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University Students Seek Edge in Employability and Pay Scales

  • Written by Ben Klatt

Getting degrees takes time and effort. It’s no surprise that university students want to be able to find graduate work that pays well. And it’s not a farfetched idea either. Students studying specialised degrees, like those in the arts, engineering and sciences, can combine their studies with supplementary courses and find managerial positions straight out of university.

How can university students get better opportunities out of university?

Students can get higher paid roles after graduating by also studying business-related certificate or diploma-level courses. 

"Pairing up a secondary qualification gives uni students the ability to get "real world” jobs while they pursue their specialty, or to make better money than graduate wages in a world where employers are desperate for skilled employees,” says Skills Recognition director, Ben Klatt.

That’s right. With the current skills shortage, employers are happy to choose graduates for higher positions if they have the right skills and qualifications. By undertaking additional study, students can increase their employability and the salaries they can earn. 

What are some examples of degree and certificate pairings? 

With a registered training organisation (RTO), university students can study certificate level courses online while completing their degrees. There are all kinds of certificate-degree combinations students can attain to get a leg up in their chosen industry.

Here are five degrees that students can pair with RTO certifications or diplomas.

1. Fine Arts

Business certificates and diplomas work well with creative degrees. For writers who want to find their niche, a Diploma in Marketing Communications combined with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) is perfect for employment in copywriting. This can also be an opportunity for “bread and butter work” that allows creative writing graduates to earn a good income while working on their dream novel. A Diploma in Marketing Communications is also helpful to other fine arts students, like those majoring in drama or visual art, who want to promote their work.

2. Engineering

For those studying a Bachelor of Engineering, a Certificate or Diploma of Work Health and Safety can qualify graduates for a salary boost right out of uni. With skills in risk and compliance management, engineering graduates can work in project management positions. 

3. Information Technology 

Information Technology (IT) practitioners are needed in every industry. IT students can pair their degree with a Certificate IV in Project Management Practice to broaden their career prospects as a technical consultant, project manager, or business analyst. The technical skills, organisational skills and business skills learned in the certificate courses are vital to these roles.

4. Law 

Law is a very broad industry, so law students are often spoiled for options. But no matter which area of law they decide to specialise in, law graduates always start in lower positions and slog their way up. By studying a Diploma of Business (Compliance, Business Development Leadership, etc), students gain valuable skills that may assist them in securing the most sought-after roles in corporate law or tax law – the big moneymakers. Law students can also study a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping for a higher-paid accountant position.

5. Sciences/Health 

For those studying a Bachelor of Psychology (also known as Behavioural Science or Psychological Science), a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) or other related science or health degrees, a Diploma of Human Resources is the way to go. Students can apply their psychology knowledge to human resource management. There are a range of opportunities depending on what industry a student chooses to enter, whether that be government, health, research or business.


About the author


Ben is the CEO of Skills Recognition International, where he seeks to innovate the education industry with new technology, research and training. With 20 years of experience in training and human resources, he has in-depth knowledge of the latest business and industry trends and is always seeking to innovate the education industry. Ben has developed one of the best skills assessment programs for Recognition of Prior Learning courses. See Ben Klatt’s full expert profile here.

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