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Meeting the demand for work-ready graduates

By Andrew C Smith, Vice-President (Engagement), Swinburne University of Technology

28 June 2016

Work-ready university graduates with workplace experiences

Once upon a time, a bachelor’s degree was enough to secure you full-time employment upon graduation from university. This is not the case anymore.

Swinburne, like most universities around Australia, has noticed a trend towards industry’s increasing preference to hire work-ready graduates. 

Employers are after more than strong academic knowledge; they want well-rounded graduates who understand their value-add to a business – including team work, initiative, highly developed communication skills, motivation and the right attitude.

It was evident that traditional course offerings were not providing the right opportunities for graduates to build the employability skills and mindset employers were after. 

Swinburne decided to do something about this.

Developing the Swinburne Advantage

In 2015, the university embarked on a whole-of-business evaluation and consultation to inform the renewed Work Integrated Learning (WIL) focussed programs. The consultations brought together industry, staff and students. The result of this was the development of the Swinburne Advantage, a new and enhanced suite of WIL programs.

The Swinburne Advantage includes:

  • Professional degrees
  • Professional placements and internships
  • Industry-linked projects
  • Accreditation placements
  • Industry study tours

The professional degrees feature a mandatory 12-month work placement, which is normally undertaken during the student’s third year of study. Students are paid for the placement, receive academic credit and gain invaluable skills. Including the 12-month placement, the degree can be completed in as little as 3.5 years.

Immediate interest from students and employers

In Semester 1, 2016, the Swinburne Advantage had its first intake of students. More than 220 students enrolled, showing the appetite for this new offering. 

For partner businesses, Swinburne is challenging the norm; many future employers have not easily engaged with young graduates within their workplaces. The program has been designed to allow international students, previously unable to take up internships, to be included in the program, greatly boosting their acquisition of employability skills.

How can I be involved?

Swinburne is always looking for new partnerships and opportunities to engage with industry. Learn more about how you can work with our talented students and graduates.

Swinburne University

Swinburne is a large and culturally diverse organisation with a vision to be Australia’s leading university of science, technology and innovation.

With campuses across Melbourne and in Sarawak, Malaysia, a desire to innovate and bring about positive change motivates our students and staff.

Swinburne is ranked one the world's top 400 universities by the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities and is dedicated to producing outstanding research that is relevant, world changing and internationally recognised.

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