Infocus Careers is an independent organisation which is solely supported by insanely great subscribers who share information with me, support each other and help me to pay my bills.
I can talk about careers under water so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au
Start learning about life at university in Year 9. Check out the food vans. Listen to the music. Go into buildings and see the latest tech tools, computer games and research. Find the library, the shops and the toilets.
Explore and Experience Try stuff. There will be people inviting you to engage with practical experiences in their subject. It could be VR. It could be checking out the latest medical research, making a short movie using their studio. All faculties will have practical experiences for you to engage with. Do it now.
Get an authentic experience. Engage with current students. Build on what you have learned in years 9 and 10 visits by asking questions of both students, academics and staff. Check out presentations and exhibitions to see what you will gain most from and register for them, or just make a schedule of where to be and at what time.
Year 12 Tips
This is it. You need to be able to build from your other Open Day experiences. You will know what faculties to visit, and you will have a range of questions to ask. By now you should have narrowed down your options and you will be able to ask specific questions about subjects, industry engagement opportunities, mentors, support programs etc. You will know which presentations and demonstrations you need to revisit.
Go for a smooth transition
Here is a guide for you to prepare for life after school. Start early and gradually build your ability to glide gradually from school into your chosen new life, rather than leap into the unknown.
There are more law graduates in Australia each year than the total number of lawyers in Australia.
It may take you years after you graduate to find a job where you practise law.
Not only are there too many law graduates for the job vacancies that are available, you can get advice on how to write your will online. You can file for divorce online. Artificial intelligence delivers instant information that law degrees take years to deliver.
People don’t go to lawyers if they can save themselves money by doing law themselves.
The demand is down. The price is up. There is a glut of law graduates looking for work.
You might think again about doing a law degree.
Law degrees deliver great thinking and analytical skills
If someone with a law degree applied for a job I advertised, chances are they would get an interview. The job probably wouldn’t demand law work but I would presume the applicant could problem solve, think of good wording for contracts and warn me of any dodgy stuff that was in paper work. Someone with a law degree would probably be a good employee.
On the other hand, someone with a business or commerce degree may be better for my business, AND their degree would have cost them half as much.
Make Smart Decisions
If you bought a car for $70,000 you would check out a few car sales places before you made your decision to buy.
All universities in Western Australia deliver law degrees. Pick two or three universities and make an appointment with career advisors. Check out what law degrees you can specialise in. Compare the different courses and support that the different unis deliver…. there is a big difference between the support provided by unis in WA.
Ask current students questions about the courses on Whirlpool.
I loved this month’s newsletter! There were so many useful links that I’m going to use, like the Logistics Training Council publications and the Future skills Framework infographic on our demographic. So much handy information – I even signed up for the Public Sector Commissions job search so that I can pass opportunities for traineeships onto students. (Northern regional Catholic Education School)
This is a snapshot of universities in Western Australia.
BEST IN AUSTRALIA
88.4% of Notre Dame undergraduate students were satisfied with the overall quality of their learning experience according to the Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching (QILT).
91.1% Were positive about their skills development.
76.6% found full time employment
Notre Dame is a Catholic University but you don’t need to be Catholic or Christian or even religious to go there, and the fees are comparable with other universities.
The point of difference is that Notre Dame does have a spiritual, values driven, caring approach to teaching and learning which underpins their interactions and decision making. That’s why they are topping the QILT ratings.
It is quite a small university with 10,000 students and the vast majority of them are domestic students.
The university is in beautiful renovated old buildings around Fremantle.
Pastoral care and support developed for international students has been made available to help regional and remote students to settle in. The only shortcoming is the lack of Notre Dame student accommodation but the student support services people will help students to find accommodation to meet their needs.
Curtin is by far our biggest university with over 50,000 students. It seems like a city with business centres, shops, gyms, accommodation and bands and food trucks, art galleries and theatres.
I think undergraduate students could have a ball at Curtin, but the sheer size of of the place can be daunting. You need to actively work at getting engaged with the Curtin community, both social and academic, to make the most of your Curtin experience.
