for teachers (7 minimum score in Academic IELTS).

If you already have a bachelor degree, it may be possible for you to complete a 1-year graduate diploma in education and so pass assessment as a teacher. Most Masters qualifications are not suitable for assessment, as they do not have the required 6 weeks of supervised teaching practice.

4. Information Technology - 60 Points, MODL, CSL (if 12 months experience in MODL area)

If you complete qualifications in Australia, you would be exempt from the usual 4-8 year work experience requirement for IT professionals. You will need one of the following Australian qualifications:

  • 3-year degree majoring in IT; or

  • 3 Semester Masters or Graduate Diploma in IT; or

  • 2 Semester advanced Masters or Graduate Diploma in IT (if you already have a degree in IT)

  • 5. Nursing and Allied Health - 60 Points, MODL, CSL

    Occupations in this category include Nursing, Pharmacists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Radiographers. Unless your qualifications are from certain countries, it is very difficult to pass skills assessment in these occupations – they also require very high levels of English. However, they are occupations in which it is possible to find employment relatively easily in Australia as there is a severe shortage.

    It is much easier to pass skills assessment by completing Australian Qualifications:
    • Bachelor degree: generally 3-5 years of study
    • Bachelor conversion course: common particularly in the case of overseas trained nurses
    • Master degree: generally 2 years of study and a very good option for pharmacists and occupational therapists
    Sources: I. Videos Gone Viral, II. The Car Junky, III. The Tech Fanatic


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