While many of us will never be able to truly delve into the minds of the tech-savvy, culturally-aware and globally connected Generation Z, we’ve sent out a survey to 180 local students to gain the insight into what many of them are considering after SACE, and we’re pleased to see that online university is gaining popularity.
So, if you’re an intrigued parent, employer or even a current senior high school student who is interested in the plans of your peers, keep on reading.
Of the Year 11 and 12 students across the Murraylands and Riverland who took part in our survey, about 70% are considering uni after school, and almost half would consider studying online if their chosen discipline were available in this format.
This is good news from the generation who communicates mainly through memes, acronyms and Tik Tok videos, as regional employers are hoping their ‘FOMO’ on things happening around their home towns and moments shared with their families, will spur them to keep living, working and studying right here in our regions.
Being the first fully global generation to experience the 21st century primarily through connecting and learning over digital devices and social media, it makes sense that they’re more inclined to consider online study than the generations prior.
A recent research paper by MCrindle, tells us that this generation will make up 27% of Australia’s workforce by 2025; and they’re predicted to work 18 jobs across six careers in their lifetime! Even if they don’t begin uni straight out of school, there’s still a high chance they are likely to begin some form of tertiary study within their lifetime.
Our survey tells us that about 30% of students want to pursue health, which is an industry sector that continues to grow in demand, especially now with the impacts of COVID-19.
So, what are our current SACE students keen to study online that will get them into their dream career?
Education, science, the arts, and law were also popular areas they’re looking to study, along with notable interest in tourism/hospitality, business/commerce, and engineering.
With the annual National Careers Week (18-24 May) just gone, these survey findings are positive for the region, knowing fewer of our youth are less likely to leave for uni – as long as they’re provided with the facilities and support they need to study locally.
That being said, now is the perfect time for our region’s senior students to begin exploring our hub’s offerings and the courses available.
According to our Program Manager Vanessa Leigh, the growing demand for local study options reflects a number of factors.
“Local youth want to stay in the region to remain close to family and friends, combine study with local work opportunities or reduce their living costs by avoiding the expense of relocating to the city to live and study. On top of this, they can enjoy all the perks of our fantastic river lifestyle and maintaining connections with their sporting clubs,” she says.
“The Murray River Study Hub was established to link regional people – especially our youth – with high-quality tertiary learning opportunities, so the results of this survey are really exciting.
“It highlights for us the importance of getting our message out there that we are here and we can link young people with the courses that will take them on to their dream careers through our many courses offered online”.
The survey also outlined that local youth want to link with regional employers to learn about career opportunities available here. About 67% of Year 12s and 76% of Year 11s said they want to know more about local career paths and employer expectations.
“From an economic perspective, it means we’ve got a better chance of supporting the next generation of local entrepreneurs and professionals here in the region instead of losing them to the city or interstate – and who knows what exciting opportunities they might create right here in our backyard?”.
Our education partners, CQUniversity and Flinders University offer a wide variety of online courses, so you’re very likely to find your dream degree online. Importantly – our team can support your studies no matter which university you want to enrol with. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for, fill out an expression of interest form and we’ll get in touch straight away to set you up.
Or if you’re keen to have a chat with someone, our professional student advisors offer one-on-one free support – we have Rachel based in the Riverland, and Shaun based in the Murraylands.