Curtin knows this and has invested in providing plenty of help for new students and for students with special needs, but it is up to you to seek it out.
Because of the size of the university there are many opportunities available for students to extend their experience, in Australia and internationally.
Curtin is part of a knowledge precinct in Bentley with CSIRO, Tech Park and the Pawsey supercomputer in the area. Staff and students actively seek to engage with industry to get knowledge and experience and do industry based research. It is number 2 in the world for Metals and Mining Engineering programs. This industry focus underpins the feel at Curtin.
Curtin seems exciting, dynamic and very cosmopolitan with lots of international students and with campuses in Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai as well as the one at Bentley and in Kalgoorlie.
ECU – Edith Cowan University
The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching ranks ECU as the top public university in Australia for undergraduates’ student experience. You can feel the quality of the experience when you contact ECU for information. They get back to you. They try to help.
ECU started as a college for teacher training and gradually expanded its courses with WAAPA being one of the first ventures into new areas. Now WAAPA has a reputation as one of the BEST performing arts learning academies in the world.
ECU’s more recent expansion has been into engineering with significant investment into new facilities, international learning opportunities and strong demand for graduates.
ECU is pretty big but students are on the Mt Lawley and Joondalup campuses so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
The buildings are great examples of design with some of the coolest architecture in Western Australia.
ECU is manageable and there is a strong student centric management focus which means students get help to succeed. There are many alternate pathways into ECU including the UniPrep program and experienced based entry.
People who didn’t think they could get into uni and succeed can are supported to thrive at ECU.
Murdoch has recognised that the world is changing and that there is a disconnect between education and where jobs are emerging. It has introduced “adaptive expertise” as a learning spine being introduced across the university.
They are focusing on adapting traditional courses with the application of technologies. So History + STEM could result in machine learning that unearths previously unknown information about cultures. Journalism + STEM, as seen in the use of drones, is revealing what is happening in emergency or war environments.
Murdoch has a strong focus on getting girls into engineering. They have engaged with schools and support in industry to lift the number of girls entering this field which delivers 25% of the world’s CEOs.
Murdoch has the biggest percentage of international students in WA.
They are teaching students to think globally, to seek ways to apply technology to their work and to work collaboratively.
UWA – University of Western Australia
This is our oldest university. Many industry, political and community leaders in Western Australia went to UWA which gives strong links between UWA and leaders across the State.
The UWA campus is beautiful with Winthrop Hall being the most recognised symbol of “a university” in WA. The gardens, theatres and art gallery and its role as the initiator of the Festival of Perth make UWA a hub of culture.
UWA has positioned itself as the university for high academic performers and many high achieving school leavers identify UWA as their first preference.
CQU – Central Queensland University
This is a new comer to Western Australia and it is working hard to attract students from their traditional university pathways with courses in sonography and echocardiography which are new to WA.
The main campus is located near the bottom of William Street near Elizabeth Quay and they have set up study hubs in Busselton, Broome, Geraldton and Karratha. These are often on TAFE campuses.
Many of the students are mature aged, external students who make use of online learning, occasional face to face contact and phone calls to fit their learning around their work and other demands.
Although there are 20,000 students at CQU, they are spread across Australia and numbers in WA are still quite small.
Still not sure what to do?
Go to the university open days
Contact the university career advisors. They are paid to help you.
Contact me. I will be able to point you in the right direction for help.
Director of In Focus Careers Careers Resources Hub for West Australians.
The range of careers through TAFE is too great to mention. A VET course can get you into the high demand cyber security industry or into a specialist health career without getting a degree. There are also apprenticeships and traineeships that you expect to get from TAFE. See:
Over the last couple of weeks the news has been reporting on all of the jobs being lost at universities in WA due to COVID 19 impacts. The unis are all working like crazy trying to attract local students and they are making it easier and easier to get in next year.
You can get into uni in Western Australia by doing a university preparation course. Most universities have at least one of these on offer.
