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why study business

Why study business in Australia?

Updated 6 Sept 2023



Are you interested in studying business in Australia, but unsure about whether it’s the right fit for you? Or perhaps you’re wondering about what your prospects will look like after graduation?

To assist with your research, this mini-guide aims to answer three main questions about studying business that may help in your decision-making process:

TOP REASONS TO STUDY BUSINESS

Here are six key reasons to pursue a degree or qualification in the field of business:

1. Graduate in demand

Studying business has traditionally been a solid career choice and remains in demand today as an increasingly globalised business market calls for managers and leaders who can help businesses navigate emerging technologies, complex projects and turbulent financial markets. The 2022 Corporate Recruiters Survey reported high demand of business post-graduates by corporations. 

‘84% of those with a bachelor’s degree in business and management are employed full-time.'*

*source: 2022 Graduate Outcomes Survey

Within specific areas of business, the demand for professionals indicates a strong future outlook:

Business analytics: the analytics sector is booming. An industry forecast indicates that globally, data as a service market is projected to reach $61.42 billion by 2026 (from $4.99 billion in 2018), registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.9% from 2019 to 2026.**

Project management: according to the Project Management Institute, the global economy needs 25 million new project professionals by 2030.^^

Accounting: according to Commbank, 83% of companies were looking to increase their recruitment activity for accounting professionals in 2021. Job Ads for Accounting Professionals on SEEK (job search website) grew 33% year on year+. For more facts, you can read Accurate Australian Accounting Industry Statistics for 2023.

Healthcare industry: Stats from the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) show that in 2020 there were over 1.7 million people employed in healthcare. This is projected to increase to more than 1.9 million by 2024!^ This in turn will increase demand for non-medical managers with business management qualifications who can take on projects, innovate in the health space and embrace emerging technologies in telemedicine and diagnostics.

2. Strong salary expectations

Given you’re considering making an investment in your education, it’s only natural that you will want to have some idea of what you can expect to earn upon graduation and as your progress throughout your career.

Salary expectations will of course vary depending on your specific role and industry. However, base statistics show the national average salary for a business manager is $115,000 per year on average in Australia (Glassdoor.com.au).

In positive news globally, salary prospects for MBA graduates are forecast to recover to pre-pandemic levels as recruiters project a “robust demand” for business school graduates, according to a survey by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC).

The 2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey, indicated nine in ten corporate recruiters expected demand for graduates to increase or remain stable over the next five years. Their 2022 Survey found that salaries for business master’s graduates are rising, particularly for Finance, Data Analytics and Accounting and the median MBA salary for 2022 was AU$153,000. 

3. Flexible and diverse career outcomes

Studying a degree in business and management gives you wide scope to pursue a career across multiple disciplines. Business programs have the benefit of being flexible to adapt to your specific area of interest. 

If you are unsure of exactly what industry or role you might want to go into, you can choose to maximise your flexibility by studying a general Bachelor of Business at an undergraduate level or a Master of Business Administration postgraduate degree.

Or, you can pursue a major or specialisation to align your study more closely to your career goals or passions. For example, at Kaplan Business School, we offer eight MBA specialisations including data-driven leadership, project management, international leadership, health services management, digital management, entrepreneurship, tourism and hospitality leadership, and women in leadership. You can even choose to specialise in two of these at once, without adding any additional time to your degree.

Majors of our Bachelor of Business courses include Accounting, Marketing, Management and Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Studying a business degree with a major or specialisation gives you the opportunity to gain the foundational skills necessary to help businesses thrive such as knowing how to write a detailed and viable financial plan, and track profits and losses. At the same time, however, you will also take a deep dive into specific industry skills that are in high demand, such as the ability to manage complex projects or lead and manage healthcare teams.

4. Gain widely transferable skills

Transferable skills, commonly referred to as "portable skills," are abilities that can be used in a variety of jobs. Even while you probably already have a lot of transferable talents, you can work to improve them and acquire new ones that are sought after by employers in a variety of fields. According to an analysis conducted by Deloitte, soft-skill intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030.

Aside from industry-specific skills, studying business will also help you develop a whole host of soft skills that will be transferable across many industries. This gives you the benefit of being able to adapt to a wide range of future career or job options.

According to LinkedIn, more than 3 in 5 (61%) of professionals said soft skills in the workplace are just as essential as hard skills.

A business degree teaches generic skills like self-confidence, critical thinking, project collaboration, task management and presentation skills. Practising and honing these skills can contribute to career progression and earning potential.

