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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Education and training

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Formal educational qualifications are a desired outcome of most study at educational institutions. When issued by an accredited authority they denote a particular level of knowledge, skills and competencies.

Formal qualifications assist graduates when entering the labour market, they help employers to select appropriate personnel, and enable clients to assess the quality of professional services. The classification of educational attainment through the formal Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) assists in measuring the stock of available skills in a community, enabling policy-makers to monitor the supply of skilled personnel compared with the demand for those personnel, and to plan for the direction of future educational focus.

In 2011, of Australia’s resident population of 14.8 million people aged 15
-64 years, 8.4 million (57%) held at least one formal (non-school) qualification. Approximately 3.5 million had completed a Bachelor degree or above. A further 1.4 million reported an Advanced diploma or Diploma, 2.6 million a Certificate III or IV and 0.5 million a Certificate I or II as their highest qualification.

Just over two-thirds of 15-64 year olds (69%) who had attained Year 12 went on to complete a qualification, the majority obtaining a Bachelor degree or above. In contrast, only a minority of people who had not completed Year 12 (45%) went on to obtain a qualification, most commonly at the Certificate level (table 12.26).


12.26 LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION, By highest year of school completed(a)May 2011
HIGHEST YEAR OF SCHOOL COMPLETED
Level of education
Year 12
Year 11
Year 10
Year 9 or below(b)

Postgraduate degree
%
7.7
0.5
0.4
0.1
Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate
%
3.3
0.8
0.5
0.1
Bachelor degree
%
28.5
3.0
1.4
0.7
Advanced diploma/Diploma
%
11.7
8.1
5.9
1.8
Certificate III/IV
%
12.7
24.2
27.6
13.6
Certificate I/II
%
2.6
5.7
5.4
3.5
Total with non-school qualification(c)
%
69.1
45.4
44.4
22.0
Total without non-school qualification
%
30.9
54.6
55.6
78.0
Total
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total
'000
8 490.8
1 621.3
3 353.4
1 382.6

(a) Persons aged 15–64 years.
(b) Includes persons who never attended school.
(c) Includes certificate not further defined and level not determined.
Source: ABS data available on request, 2011 Survey of Education and Work.


Almost two-thirds (64%) of 25-64 year olds had completed a non-school qualification compared to 28% of 15-24 year olds, many of whom would still be completing their studies (table 12.27). Among the 10-year age cohorts, people aged 25-34 years were the most likely to have a qualification (69%).

In 2011, 35% of people aged 25-34 years had a Bachelor degree or above, compared with 21% of 55-64 year olds. In comparison, a similar proportion of 25-34 year olds and 55-64 year olds (19% and 18%) had completed a Certificate III/IV.


12.27 LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION, By ageMay 2011
AGE GROUPS (YEARS)
Level of education
15-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
Total(a)

Postgraduate degree
%
0.4
6.4
6.2
5.3
4.7
4.6
Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate
%
0.1
1.9
2.5
3.2
3.1
2.1
Bachelor degree
%
7.4
26.8
21.2
15.1
13.3
17.0
Advanced diploma/Diploma
%
4.2
9.6
11.1
11.7
9.1
9.1
Certificate III/IV
%
10.5
19.0
20.2
19.4
18.3
17.4
Certificate I/II
%
3.5
2.7
3.9
3.9
4.6
3.7
Total with non-school qualification(b)
%
28.2
69.4
67.8
61.1
55.9
56.5
Total without non-school qualification
%
71.8
30.6
32.2
38.9
44.1
43.5
Total
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total
'000
3 122.5
3 215.9
3 118.1
2 969.3
2 422.3
14 848.1

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.
(b) Includes certificate not further defined and level not determined.
Source: Education and Work, Australia, May 2011 (6227.0).


In the five years 2006 to 2011, the proportion of people aged 15-64 years with a Bachelor degree or above increased from 21% to 24%, while the proportion aged 25-34 years with a Bachelor degree or above increased from 29% to 35%. The proportion of women aged 25-34 years with a Bachelor degree or above increased from 32% to 40%, while the corresponding proportion of men in that age group increased from 26% to 30% (graph 12.28).

Graph 12.28 LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION



Over half of people aged 15-64 years with a qualification held their highest qualification in one of the three broad fields of Management and commerce (24%), Engineering and related technologies (17%) or Society and culture (14%) (table 12.29). A similar proportion of people in each 10-year age cohort had completed their highest non-school qualification in Society and culture (13% and 14%). A higher proportion of people in older cohorts had completed their highest qualification in Engineering and related technologies, while a slightly higher proportion of young people had completed their highest qualification in Management and commerce.


12.29 MAIN FIELD OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION, By ageMay 2011
AGE GROUP (YEARS)
Field of highest non-school qualification
15-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
Total(a)
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

Natural and physical sciences
29.1
83.9
74.3
59.1
55.7
302.1
Information technology
41.3
130.6
80.6
44.8
22.0
319.2
Engineering and related technologies
111.0
331.7
337.9
348.9
299.1
1 428.7
Architecture and building
63.7
128.9
132.1
119.3
79.6
523.6
Agriculture, environment and related studies
26.6
61.9
63.2
45.3
26.9
223.9
Health
67.6
203.1
209.0
222.1
139.9
841.6
Education
26.4
121.9
149.5
144.0
144.0
585.8
Management and commerce
216.9
570.5
521.1
411.4
284.8
2 004.6
Society and culture
124.5
295.3
295.0
244.4
191.6
1 150.8
Creative arts
58.8
130.2
100.3
60.3
37.8
387.4
Food, hospitality and personal services
101.3
140.0
123.8
83.2
51.4
499.6
Other(b)
12.6
33.6
28.7
31.0
20.2
126.1
Total
879.9
2 231.6
2 115.4
1 813.7
1 352.9
8 393.5

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.
(b) Includes 'Field not determined' and 'Mixed field programmes'.
Source: Education and Work, Australia, May 2011 (6227.0).

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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