6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2007   
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December 18, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEDT)
More Australians seeking qualifications: ABS

More Australians have been seeking higher educational qualifications, with the largest increase being in Bachelor Degrees, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Nearly 2.5 million people (18% of all Australians aged 15-64) were enrolled in a course of study as at May 2007.

The proportion with a non-school qualification (such as TAFE or University) was 53%, up from 40% in 1997. The largest increase has been in people attaining a Bachelor Degree or above, up from 14% in 1997 to 21% in 2007.

For people undertaking study:
  • The majority (95%) were enrolled in courses that would lead to a qualification.
  • 37% (928,800 people) were attending higher education institutions; 29% (725,900) were at school, and 21% (518,700) were at TAFEs.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of students were studying full-time, and under half (43%) were in the 15 to 19 age group.
  • After Year 12, the most common field of education was management and commerce (17%), followed by society and culture (13%).

For people with qualifications:
  • 7.2 million people had non-school qualifications.
  • The most commonly reported fields of education were management and commerce (24%) and engineering and related technologies (19%).
  • Over eight in ten people (83%) with a non-school qualification were employed, compared to six in ten (64%) without.
  • Most (78%) employed people with non-school qualifications worked full-time compared to around two-thirds (64%) of workers without a non-school qualification.
  • Almost a third (32%) of people reported Year 11 or below as their highest educational qualification, with 21% completing Year 12.

For more information see Survey of Education and Work, Australia, May 2007 (cat. no. 6227.0).