Job-ready skills give Accounting graduates the edge - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Job-ready skills give Accounting graduates the edge

5 Jan 2021

As demand for job-ready graduates grows, Accounting students at USC Fraser Coast are proving that gaining workplace experience while completing a degree can quickly add up to career success.

USC Fraser Coast Lecturer in Accounting Dr Ratna Paudyal said a growing number of local students have had their part-time jobs and internships transition into graduate positions with Fraser Coast firms.

“Their job success shows that in a competitive job market, employers are looking for graduates with related experience and job-ready skills,” Dr Paudyal said.

“Opportunities to gain work experience, internships and part-time work through partnerships between USC and local industry are helping our students prepare to meet these expectations.”

Among the latest success stories are new USC Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) graduates Shawn Hackett and Megan Anderson, who have secured roles as accountants at Quantum Business and Accounting, a boutique firm with offices in Hervey Bay and Maroochydore.

Mother-of-three Megan decided to gain accounting qualifications after many years raising her children and managing a plumbing business in Hervey Bay with her husband.

“At the age of 40, I thought it was time to do something for myself as my children were less dependent on me and I wanted a challenge,” she said.

After her first semester, Megan secured a part-time role at Quantum and was joined by another USC Fraser Coast student when Shawn gained a part-time role with the firm mid-way through her studies in 2018.

“After completing Year 12 at Urangan State High School and working five years in hospitality, I decided to gain university qualifications and begin working towards a life-long career,” Shawn said.

Both Megan and Shawn said working in the industry while they studied gave them the edge in securing graduate roles at the firm and allowed for a seamless transition to full-time work.

“I think it gives you confidence and an advantage over others that may not have experience,” Shawn said. “The transition is definitely easier as you already have knowledge on software, processes and the industry in general.”

Megan encouraged other students to take advantage of available opportunities to gain related part-time work, work experience and internships in their study areas.

“From my experience, any practical work you can obtain will go a long way in securing your future employment,” she said.

Dr Paudyal said he was proud to see his students secure jobs locally in their chosen disciplines.

“They have put in huge amounts of dedication and effort into their studies and part-time work, and it has brought rewards,” he said.

Dr Paudyal said USC’s School of Business and Creative Industries was keen to hear from businesses interested in partnering with the University to provide internships and workplace learning.

“It really is a win-win situation that benefits local industry while creating valuable work-integrated learning and expanded job opportunities for our students.”

Applications are open to study at USC in 2021.

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