Window of opportunity – increasing your chances of a permanent visa in the current Australian job market by thinking outside of the box

In recent years, Australia has become a world-wide destination for international students. High standards of education coupled with a laid-back lifestyle and easy going people can be attributed to this attraction (not to mention amazing weather that can rival any country in the world). Combined together, starting up a graduate career in Australia has become very appealing to students planning their professional careers and life. However, whilst there are some growth in the Australian Dollar, if you are considering a professional life in Australia you would do well to take note a few trends that could broaden your options with regards to employment.

In recent years, Australia’s economy has been dominated by the service sector (65 percent of total GDP), yet its economic success has been based on the mining sector (13.5 percent of GDP)[1]. At the current state of things however, Australia’s economy is not at its strongest point. One of the main reasons for this is due to the slowing down of the mining sector that has contributed significantly to the Australian economy in the past. Whilst the Reserve Bank of Australia has predicted GDP growth in the next few years (albeit being relatively low, ranging from 2.5-4.5% per year until 2017),[2] the most significant detail prospective students/graduates should pay attention to is the increased competition for graduate jobs in certain industries. This new trend has affected the job market in a way that was never experienced in the Australian economy.

Although it would be premature to reach for the crisis button, the increased competition found in certain industries directly affect the number of positions available (in that industry). In some sectors (e.g. mining), the maturation of the industry itself would also affect the amount of money involved in the sector. Combined together, these two characteristics correlates with the increasing rate of unemployment of graduates within that affected field. One example of this situation can be seen with the legal industry. With a record high of 14,600 graduates now entering the market per year,[3] the legal industry has been tough to break for recent graduates. Notwithstanding this arising trend however, the current state of things presents a unique opportunity for savvy graduates who are willing to look beyond the traditional positions their degrees give them access to.

Fortunately for this generation of graduates, they are at the point where information is instantaneous, connectivity readily available, and competition for services are driven by creativity and value (as opposed to a non-transparent, monopoly-dominated market). Taken together, these factors contribute to the growth of fresh new services – most of which are creative variations of traditional services available in the market. With customers becoming more and more educated and informed, there are now demands for businesses to deliver more value for the products they are selling. To accommodate for this, new positions now require different (if not varied) skills required from the traditional skill-sets required in traditional roles. This in turn creates new (or at least varied) positions from the traditional roles already available in the job market, which is a great opportunity for those willing to seize.

As a result, for the reasons mentioned above the current Australian job market will now require students to be smarter with their choices. By carefully considering professions that are not usually considered to be in the direct line of their original field of study, students can significantly broaden the options available to them. Specifically for international students, considering alternative possibilities will go a long way in increasing your chances of obtaining employment after studies, and hence, their chances of obtaining a permanent visa. Previously overlooked factors when considering a course of study can now have significant effect on the choice of careers one can have upon completion of their studies. These factors include the versatility of a course, the acquiring of transferrable skills and business acumen. Furthermore, other factors such as the type of employment (and how it relates to your qualifications), must be factored into consideration so that it may lead to the granting of a more permanent visa.

As some visa subclasses are dependent on the outcome of their Skills Assessment (i.e. the process of assessing an applicant’s qualifications with their nominated occupation), there is an increasing need for potential students to see the bigger picture. Paying attention to the fact that traditional roles are most likely over-competitive and that some industries are slowing down, prospective students are in the unique situation where they have more control over their futures than any generation of students before them. By choosing the right school, the right courses and with proper planning and management, it is more than possible to navigate through the current downturn in the graduate job market and increase your chances of gaining a Skilled Migration Visa and make Australia your permanent home.

For discussions of career opportunities, occupations in demand and visa options, our migration experts at Valet Migration can help you navigate through these issues. Contact us on 02 9191 5580

[1] Sourced from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/gdp-growth-annual.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Sourced from http://www.afr.com/business/legal/too-many-law-graduates-and-not-enough-jobs-20151020-gkdbyx