After doing the course you may be offered a place at uni, which you don’t have to accept.
They are generally free.
You may be able to complete one before the start of the 2021 academic year.
You find out about a range of different courses that may interest you.
They are generally a semester long so you can start your degree in Semester 2.
You learn about university life without having the pressure of a full degree program.
Although each course is different there are usually 4 subject like….
Research Skills and Information Literacy
Normal ATAR entry through TISC applications will be the standard entry pathway for 2021. Find details HERE.
UWAY – This is an alternative entry pathway and comprehensive support program for students completing Year 12 under challenging circumstances.
The program provides academic, financial and personal support, and it is responsive to individual student needs, throughout their final year of secondary school and during their university studies. You can apply for alternative entry to an undergraduate degree course through UWay if your academic achievements have been adversely affected by certain disadvantages.
Fairway UWA is an admission entry pathway and comprehensive support program for students completing Year 12 under challenging circumstances. The program provides academic, financial and personal support, and it is responsive to individual student needs, throughout their final year of secondary school and during their university studies.
The Broadway scheme allows eligible students from a Broadway-identified Western Australian school to receive an automated ATAR adjustment if the school at which they completed their final WACE examinations:
UWA will provide an offer based on a student’s predicted ATAR from the end of Year 11. We may require a diagnostic interview to identify any additional support that may be required, including bridging units, once they arrive at UWA. At this stage Year 12 students must still sit their Year 12 exams and, when results are released, if their ATAR is higher than their predicted ATAR, they can update their application if they’d like to change their course. Find details HERE.
First in Family
If you have received an ATAR of 75-79.95 and will be the first in your family to attend university, you may still be eligible for a place at UWA. If you have a sibling at uni you are still eligible for First in Family consideration.
In recognition of the unique set of challenges Year 12 students are facing this year, 18 and 19-year-old students who are taking insufficient ATAR-based subjects or are not taking ATAR, will be eligible to sit the STAT test and a diagnostic interview as above.
The Predicted ATAR entry pathway is not applicable for Direct Pathways to Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Podiatry. The STAT test pathway is not available for any Direct Pathways or the Bachelor of Philosophy. The application process for these courses will be communicated shortly.
Applicants who have a VET Diploma can apply for entry to an undergraduate course. Find details HERE.
Indigenous Study Pathways
Did you know Indigenous students can gain entry to UWA without an ATAR? There are various pathways for gaining entry to UWA, and once you’re here, there is great support to help you settle in. Learn more about the Aboriginal Orientation Course and the Provisional Entry Scheme. Find details HERE.
UWA Foundation Program for International Students
The UWA Foundation Program is the most effective path to a place at UWA for international students. Successful completion of the program guarantees entry to an undergraduate degree, subject to any quotas or prerequisites.
The Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) provides an admission pathway to university if you don’t hold other qualifications that are acceptable for entry. It’s a test designed to assess aptitude for learning at tertiary level.
Portfolio Entry is not only for the creative courses; it is applicable to courses like Education, Science, Commerce and Health.
Indigenous Enabling Course
If you’re of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and you haven’t met the requirements for an undergraduate (degree) course, we offer a range of enabling courses. These short programs can help you meet the requirements for your chosen course, as well as equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed at university.
Not everyone has the same opportunities to achieve their true academic potential. You may have the ability to succeed at university but not had the educational, financial or social opportunities to focus on your studies and achieve a high enough Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entry.
If you are finishing Year 12 in 2020 and aiming to start university in 2021, then HorizonsPlus could be for you. This program provides an entry pathway into Murdoch.
On Track Sprint
On Track Sprint is a 4 week course run over the Christmas holidays. It is going to be a TISC option for 2021 selections. The course prepares you for entry to a course with a minimum ATAR requirement of 70.
On Track is a 14 week course that prepares students for entry to a course with a minimum ATAR requirement of 70. It is FREE.
FlexiTrack– can be done over 1 semester, accelerated 10 weeks, or 2 semesters at part time and this is entirely online.
