Providing a bridge between academia and industry, two alumni share why having a professionally-accredited degree has proved invaluable in their careers.
Employers look for graduates who are industry-ready. So, a postgraduate degree that meets the academic requirements for licensure or accreditation, and prepares individuals to work in a particular profession, is highly desired.
For John Wright Jones, III, an Actuarial Analyst with Suncorp, this certainly proved true.
“I completed a masters degree with professional accreditation, and within three months of graduating I was able to land a job doing exactly what I wanted to do.”
For John, he believes undertaking further study also speaks volumes about the willingness of an individual to continually learn and grow.
“Most companies seek to employ professionals with a growth mindset and having a postgraduate qualification gives potential employers the extra assurance that is sometimes needed,” he says.
I completed a masters degree with professional accreditation, and within three months of graduating I was able to land a job doing exactly what I wanted to do.
John Wright Jones,
III, Actuarial Analyst,
Bringing industry into the classroom
As a way to support their students and provide this preparedness, universities are forging partnerships with professional bodies and integrating professional accreditation into their degrees.
At UNSW Business School this includes bringing in lecturers and tutors who have, or are practising in industry, giving students valuable networking opportunities and business contacts.
For John Wright Jones, III, an Actuarial Analyst with Suncorp, this was one of the highlights of his Masters in Actuarial Studies.
“Several of the professors had transitioned to academia post-corporate life,” he says. “The real-world practicality of their teachings and their professional advice has been indispensable.”
Benefits for international students
As an international student, John says there were many advantages to the professional accreditation within his postgraduate degree.
“After meeting the requirement of three years of work experience, the two-year course allowed me to qualify as an Associate Actuary and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) of the Actuaries Institute,” he explains.
“I could also transfer to a temporary graduate visa, letting me stay and work in Australia without the need for sponsorship.”
There are plenty of times when I refer back to discussions within the financial accounting, corporate accounting, corporate law, tax law and auditing courses at university.
Associate Director Of Audit, Assurance And Risk Consulting,
Subhro Bhattacharya, now an Associate Director of Audit, Assurance and Risk Consulting at KPMG, tells a similar story, having completed a Master of Professional Accounting in 2007.
“The course has defined my professional career in full,” he says. “It gave me the tools I needed to be industry-ready. It was important to me that the course helped fulfil the prerequisites for a professional qualification and gave me professional accreditation.
“I’ve found the qualification to be really attractive to potential employers.”
The bridge between academia and industry
The links that lecturers and tutors made between academia and industry were important for Subhro, who drew on the knowledge to help his transition into the workforce.
“There are plenty of times when I refer back to discussions within the financial accounting, corporate accounting, corporate law, tax law and auditing courses at university,” he says. “They have been invaluable for me.”