Embarking on a course in Business? Australia really is the land of plenty! Australia has some of the best universities in the world, and a first class reputation for its numerous Business Schools.
If you are looking to study Business in Australia then be prepared for a befuddling range of options. It sounds trite but it’s true, because business and related fields are the most popular kind of university degree and the higher education providers in Australia – almost without exception – offer programs that’ll sit comfortably under the umbrella of Business, Commerce or Management.
Adding to the confusion, your degree could be taught in a range of faculties: in a School of Business, School of Sciences, or else it could be classified under Humanities. Some courses will be more theory-oriented while others are far more vocational. Variety comes in other forms too, as plenty of courses provide you with avenues to bring extra focus to your studies. You could delve into a specialist area like marketing or management in either retail or tourism, or alternatively finance or international business. And if all that makes your head spin then don’t forget – you still need to look at options for double-field degrees!
So just choosing a course can seem quite a big challenge.
It might help to remember that most business programs are built around a similar core of subjects – it’s likely that in some form, you’ll tackle marketing, finance and HRM (human resource management) as part of any degree. Also typical will be units that seek to train you in strategy, plus supply chain and production management. Every business graduate needs to be competent using figures in reports, surveys, appraisals and projections, so most degrees will give you a solid grounding of methodology for assessing quantities, and also a firm grasp of statistics (in fact, some schools expect you to be competent with statistics as a prerequisite for entry). Another thing all schools have in common is a priority to produce graduates who are fluent in the technology on which modern business relies – so all business students study the software and tools in use.
And many of their study experiences will lead to highly transferrable skills. Looking through a university prospectus, however, do take care when you consider a course that’s stocked full of modular options. For sensible decisions about your future study program, remember there’s a risk of spreading yourself too thin – trying to get experience in every specialist corner offered as an elective (optional) unit of your degree. This brings us to considering your long term goals, in the form of job opportunities after you graduate.
It’s obvious you should approach the selection process with an eye on your career, but this still leaves a couple of things to mention. Electives for your course may be recommended for specific roles in the workplace. You’ll do well to consider what you want from your studies even at this early stage, planning a range of modules that you believe can give you the necessary skills for the job or even company you aim for. You must also consider how the trajectory of course units you’ll take will serve you in an industry placement – a key part of many types of course. It makes sense because the majority of employers will value evidence that you can successfully apply your skills as the greatest benefit of your training.
Looking into your future as a Business graduate lets us mention the role of university reputations. When you intend to work in the financial sector, for example, the established reputation of certain business schools may well add an important edge to your CV, helping you get a job with a higher starting salary. If you have the beginnings of a relationship with a company already then find out more on the graduates who are most sought after for the kind of work you aim to do. If you haven’t yet made any professional contacts, it’s worth doing a bit of research on each school’s stats for graduate employment, and you should also check the university’s alumni information to see the kind of work that past graduates are doing.
You can also dig a little to discover how happy students have been with particular schools. Data is routinely published on student satisfaction – this tends to be involved when ranking a university faculty – and part of this relates to how well supported students feel in their career development. Your business school should provide good support through advice and information – and several schools even continue this service for their alumni.
In a general way, information the professional life of a typical business graduate is already available. After qualifying, they’ll go forward to join a wide range of organisations – commercial and non-profit, large-scale multinational corporations and small-scale self-owned businesses. They become management consultants, IT entrepreneurs, marketing executives, and human resources consultants.