Law Startis an admission pathway for academically capable students who wish to study Law at Murdoch University. To be eligible to apply you must have completed one or more ATAR subjects with a strong focus on communication and essay writing skills. Acceptable subjects will include but not limited to English, English Literature, Modern History, Politics and Legal Studies.
TLC10 – prepares students to apply for Murdoch through a 1 day per week course that runs all year in Mandurah and Rockingham.
Portfolio Entry – you can gain entry to courses that rely on creative talent in media, games art and design and creative writing, photography and web communication via a portfolio demonstrating your work + a number of hoops like WACE and English competence. You also need a letter of endorsement from a teacher and a 500 word application – which a school based career advisor can help you to write.
For Portfolio entry try the Domestic Admissions Team on 9360 7458 or send an email by following this link
KTrack – is offered through our Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre and is open to students who identify with the ATSI community.
ECU has accommodation at Mt Lawley, Joondalup and Bunbury. They call the accommodation ECU “villages” which isn’t quite accurate as they don’t look like villages, although the social life may make up for that.
If you subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter you know how much work I put into it. I am sometimes surprised when I meet someone at a workshop or conference who mentions something I have written.
I feel like I am working away in my cave and no one is listening.
Rebecca Herbertson, WA President of the CDAA wanted me to go for one of the National Careers Partnership Grants to have my newsletter developed for each State/Territory collating information just for that jurisdiction.
You need to be a little obsessed, a lot passionate and a tad parochial if you want to do what I do, so I don’t think it is a goer nationally.
Rebecca wrote this testimonial in support of her idea … and I am so glad she did.
The In Focus Monthly Careers Newsletter is a curated collection of current scholarships, career programs, important dates, Career Expos and events, career research and resources.
While aimed at the secondary school practitioner in WA, I find it incredibly valuable as a Careers Educator in the VET sector.
Having a trusted source of timely information means that parents, students, job seekers and career development practitioners have an up to date reliable resource telling what is out there, all in the one place. Prior to subscribing to the In Focus Careers Newsletter I would only discover resources or opportunities by accident, or through time consuming research.
Having this resource at a National level could address one of the biggest issues we have in Careers in Australia; recreating the wheel over and over because we don’t know about something that already exists.
There is currently no universally recognised system for distributing careers information or for advertising programs and events, which reaches everyone who would be genuinely interested and find it helpful.
The reinvention of the wheel can be seen in the plethora of websites which contain the same or similar information all funded by Governments, such as Jobs and Skills WA, MyFuture, Job Outlook and Job Jumpstart.
A National Resource, with a similar format of the In Focus Careers Newsletter, which was published monthly, and distributed through all schools, job actives, DES providers, TAFEs and organisations like The Smith Family across the nation, would be amazing.
Of course such a resource would need a team headed by someone like Bev Johnson, curator of the In Focus Career Resources Hub, who has the careers expertise, knowledge and energy required to put together such a well-researched publication. Without Bev’s passion, networking, and career expertise, such a resource would be likely to miss the mark.
WA Divisional President – Career Development Association of Australia
Director of Training and Compliance for the Betterlink Group – a private RTO specialising in Careers and Employment Training to the sector.
If you were hanging out for a flash of inspiration at a uni open day, careers expo or information session… WHAT DO YOU DO NOW??
Year 12s have never had it tougher when it comes to deciding what to do next.
While this is the first time year 12s will leave school, there are experts around who WANT to help you.
This simple summary of the support and main choices available to West Australian school leavers will help you to clarify your decision.
Uni or TAFE Spot the Difference
Many year 12 students don’t really understand the difference between uni and TAFE.
Guess which fashion course is at Curtin University and which is at South Metropolitan TAFE.
In this (course) you will focus on the relationship between garment and body, using a theoretical and contextual framework for understanding national and international trends and the cultural significance and practice of fashion design.
In our course you’ll learn how to produce a unique range of garments and accessories for the marketplace. You’ll gain fashion illustration and drawing skills and learn about digital design, pattern making and garment construction.
