In the last year, we have come across many dramatic changes in the job markets around the world; those who were in the process of a job search when the pandemic hit, may find that all their planning was entirely pointless. These are uncertain times with many industries struggling to stay afloat: there have been several cases reported of layoffs and of employees facing massive pay cuts from across the globe. As for Australia, economists predict the double whammy of the virus outbreak will rapidly accelerate structural changes in its job market. Thirty years on from when Australia last slid into recession, the job hunt does not seem easy and unemployment rates have skyrocketed to more than a million. The combination of a recession, the pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns pose a profound challenge for the country’s economy and the future labor market. The entire shut down of once-thriving sectors in a matter of days by a tiny spiky microbe gives this global economic crisis a particularly vicious edge; frontend workforce in the hospitality, entertainment, and hotel industries the first to bear the brunt. Jobs that once looked secure were the next to send people home as the contagion spread throughout Australia. On the positive side of the story, economic experts assure us that sooner than later,  “new jobs will arise,” and were quoted stating,  “We don’t know the jobs of the future. We never did. But we know young people will have multiple careers and jobs and experience lifelong learning. Learning on the job will be more important than ever.” Having shared that, if you are an international student who is about to graduate or has graduated from a university in Australia and is wondering what to do next, read on to know what your options are. 

Career options for students after graduation in Australia
©Buddymantra
  • Stay in Australia to Work/Study

International students who choose to stay in Australia, can either continue their studies to pursue a higher level of qualification in a field of their choice or take up a post-study job to gain some work experience in Australia. It’s important to note that whether you choose to take up a job after your graduation or pursue further studies in Australia, you will have to check if your visa allows you to do so. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a new visa.  For detailed information on this, visit the Department of Home Affairs and understand the visa conditions and various options.

  • Apply for Permanent Residency in Australia

 Once you complete your studies in Australia, you can obtain Permeant Residency. Your PR will help you grab job opportunities and permanently live in Australia. Applying for an Australian PR involves several steps that can get confusing and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s recommended that you thoroughly research your options before you begin the process. 

  • Extend Your Stay in Australia With a Temporary Visa

If you are an international student who does not wish to continue further studies but would like to extend your stay in Australia to either work or travel, your student visa may not entitle you to do so. In such a case, you can apply for other temporary visa options. The Skilled — Graduate (Temporary) Visa allows international students to remain in Australia for eighteen months after completion of studies to either travel or to gain some work experience. An increasing number of international students are opting to stay back in Australia just to improve their English language skills. For these students, The Skilled — Graduate (Temporary) Visa is a good option. This option is also advantageous for students who wish to extend their stay in Australia and work towards obtaining their Permanent Residency. To gather more information on this, visit the Department of Home Affairs.

  • Apply for Professional Year Program

International students in Australia who have completed their graduation in the field of engineering, computers, and accounting are eligible to enroll in PYP (Professional Year Program). This a one year program aimed at equipping international graduates with skills that will enhance their employability, through work and study experience. PYP is a perfect option for students who wish to obtain an Australian Permanent Residency. After completion of a professional year in Australia, you can earn up to five points in the Skilled Migrant Visa Points Test.

  • Take a Break 

If neither working, nor traveling, nor living in Australia after graduation, works out for you, then you must return to your home country. This may not be easy for someone who has been living in Australia for many years, but remember that sometimes, a career break is a great opportunity to analyze the pros and cons of your decisions before taking the next step. Taking a break from your normal routine can be highly beneficial for your mental and physical well-being. 

Whatever be the decision you choose to make, join your university’s alumni group. It will not only help you to keep in touch with your peers but might also provide you with different ideas, perspectives, and highly beneficial opportunities in the form of internships, workshops, jobs, or volunteering positions.

Sowmya Putran
Author

Sowmya is an architectural journalist and writer. In this column, Sowmya takes you through stories on eco-architecture, biophilic design, and green buildings from across the globe.

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