The greatest concern for any international student is a guarantee of employment. In this VUCA world, it is very important to have enough opportunities for employability and that is one of the major reasons for students in deciding a study destination. Australia has been attracting international students for a long time mainly because of the excellent education system it offers along with a high chance of employability.
Historically, the courses that have been traditionally popular with international students were accounting, engineering, business, nursing, travel & hospitality etc. These courses continue to be a safe bet for international students. Having said that, it is imperative to look at what other sectors/industries are being developed to make a well informed choice of one’s career.
It is very important for us to remember that for more employment opportunities, the economy of the state must be stable with pro active support from the local government to develop these industries and expand in an organic way. Queensland Government has invested $650 million in the future of Queensland, supporting growth, innovation, and research development across several key industries. To build on the state’s competitive strengths, diversify the economy and create knowledge-based jobs of the future, Queensland is driving innovation-led economic growth through increased collaboration between government, industry, and research organisations, locally and internationally.
The key industries that are being developed in Queensland that will help students launch great careers in the coming years are :
1. Advanced Agriculture:
Australia is a major agricultural producer and exporter with Queensland being the hub of innovations in the agri space. It is interesting to note that Agtech is predicted to become Australia’s next $100 billion industry by 2030. With a track record of innovation and research excellence, Australian Universities provide relevant courses in this field which are globally relevant and open new job avenues.
2. Advanced Manufacturing:
Advanced manufacturing integrates with several other knowledge-intensive industries identified by the Queensland Government – Advanced Agriculture, Next Generation Aerospace, Biomedicine, Sustainable Energy and Smart Mining – as it facilitates the capabilities and deliverables of these other industry outcomes.
Education pathways include STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) courses as well as vocational education and training opportunities. James Cook University is ideally placed near regional manufacturing hubs in Cairns and Townsville, while studying at Central Queensland University offers opportunities in Rockhampton. Advanced Manufacturing study pathways are also available at Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland and Griffith University.
3. Next Generation Aerospace
Queensland hosts almost half of the world’s top 10 aerospace companies including Boeing, Airbus, Northrup Grumman and Raytheon. Queensland also has collaborative research programs in place with the USA in regard to hypersonic flight, new aerospace materials and the development of defence project capabilities. Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space Technologies is investing heavily in developing, testing and deploying new space technology, including the 2022 launch of the first Australian payload on an Australian rocket from Australia – an exciting step for Australia’s fledgling space industry.
Qualifications and courses specific to aerospace are offered at The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, University of Southern Queensland, Southern Cross University, Griffith University and TAFE Queensland. Aviation Australia has two campuses in Queensland – Brisbane and Cairns – to provide training across a wide range of aerospace qualifications.
Queensland is a global expert in tropical medicine and infectious diseases with expertise in the in-demand fields of e-health and telemedicine. It has a world-class research base, state-of-the-art translational research facilities and hospitals, and 2 of Australia’s leading biopharmaceutical contract manufacturers. Pre-clinical and early-phase clinical trials capabilities allow for projects across vaccine development and delivery, biome analysis and development, immunotherapies and complementary medicines. In the world of biotechnology, opportunities include innovative medical devices and diagnostics and digital health technologies such as connected and wearable devices and telehealth. Study opportunities for a career in biomedicine and health technology are varied with relevant courses offered at most Queensland universities.
5. Smart mining
Queensland already has a world-leading mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector with the opportunity to export this niche knowledge and expertise to other states and overseas markets. Uncover a career in the mining, resources, and energy industry through relevant degrees in geography, science, engineering, and environmental science at most Queensland universities. With such interesting opportunities coming on the way, it is the right time for international students to pursue their interest and start a global career in these exciting sectors that are going to be globally in demand.
(The author is Head - International Education & Training (South Asia), Trade & Investment Queensland)
Remya Mohanakrishnan, Head - International Education & Training (South Asia), Trade & Investment Queensland