If you thought the first one was Curtin you are right. University has a more theoretical approach to learning while TAFE has a more practical focus. Pick the learning style that suits you best for next year.
Career Advice – Take action while all is quiet
The offices of university career advisors have gone quiet. The staff at Jobs and Skills Centres thought they would be run off their feet… but all is quiet there too.
If you are not clear about what to do in 2021 there has never been a better time to tap into the undivided attention of normally busy staff.
Jobs and Skills Centres aren’t just about TAFE. You can do aptitude tests to see what direction would suit you, you can get help with different uni and VET courses, they have a jobs board and you can get help with job application and interview skills. And the help is free.
Each Western Australian university free career counselling. You are under no obligation to enrol at the place where you get your counselling although your counsellor will know more about the university they are working for.
See your school career counsellor. There is no one better placed. They know you. They can talk to your teachers and your parents. They get the full picture and will be able to point you in a good direction.
You can always come to me for an online (and on phone) consultation. (Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au) I have just started to do this with students online during the lockdown and it is great fun.
Youth Allowance and Scholarships
Your decision to study may depend on finances. If you are 18 – 24 and you have supported yourself for 18 months you MAY qualify for Youth Allowance.
Check the Youth Allowance site to see if there are any benefits that you are eligible for. There is an Ask for Help button which could save you hours trying to get through on the phone. If you need to leave home to study don’t forget to ask about travel allowance.
Also check for financial assistance on the Good Universities Guide site HERE.
There are scholarships for so many purposes, not just academic excellence and they are often only available when you start university or TAFE. Search online for scholarships in your field. The Good Universities Guide tries to capture most scholarships on its site.
Ask your career advisor for help searching for scholarships.
Very few people have a clear idea of what they want to do at university. If you want to go to uni but are not exactly sure what course or subjects to take, apply the same thinking you used in Year 10 when choosing WACE subjects to keep your opportunities open.
Talk to your school career counsellor about what course to apply for and subjects to take.
Go to see a career planner at one or two universities to clarify what course and subjects you wish to take.
Decide on your top choices.
Apply to your chosen university either via TISC or via Notre Dame or your chosen university.
Unsure about Uni for Next Year
If you MIGHT want to go to uni in APPLY through TISC. If you get offered a place you can accept and DEFER for a year.
Apply for a course at your chosen university via the normal TISC or direct application process
When you get an offer contact your university to hold your offer and defer it for a year.
Alternative Pathway to Uni
If you want to go to uni but don’t get the required ATAR score there are many alternative pathways you can take.
Some universities will consider your current scores if you have a year between leaving school and starting university. They consider that the break can result in you gaining maturity that will help you to succeed at university.
Contact me and I will send the latest WA information on alternative pathways at all WA universities including TAFE colleges.
See a career planner at the university or training college of your choice.
Decide on your best option.
Apply for the alternative pathway of your choice.
If you are clear about what TAFE course you want to take contact your chosen college to enrol in September.
Talk to your school career counsellor about what course to apply for and subjects to take.
Check out North Metro TAFE courses HERE and South Metro TAFE courses HERE
Go to see a career counsellor at TAFE to clarify what course and subjects you wish to take. Ask the counsellor to advise you about courses that are subsidised by government because of skills shortages. These courses are on the State Priority Occupation List (SPOL) and are cheaper than many other courses.
Decide which course to enrol in.
Apply for a place in your chosen course. Check the college website for online applications.
Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Getting an apprenticeship or traineeship is like getting a job.
Get help from your school career advisor to prepare your CV ready for job applications.
Get references from school before you leave and get copies of them. Get the correct title and contact details of those at school who give you a reference.
Ask your family and friends if they know of any apprentice opportunities.
Search for apprenticeship opportunities on sites like Indeed, Jora and Seek.
Ask your local TAFE if they have any pre apprenticeship programs. They can be tricky to get into as demand is always high. Employers often contact their local TAFE to find a good employee to take on as an apprentice.
The Victorian Government provides free unbiased advice about taking a Gap Year HERE.