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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2007   
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Contents >> Education and Training >> Educational attainment

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Formal educational qualifications are the desired outcome of most study at educational institutions. When issued by an accredited authority they denote a particular level of knowledge, skills and perhaps competencies. This assists the graduates themselves when entering the labour market, employers in selecting appropriate personnel, and clients in assessing the quality of professional services. The classification of educational attainment to level assists in measuring the stocks of available skills in a community, enabling policy makers to monitor the volume of skill levels compared with skill shortages, and to influence the direction of future educational focus.

In May 2005, of the 13.3 million people aged 15-64 years, 6.8 million (51%) held at least one non-school qualification. These comprised 2.6 million whose level of highest non-school qualification was a Bachelor degree or above. A further 1.1 million reported an Advanced diploma or Diploma, 2.0 million reported a Certificate III or IV and 0.8 million reported a Certificate I or II as their highest qualification. Half the population (50%) had completed Year 12, and almost two-thirds (65%) of those with Year 12 held a non-school qualification. Among those without a non-school qualification, 36% had completed Year 12, 14% had completed Year 11 and a further 31% had completed Year 10 as their highest year of schooling (table 10.29).


10.29 LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a), By highest year of school completed - May 2005

Level of education
Highest year of school completed

Year 12
Year 11
Year 10
Year 9 or
below
Total(b)
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

Postgraduate degree
376.2
6.4
8.0
**1.5
392.1
Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate
283.2
12.4
20.3
**3.3
319.2
Bachelor degree
1,772.0
47.2
67.3
7.9
1,894.4
Advanced diploma/Diploma
746.0
106.1
175.0
26.8
1,053.8
Certificate III/IV
662.8
306.8
802.3
187.5
1,959.4
Certificate I/II
300.5
120.8
325.5
83.4
830.3
Certificate not further defined
112.7
34.2
73.2
18.1
238.1
Level not determined
80.6
19.9
43.9
15.7
160.1
Total with non-school qualification
4,334.0
653.8
1,515.5
344.1
6,847.4
Total without non-school qualification
2,299.3
890.9
1,990.7
1,268.1
6,448.9
Total
6,633.2
1,544.7
3,506.2
1,612.2
13,296.3

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.
(b) Includes persons who never attended school.
Source: ABS data available on request, 2005 Survey of Education and Work.


Graph 10.30 shows the proportion of males and females aged 15-64 years and their level of highest non-school qualification in 1995, 2000, and 2005. During this period the proportion of people aged 15-64 years with a Bachelor degree or above increased by 6.8 percentage points for males and by 8.6 percentage points for females. In 1995 some 12% of males and females held a Bachelor degree or above. By 2000, these proportions had increased to 16% and 15% respectively. The proportions of males and females with a Bachelor degree or above continued to increase, reaching 19% for males and 20% for females at May 2005. Conversely, the proportion of males and females without non-school qualifications fell markedly over this period, by 8.4 and 12.7 percentage points, respectively.



10.30 LEVELS OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a)



Overall, people 25 years and over are more qualified than those under 25 years, where most (57%) are involved in some study and are yet to obtain a non-school qualification (table 10.28). Tables 10.31 and 10.32 examine the level and field of the highest non-school qualification held by people aged 15-64 years in May 2005. Some 58% of all 25-64 year olds held a non-school qualification. This compares with 27% of 15-24 year olds and the most qualified age group of 25-34 years, where 64% of that group held a non-school qualification.

In 2005, 29% of persons aged 25-34 years had a highest non-school qualification of a Bachelor degree or above, compared with 16% in the 55-64 years age group (table 10.31). There was little difference however for Certificates III or IV held by these age groups (17% for 25-34 year olds compared with 15% for 55-64 year olds).


10.31 LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a), By age group - May 2005

Level of education
Age group (years)

15-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
Total
’000
'000
’000
’000
’000
’000

Postgraduate degree
5.9
98.2
120.7
100.7
66.7
392.1
Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate
8.5
78.2
89.0
95.6
47.9
319.2
Bachelor degree
208.5
640.2
453.1
384.3
208.3
1,894.4
Advanced diploma/Diploma
108.0
247.7
271.9
255.3
171.0
1,053.8
Certificate III/IV
227.4
471.9
506.9
438.8
314.4
1,959.4
Certificate I/II
94.7
147.1
216.4
204.9
167.2
830.3
Certificate not further defined
74.9
70.4
43.3
36.5
13.1
238.1
Level not determined
14.1
37.5
35.2
37.9
35.5
160.1
Total with non-school qualifications
742.0
1,791.1
1,736.4
1,553.9
1,024.1
6,847.4
Total without non-school qualifications
2,050.8
1,002.4
1,192.9
1,155.7
1,047.1
6,448.9
Total
2,792.8
2,793.5
2,929.3
2,709.6
2,071.1
13,296.3

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.
Source: Education and Work, Australia, May 2005 (6227.0).


The most common main fields of education for the highest non-school qualification held by people aged 15-64 years were Management and commerce (23% of those with qualifications), and Engineering and related technologies (19%) (table 10.32). Mature aged persons (45-64 years) most frequently had qualifications in the fields of Engineering and related technologies (23%) and Management and commerce (21%).


10.32 MAIN FIELD OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a), By age group - May 2005

Field of education
Age group (years)
Total

15-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

Natural and physical sciences
22.9
73.6
67.5
51.6
40.0
255.7
Information technology
57.4
94.2
61.2
31.7
12.2
256.7
Engineering and related technologies
91.9
281.6
348.7
321.2
267.5
1,310.8
Architecture and building
38.4
110.9
107.9
103.8
76.4
437.5
Agriculture, environment and related studies
24.2
54.8
57.1
42.0
16.1
194.2
Health
50.0
152.5
175.8
184.3
114.1
676.6
Education
22.7
100.2
125.4
160.6
92.5
501.3
Management and commerce
193.8
453.4
416.3
331.7
207.9
1,603.0
Society and culture
84.0
212.5
189.3
184.7
120.9
791.3
Creative arts
53.9
101.9
63.9
48.9
18.1
286.6
Food, hospitality and personal services
91.1
132.1
99.7
69.0
43.1
435.0
Other(b)
11.8
23.4
23.7
24.5
15.2
98.6
Total
2,792.8
2,793.5
2,929.3
2,709.6
2,071.1
13,296.3

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.
(b) Includes Field not determined and Mixed field programmes.
Source: Education and Work, Australia, May 2005 (6227.0).


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