6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2006   
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December 13, 2006
Embargoed 11.30am (AEDT)

Just over 1 in 5 Australians have a Bachelor degree or higher

The number of Australians with a Bachelor degree or higher qualification continues to increase, according to results released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In 2006, 21% of Australians aged 15 to 64 years had a Bachelor degree or higher qualification, compared with 13% in 1996. The proportion with other non-school (see media note) qualifications increased from 29% to 31% over the same period.

Overall, the proportion of 15 to 64 year-olds with a non-school qualification was 52%, slightly higher than in May 2005 and an increase of just over 10% since May 1996.

The main fields of study were management and commerce, with 17% of males and 19% of females enrolled in these courses in May 2006.

More males held a non-school qualification than females. Postgraduate degree holders were predominately male, and males accounted for almost 70% of Certificates III and IV qualifications - a group which includes the traditional trade qualifications.

Just over a quarter (26%) of the population aged 15 to 64 (including those still at school) reported Year 10 or below as their highest level of education, and 20% reported Year 12. Slightly over 15% had a Certificate III or IV as their highest educational attainment.

Of the 2,279,100 people studying for a qualification in May 2006, 38% were studying for a Bachelor degree (or higher) and 14% were studying for a Certificate III or IV. The highest proportion (45%) of Bachelor degree students were aged between 20 and 24 years, but 27% were between 15 to 19 years.

Over 160,000 mature age (45 to 64 years) students were enrolled in a non-school course of study in May 2006.

Further details are available in
Education and Work, Australia, May 2006 (cat. no. 6227.0).

Media Note: Non-school qualification refers to educational attainments other than school education, specifically postgraduate degree, graduate diploma, graduate certificate, Bachelor degree, advanced diploma, diploma, and all certificate levels.