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Every graduate wants to land the best and most fulfilling job and The University of Western Australia (UWA) is well-positioned to propel its students into the workplace. It is a world top 100 university (QS 2021) and Western Australia’s number one-ranked university for graduate employability (QS Graduate Employability 2020).

UWA is located in Perth — Australia’s fourth largest city, which was recently ranked the sixth most liveable city in the world (Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Index 2021). The economy in Perth is thriving and the job opportunities are numerous. Annual incomes are 8% above the national average (Australian Bureau of Statistics, May 2020) and Perth is the corporate headquarters of more than 30% of businesses on the Australian Stock Exchange and six of the world’s top 10 energy companies. This stellar location ensures that when students are ready to launch their careers, they’ll be able to do so with ease.

At UWA, students are nurtured to find their calling and to act on it well before graduating. A three-step employability framework ensures graduates stand out from the competition. It all begins with mentorship and guidance, where UWA’s highly-skilled academic staff, career advisers and industry experts join forces to identify opportunities in line with each student’s aspirations.

The second step is the enhancement of skills through distinctive learning opportunities. Hazel Tan, an international student from Singapore, can attest to this. She first earned a Bachelor of Science at UWA, double-majoring in Microbiology and Immunology, and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, before commencing a Master of Biomedical Science (specialising in Physiology) at UWA.

The University of Western Australia

An iron-clad, three-step employability framework ensures UWA graduates are career-ready. Source: The University of Western Australia

The small class sizes, aimed at encouraging interactive group work and participation, are teaching Hazel about teamwork and collaboration, while the coursework component and a dissertation pathway enables her to hone her research literacy. Each unit adds a layer of depth and colour to her skills and experience. “My units require independent research on my part and they also facilitate academic discussion, rather than being spoon-fed content,” she shares.

As Hazel learns valuable skills, she’s having fun too. “I enjoy the hands-on components, such as workshops, seminars, labs and work placements,” she enthuses.

To complement the knowledge, skills and understanding is a suite of external learning opportunities that allow students to put what they are learning into action in the workplace. From volunteering to internships — all degrees include the option to take an internship — so that students like Hazel can refine their career-specific goals through real-world experience.

The third and final step is strategic networking and toward the end of their degree, UWA students can take advantage of the University’s 4,500 industry partnerships, to get a foot in the door.

These are steps to success not just for one career, but several. Olympic silver medallist Tamsin Cook is testament to this – she is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Communications and Media, and English Literary Studies.

Today, she’s competing again, is en route to complete her BA and has plans to pursue the prestigious Juris Doctor degree next. On top of this, she’s working with UWA Sport as a student athlete support officer, passing on her experience as an elite athlete while also imparting skills that will serve her well after graduation.

“In terms of my own personal development, working for UWA Sport has greatly improved my employability,” enthuses Tamsin. “From learning how to communicate professionally with stakeholders, to organising formal events, to helping run an inter-university multisport competition, the experience I gained will undoubtedly benefit me when I look to enter the workforce again.”

The best part of getting career-ready with UWA? It is just as accessible as it is excellent. The Global Excellence Scholarship awards up to AU$48,000 over four years, or AU$36,000 over three years, to qualifying undergraduates from eligible countries and programmes. Postgraduate students may receive up to AU$24,000 over two years on eligible courses from 2022.

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