Approaching the job market

Depending on your industry or your area of interest, the job market may be competitive and you’ll need to plan ahead to refine your job-seeking strategy. It’s important to be prepared and to manage your expectations.

Preparation is key

To prepare yourself, start by getting as much work experience as early as you can while you are still a student. Start developing different types of skills and experiences in your studies and extra-curricular activities. You can find more information about work experience options such as internships and volunteering, as well guidance on planning your future and developing your skills. For employment and graduate pathway information specific to your faculty, please see our faculty pages.

Understand the job market

  • Australian job market

    There's a lot of information available to help you navigate the Australian job market. It's important to remember that the market is always changing, and a vital aspect of your professional development is knowing how and when to adapt. To stay informed, check regularly for updates and news related to your industry or interest area.

    Australian employment trends 2016–2017

    The following sites offer additional information on the Australian job market and industry trends.

    • Australian Labour Market – Australian government site offering up-to-date statistics on current labour market trends.
    • Australia's Top 100 Graduate Employers – Grad Australia has produced the definitive guide to Australia's most popular graduate employers based on votes by Australian university students.
    • Business Insider Australia – current news and events in the Australian job market.
    • Labour Market Information Portal – Australian government information portal on employment statistics and industry trends. You can use the portal for national statistics and trends, or refine by region.
    • My Future – find out about required qualifications, pathways and possible occupations.
    • JobOutlook – Careers and labour market research information site to help you decide on your future career. Use the search options below to find a wealth of information covering around 350 individual occupations.
    • Skills shortages – the Australia Government Department of Employment conducts research to identify skill shortages in the Australian labour market. The research results provide information about skill shortages at the state, territory and national level.
    • SEEK Employment Trends – informationon current employment trends from one of Australia's most prominent job sites.
    • Victorian Government Graduate Programs – resources and information about careers and graduate programs with the Victorian Government.

    When you are ready to begin your job search, please visit our list of Australian job search sites.

  • International job market

    The following advice is for domestic students interested in working overseas. If you are an international student, refer to the additional information for job seeking.

    For students looking to work overseas, GoinGlobal outlines employment and workplace information for more than 40 countries across Asia, Europe, North and South America, UAE and South Africa.

    The following advice will help you to navigate overseas job markets and seek employment.

    1. Understand the international job market: learn about the global job market and find information about your industry. Start searching for jobs advertised on internet sites, job boards, employer websites, professional associations’ websites, and in magazines and newspapers. You can also search directly on company websites for advertised positions and employment opportunities.
    2. Understand visa work requirements: all countries regulate work for non-citizens and residents. Contact the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to work to determine their requirements. There are a wide range of international working holiday schemes and special international agreements that have been negotiated with over 17 countries. The Australian Government provides further information on working holidays overseas.
    3. Be proactive: you will need to use a range of job-seeking strategies, so building networks is vital both before you leave home and upon arrival in your new country. You will need to do your research, conduct informational interviews and make direct approaches to organisations. This means having contact with other travellers, locals and professional associations who can also provide opportunities and leads.
    4. Register with recruitment agencies which seek candidates globally: recruitment agents work on behalf of the employer (who pays them) rather than the candidate, so you need to maintain regular contact with your recruiter to ensure that they are active in seeking a match for you.
    5. Register with an established organisation: many organisations assist with working holidays, work experience opportunities, volunteer work and international internships. This is an option to explore, especially if you do not have your own contacts or experience living in another country. These organisations will be able to confirm your placement and provide you with a briefing prior to departure. However, most organisations will charge a fee for providing these services.

Employment in academia

Most academics are involved in both research and teaching in higher education. Some academics work solely in research; a small percentage may be in teaching-only positions.

While there is increasing level of part-time and casual employment in entry-level academia, it is still a major career path for many RHD graduates. Academia is a sector with a large proportion of older workers; it is projected that there will be increasing demand for staff in coming decades as this group retires.

Students considering an academic career are advised to discuss preparation with their supervisor and others in their field and faculty. As in any profession, it is critical to connect with others in your field and to build relationships to let people know of your work and aspirations as well as your specialisation.

Academic career websites