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Study Abroad: 10 popular programmes in Australia
Raj Ganguly
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October 10, 2007

International students in Australia comprise 36 percent of the higher education enrollment. For every three college/university students in the land down under, one of them is studying abroad!

At present, the number of international student's touches 300,000. Indian students, with 42,000, is the number one exporter to Australia, followed by China.

These numbers tell a story. Australia has come up in recent times to compete with the US and the UK in attracting foreign students. It not only provides world-class education but also offers lucrative career options to students who prove themselves.

It is important for the students aspiring to go overseas -- particularly Australia -- to know about the range of courses and the future career prospects. The advantage they enjoy today is a wide variety of subjects to choose from depending on their areas of interest.

Before you can step inside the classroom, however, you must first qualify and clear a few hurdles.

An Australian educational qualification conventionally leads to permanent residency and work visa. On completion of a course in Australia, International students who wish to stay will have to apply for a work visa and work in their relevant field of interest for at least one year to be eligible to apply for a permanent residency or visa.

Let us embark on a journey and explore a few courses in Australia popular among Indian students. Australia offers considerable advantage for international and foreign students, as its universities are held in high repute internationally, and offers an enormous range of subjects in every discipline.  


The most popular and sought after courses among Indian students are that of business. Most students look for a major that will help them develop their managerial skills and focus. Needless to mention that Business related courses help them to land up with lucrative and coveted jobs. Let us glance through a few areas of major in business courses:

Banking and Finance

Management Information Systems


International Business

Human Resources


Business Management and Administration

A good number of Indian students travel to Australia for MBA. The MBA journey begins with proper planning � planning requires an understanding of all the important variables that can impact on the decision making process. There is another vitally important aspect why the location of MBA is important. A good MBA programme is not simply about what you study, but also about who you met and network with for future benefit.

Almost all major universities in Australia offer MBA programmes varying in length from 18 months to five years depending on whether students are full-time or part-time. MBA programmes are made up of a mix of both full and part-time students, domestic and international.

Information Technology

The most preferred courses among Indian youth today is Information Technology. IT courses in Australia is a mix of technical knowledge and theory added with practical experience. The practical nature these courses mean that it produces that kind of graduates the employers want. There would be long list of courses one can choose in IT depending on budget and time span. 


The next major area of interest among Indian students is engineering. This field is popular among Indian students as the areas of specialisation as well as job opportunities are too many. Let us see the areas of specialisation:

Computer Science Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Industrial Engineering

Metallurgical Engineering

Aerospace Engineering

Agricultural Science

Australia with its vast greenery has loads of opportunities in Agriculture. This may be a comparatively new area for Indian students but slowly gaining popularity primarily because of an assurance of a job. With more and more students congregating for MBAs and other Master's, the competition in this field is comparatively low.

Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management

The development of university-level hospitality and tourism degrees in Australia has been a recent phenomenon in comparison with the United States and United Kingdom. This particular area has become trendy due to good career prospects and employment potential. Be it in Airline industry, be it in casinos, be it in five-star hotels, be it on cruises � the list is endless. There are short courses in the form of Diplomas or Advanced Diplomas as well as long ones in the form of Bachelors Degrees and Masters.

Other than these there are five more occupational courses which are gaining popularity among Indian students.


A recent and new course has paved its way: Hairdressing. Students willing to do something new and unconventional are flocking in for this career oriented course. There are short certificate courses or relatively longer diploma version and once a candidate passes out there are a number of opportunities waiting for them.

Commercial Pilot License Courses

There are dreamers and there are ones who dare. This is a vocational course for those who dare. Dare to fly, dare to take risks, dare to make the sky your home. It is a bit expensive course, but once you pass out, your life will definitely not be the same again.


The profession of nursing is gaining grounds more because of its scope and opportunities. It is a well-paid profession in Australia as compared to India.

Photography Courses

This is a course mostly for professional photographers who want to upgrade their skills. However, that does not necessarily mean fresher's cannot gain entry. Professional photography has become a very demanding profession world over so there is no dearth of opportunity even if one is a freelancer.


Artistically inclined students could consider any of the following.

Fashion Designing

Interior Decoration

Jewelry Designing

Graphic Designing

Film Making

Not everyone is keen but all of us are aware of these professions. They are highly paid professionals be it in India or abroad.

A Word of Caution

Finally, it is equally important to know that even a right qualification might not get you the job you actually want. Unknowingly, we miss opportunities for the right job, here's why.

Five Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make

Most graduate job seekers miss out employment opportunities abroad not because they are unsuitable for the position but are not aware of the application and interview process of that particular country. Let us quickly find out the top five mistakes so that you don't miss the opportunity.

Little or No Research - Internationally, it is expected that you should do a bit of research about the organisation you want to join. One of the major problems Indian students particularly face is lack of understanding about the organisation which is interpreted as a lack of serious interest about the job. 

Generic Cover Letter - A common mistake most Indian students make is not customising the cover letter and application. This projects an impression that applications are sent off generically or sent in mass.

Typos - Typographical or spelling errors are common among most Indian students. Mistakes in resume or cover letter are considered unprofessional.

Lack of Demonstration - Failure to demonstrate clearly the skills and knowledge areas by Indian students is a serious issue in the selection process.

Dog's Breakfast - Lack of presentation skills like unclear structure or too much unnecessary information makes it unimpressive.

These suggestions are not meant for Australia but anywhere in the globe. Next time when you apply for a job please keep these points in mind; you may possibly land up with the dream job.

Raj Ganguly is CEO of Raj Ganguly and Associates (Management Consultants) in Kolkata. He is an overseas education expert.

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