Why should I study?

Further study has been proven to be well worth the effort at all stages of life.

Once you start in further education you can specialise in whatever you want – it is as much about learning how to study as it is about what you are learning. If you can research, analyse, problem-solve and communicate well, you can translate those skills to whatever you end up doing.

Fact: People with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to be employed, with 81% of persons with a Bachelor degree or above and 76% of persons with an Advanced diploma, Diploma or Certificate III or IV being employed.

— Australian Bureau of Statistics, Education and Work, Australia, May 2015

No matter how you define success – whether it’s in dollar signs, knowing your job is secure, feeling satisfied in your work or challenging yourself to reach new levels of knowledge – further study, at any stage of your life, will open up opportunities.

Fact: Most people are doing it. In 2015, 58% of all school leavers were enrolled in formal study at a non-school institution.

— Australian Bureau of Statistics, Education and Work, Australia, May 2015

For younger students, studying can be an important time of transition when you get to learn new things and also meet new people, many of whom will share your interests or expose you to different ways of thinking. 

Fact: The more you study, the closer you'll get to your dream. Almost nine out of ten employed people whose highest qualification was a postgraduate award reported their qualification was relevant to their job.

— Australian Bureau of Statistics, Learning and Work Australia, 2010–2011

Employers understand that it takes commitment and self-motivation to complete further study, and these are qualities that are difficult to show without a lot of work experience.

Fact: 71.3 per cent of bachelor degree graduates found full-time work within just four months of their graduation. A further 18.1 per cent were in casual or part-time positions.

— Graduate Careers, Australian Graduate Survey 2013

Fact: A bachelor degree has great impact. Out of all the jobs that will be created in the next four years, one-third will go to those with a bachelor degree or higher.

— Graduate Careers, GradStats 2013

Qualifications also allow you to go for better paid jobs down the track, get promoted within your company and find work more quickly when opportunities arise. And the higher your qualifications, the more it affects the money you make during your career.

Fact: With a bachelor degree you are likely to earn around $2.9 million in your lifetime. That's $830,000 more than someone who finishes study at Year 12 and $1.16 million more than a Year 11-leaver. With a postgraduate degree, you'll earn over $3.17 million.

— AMP.NATSEM, Smart Australians report, 2013

Looking at it another way, having a traineeship increases earnings by about 8 per cent, a diploma by about 14 per cent, an apprenticeship by about 20 per cent and a bachelor degree by about 30 per cent. With a postgraduate degree you are likely to average just over $20,000 more a year than those with a bachelor degree. Here are some current wage comparisons:

  • A retail assistant with no qualifications will earn an average of $50,000 but someone in a marketing role with a higher education qualification will take home an average of $98,000
  • An office administration assistant with no qualifications will live on $54,000 a year, but a banking and financial services professional with a higher education qualification averages $91,000
  • A hospitality worker without any qualifications can expect to earn $40,000 a year, but an individual with a higher education qualification, working in PR and communications within hospitality, can double that to $81,000