6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/11/2008   
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November 26, 2008

Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEDT)

Australians are seeking qualifications at a higher level:ABS

Qualifications such as Bachelor Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates are being undertaken by more Australians, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

More than 2.5 million people (19% of all Australians aged 15–64) were enrolled in a course of study as at May 2008.

The proportion of people with non-school qualifications (see media note) has increased to 54%, up from 42% in 1998. The proportion attaining a Bachelor Degree or higher has almost doubled, from 14% in 1998 to 22% in 2008.

For people undertaking study:

  • The majority (96%) were enrolled in courses that would lead to a qualification.
  • 38% (968,200 people) were attending higher education institutions; 28% (728,600) were at school, and 22% (563,500) were at TAFEs.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of students were studying full-time, and under half (43%) were in the 15 to 19 age group.
  • After Mixed field programs, which includes school education, the most common field of education was Management and commerce (18%), followed by Society and culture (12%).

For people with qualifications:

  • 7.5 million people had non-school qualifications.
  • The most commonly reported fields of education were Management and commerce (23%) and Engineering and related technologies (18%).
  • Most people (83%) with non-school qualifications were employed, compared to 65% without.
  • Over three quarters (77%) of people with non-school qualifications were employed in a full-time capacity, compared to almost two-thirds (64%) of employed people who did not hold a non-school qualification.
  • Almost a third (31%) of people reported Year 11 or below as their highest educational qualification.
  • Almost half (47%) of people reported Certificate III or above as their highest educational attainment.

Further details can be found in Education and Work, Australia, May 2008(cat. no. 6227.0) available for free download from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>.

Media note: Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. They include qualifications at the Postgraduate Degree level, Master Degree level, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate level, Bachelor Degree level, Advanced Diploma and Diploma level, and Certificates I, II, III and IV levels.