6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2010 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/11/2010   
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24 November 2010
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Over half the Australian population has a qualification

Over half (56%) of the Australian population aged 15-64 years (8.1 million people) had a qualification in 2010 compared with 47% in 2001.

The proportion of people attaining a Bachelor Degree or higher increased from 17% in 2001 to 23% in 2010.

About 2.8 million people (20% of all Australians aged 15–64 years) were enrolled in formal or non-formal learning as at May 2010 compared to 18% in 2001.

A higher proportion of females (21%) than males (18%) were enrolled in a course of study.

For people undertaking study:

  • 39% (1,093,200 people) were attending higher education institutions; 27% (755,700) were at school, 21% (598,500) were at TAFE institutions and 14% (383,800) were at other educational institutions.
  • The majority of students (64%) were studying full-time.
  • 41% of students were aged 15 to 19 years.
  • 59% of students were employed and of these about half were employed full time.
  • The most common field of education (for persons enrolled in a qualification) was Management and commerce (25%), followed by Society and culture (19%).
  • The proportion of people studying Health increased from 9% in 2001 to 12% in 2010.
  • Females were most likely to study Management and commerce (26%), Society and culture (24%) and Health (17%).
  • Males were most likely to study Management and commerce (23%), Engineering and related technologies (20%) and Society and culture (13%).
  • More males (151,700) than females (19,900) were apprentices
  • 45% of apprentices were aged 15 to 19 years.

For people with qualifications:

  • 4.1 million males and 4.0 million females had a qualification.
  • The most commonly reported fields of education were Management and commerce (24%) and Engineering and related technologies (17%).

Further details can be found in Education and Work, Australia, May 2010 (cat. no. 6227.0).

Media notes:

  • Qualifications (non-school) 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.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.