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What uni doesn't teach you: 3 ways a diploma is better

By Fi Darby | 01 May 2017

Choosing to go to university is a big step for anyone. It might be your first time away from home or it might mean giving up a full time job and feeling less financially secure for a time. These days there are so many choices when it comes to building a career and gaining qualifications that it can be difficult to decide which next step would best suit you and lead towards your dream career. One thing is for sure however, it would be a mistake to choose uni if you weren’t really sure about what you wanted to study. Whilst university is a great step for some, it isn’t the right one for everybody and nowadays there are a wide range of courses available, all the way up to Bachelor level, that allow for a more flexible approach to studying. In this blog we look specifically at our Diploma of Business (BSB50215) and consider three ways it might be better for your career than going to uni. 

What Employers Really Think About University

Employers in Australia are realising that prospective employees who have just left university are not necessarily as switched on to the business world as their peers who have more current work experience. Kate Carnell, during her time as CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that graduates appeared to be ‘disconnected with the workforce’. She also commented,

"A number of our members consistently tell us they’re seeing students come out of university or training programs and they might have the academic or theoretical skills, but no skills to work at all. It makes them really hard to employ,"

Whilst earning a degree is a great way to signal your interest and motivation to employers, in a competitive job market they will be looking also for candidates with 21st century skills such as critical thinking and complex problem solving. Some of these skills only develop through a combination of work responsibility and study that programmes such as a Diploma of Business can offer.

Realistic Career Goals 

The 2016 Graduate Outcomes Survey shows that in 2013 the percentage of graduates who were in full-time employment (35 hours a week or more) four months after graduating was only 70.9. This percentage for the same cohort increased to 88.4 in 2016, three years after graduation. These statistics demonstrate that a Bachelor degree is not necessarily a guarantee of employment and that gaining other experience either after or during study is an important employability factor. Degrees in the Business and Management sector performed worse when it came to graduate employability than a large proportion of other sectors. These statistics are a clear indicator that by gaining a degree you do not necessarily guarantee a job in your chosen employment sector or even a full time job in any sector. With so many graduates flooding the labour market, employers are looking for other works skills on top of academic qualifications.

What You Don’t Learn at Uni

Employers agree that successful employees have a broad range of skills that are more likely to be gained during employment than at university. These include:

  • Daily work skills – simple things like turning up to work on time and dressing appropriately are important to employers but not always focused on by graduate employees.
  • Networking skills – the ability to not only communicate but also build a set of mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Negotiation skills – good negotiation skills involve being able to understand someone else’s point of view and work towards a mutually acceptable goal.
  • Prioritising skills – learning to prioritise jobs and manage other people’s expectations is a key employability skill.

Why a Diploma is Better

All of this focus on work skills does not negate the importance of gaining qualifications. What today’s employers are looking for is balance. They want employees who can prove their academic ability and commitment to study whilst at the same time demonstrating a range of work experience and skills that will make them useful to an organisation from the first day of employment. The flexibility of an online Diploma of Business is the ideal way to gain both of these skill sets as it can be studied whilst you are working or on less traditional time-scales. Why focus on one area for your personal development when you can focus on two at once and bring what you learn in each to play in the other ensuring a great result in both. Work experience and study are great partners and a sure fire way to keep you on that path to your dream career.

Find out all about our Diploma of Business and similar qualifications that may be the best alternative. 


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