Australia is a land of world-class universities and educational institutes. Students from all over the world dream to study in one of the top universities in the country. Accounting is a popular option for international students in Australia.
There are many universities and institutions in Australia that provide fundamental training of specialisation courses in the field of accounting.
In 2019, QS World University Rankings: Accounting and Finance, six of the Australian Universities are in the top 50 ranks. Undoubtedly, studying in any of these top universities in Australia opens job opportunities for students across the globe.
Three Qualification Levels:
There are different qualification levels to study accounting and finance in Australia. These are:
VET (Vocational Education & Training) Study
Undergraduate (Bachelor's) Study
Postgraduate (Master's) Study
1. VET (Vocational Education & Training) Courses in Accounting
Vocational Education and Training (VET) includes different accounting courses such as diplomas, certificate IV and advanced diplomas. These courses prepare students for the roles of supporting professional accountants. You can also find many other VET courses in related areas like bookkeeping, financial services, banking services, and accounts administration.
When selecting a VET qualification course in accounting, you should keep in mind that it will not make you an accountant. As these are lower level qualifications, they just provide you entry to different paraprofessional roles only. If you want to become an accountant, then you need to complete a bachelor degree in accounting.
Where to Study VET Courses in Accounting?
In Australia, there are many private colleges, TAFE institutes and universities with TAFE departments that offer VET qualifications in accounting. The course you choose depends on your area of interest and qualification level. The main focus of VET courses is to provide you with practical and technical skills.
2. Undergraduate Courses in Accounting
In Australia, a bachelor in accounting programs lasts for three to five years. You can study accounting for part-time or full-time, according to your preference and choice. You can also study accounting with other degrees like with a bachelor of commerce or bachelor of business degrees. These degrees help you to gain additional knowledge in different business fields and also provide a good option for those who are not sure about committing to a full-time degree in accounting.
Students have different reasons to pursue business and accounting studies. Not all who study accounting wants to become an accountant, some just want to enhance or gain skills to enter three professional accounting bodies in Australia such as CPA Australia, Institute of Public Accountants and Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Another degree option is a cooperative degree which is quite competitive to enter and allows a small number of students only. It combines your studies with paid, related work experience and gives you access to professional consultants who will counsel, advise and provide classes to you. Cooperative degree prepares you to move from the classroom to the real-world workplace and make your career as an accounting or actuarial professions.
It also mentors and train students to improve their skills such as communication, creativity, leadership and ethical practice, preparing them for a bright accounting career.
However, there are only a few universities and institutions in Australia that offer cooperative degrees. Some of the Australian Universities that provide co-operative degree are Macquarie University, CQ University in Australia and more.
Where to Study Undergraduate Courses in Accounting?
To study undergraduate accounting courses, Australia offers some TAFE institutes, private colleges, universities and specialist providers. Some of the universities that offer undergraduate accounting courses in accounting and finance are - the University of New South Wales (11th in the world rankings), the University of Melbourne (14rd in the world rankings) and the University of Sydney (20th in the world rankings).
The job opportunities for graduate students are available in different titles in the accounting field. According to a report by Job Outlook, Australia witnesses 40 thousand job openings in finance and accounting fields.
3. Postgraduate Courses in Accounting
Postgraduate study in Accounting and Finance targets students with an interest in accounts and finance. It includes elective courses, case studies, industry interface, core courses and research covering areas like accounts and finance. The postgraduate in accounting degree helps students to complete coursework degrees including graduate diplomas, graduate certificates and coursework masters degrees to enhance their competencies.
If you are a student with a non-accounting background but want to make a career in the accounting field, you can go with ‘conversion’ courses. These courses are available only for those students who have completed their bachelor degrees in a field other than accounting.
However, if you are a practising accountant and looking to extend your knowledge base or learning new skills, then also there are many postgraduate courses available.
The best accounting courses designed for graduates provide them with an opportunity to gain accreditation as a Chartered Practising Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Accountant (CA).
Students can also study postgraduate research degrees in accounting including research doctorates, research masters degrees. At the masters level, there are also many double degrees available, combining accounting with law and information systems and business & Management (MBA).
Where to Study Postgraduate Courses in Accounting
In Australia, postgraduate accounting courses are available at universities, private colleges and higher education providers. Some private colleges prepare students for the accounting profession whereas industry bodies like Chartered Accountants in Australia and CPA Australia offer their own qualifications.
The course you choose depends on your qualifications and career aspirations. However, you should choose courses that are accredited by professional associations and also offer work experience opportunities.
If you are looking to study research degrees, look for universities and institutions that have connections to the industry. A post graduate in accounting and financing can develop a career in a wide range of sectors like ITES industry, Stock trading, Insurance, FMCG, Market Research, Consultancy, IT and other corporates.
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