The Australian | 31 October 2012
…well better qualified, anyway.
Education levels in Australia are rising, with the latest census figures showing a dramatic rise in the number of people with a tertiary qualification, with an extra 27% of Australians now holding a bachelor degree (of the population) up from 11.6% in 2006 to 13.5% in 2011.
Over the same period, more than 200,000 extra people gained a postgraduate degree, with 3.6% of the Australian population now holding the qualification and women closing the gap with men, rising from 42.9% to 46.4%.
The most popular courses are in management and commerce, completed by 18% of people aged 15 years and over, and engineering and related technologies, completed by 15.6%.
The census report shows a small decline in the number of people studying engineering, about 0.6 percentage points, and a 1.8-point increase in the proportion of people studying management and commerce degrees.
Council of Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies convenor Zlatko Skrbis says it is an exciting trend, particularly the redressing of the gender imbalance, with women starting to catch up to men in post-graduate degrees and passing them in graduate diplomas and certificates, bachelor degrees and completing Year 12.
We are obviously getting smarter and that’s clearly the way we want to go but it’s absolutely critical that this trend isn’t arrested, that it doesn’t stop. The demands of industry are such we will need more people with postgraduate qualifications and investment in this area is absolutely critical.