Some of the top soft skills you will gain via a business degree include;

  • Communication: In a recent report from LinkedIn Learning, communication is the most in-demand skill for today’s job market to help candidates get hired, promoted, or change careers. The 2022 Corporate Recruiters survey found that recruiters valued graduates who showed strong communication skills and are strategic thinkers. With remote working becoming the norm, it is now more important than before to learn how to talk and listen to each other. 
     
  • Analytical and critical thinking: The ability to think critically and make quick decisions on your feet will help you to problem-solve effectively and add value to a business's day-to-day- operations, as well as contribute to strategic planning.
     
  • Time management: According to a LinkedIn survey, time management skills are included in the top five skill sets companies to say they need most. Time is a valuable commodity, so being able to manage it well will ensure a productive working week.
     
  • Leadership: The ability to guide projects, communicate a strategy or vision, and motivate your team, lies at the core of most business programs and can be instrumental in helping you to progress in your career whichever direction it takes you in.

TOP BUSINESS SOFT SKILLS

>  Communication

>  analytical and critical thinking

>  time management

>  leadership

>  project collaboration

5. Become your own boss

Studying business can be a practical way to gain the skills you need to start your own business or venture.

A business degree will help you learn how to write a detailed and viable financial plan, obtain financing for your business, track your profits and losses, and gain knowledge of many other aspects of business management in order to keep your business profitable.

If you know from the outset that your goal is to start your own business you can even choose to specialise in entrepreneurship. At Kaplan Business School, our Master of Business Administration with a specialisation in Entrepreneurship will take you through the fundamental of entrepreneurship and small business administration, as well as new venture capital raising.

Just as important as the knowledge you’ll gain, are the connections you’ll make. The careers service at a university or business school can help take your networking to the next level. At KBS this includes the opportunity to boost your career prospects through an academic internship, gain access to exclusive networking events and benefit from one-on-one career sessions with our experienced and globally recognised Careers Central advisors.

What’s even more valuable for an entrepreneur is the Lifetime of Learning Guarantee that KBS offers. It gives our alumni, unlimited, free, and lifelong access, to all online classes of the course from which you graduated as well as the Careers Central service. This means, for example, that you can return and study an elective subject that might help fill a current knowledge gap you are experiencing as you work towards setting up your new business.

6. Feel prepared for a global career 

The business world is globally connected. Studying business will not only help you develop transferable skills for industries around the globe, but help you navigate the different rules, processes and structures that comes with managing businesses internationally.  

The business programs at KBS have been designed with an international outlook in mind, allowing you to graduate and excel in a career in either Australia or globally. This includes subjects such as ‘Issues in International Business’ that provide students with an understanding of the issues involved in globalisation. You’ll also learn about the strategies and structures that businesses adapt to compete in the international marketplace and operational aspects of international business, such as exporting and importing, manufacturing, marketing, human resource management, accounting and financial management. 

Your ability to think globally will also be encouraged by your experience in the classroom, whether face-to-face or in person, with a student mix at KBS of more than 80 nationalities.* Learning alongside international students will help you become more culturally aware, and open you up to new perspectives and ways of thinking. 

WHY CHOOSE TO STUDY YOUR BUSINESS DEGREE IN AUSTRALIA?

There are many reasons to consider acquiring a business qualification in Australia.

When weighing up options as to where to gain your qualification you should consider a few factors. Just looking at academic rankings, often does not tell you about the actual student experience an institution will provide, including support services and employment outcomes. 

Systems however like the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), assess both business schools and universities for academic quality and learning, based on student surveys rather than panel judgement.

You can read more about the choice of attending a business school vs university.

When making your decision about studying in Australia, here are a few reasons you may want to consider:

1. Receive a world-class education

Graduates from Australian higher education providers are highly sought after due to the impressive international reputation of the Australian education system.

The Australian Qualifications Framework allows countries around the world to recognise your qualification and issue comparable qualifications for local use. All our courses are accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, a national agency closely regulated by the Australian government to ensure you are receiving the highest quality learning experience.

International students are also protected under Australian law through the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act. This framework sets out the standards that Australian institutions must meet in offering education and training services.

2. Strong salary prospects for MBA graduates

The demand for MBA graduates in Australia is strong – in fact, 25% of ASX 100 CEOs have an MBA (AFR BOSS survey, 2019).

According to the QS World University Rankings: Global MBA Rankings 2019, Australian MBA graduates can expect a huge salary increase of 77%. Australia is ranked in the Top 10 of countries for MBA earning potential. 

3. Bright prospects for employability

The National Skills Commission, which is tasked with regularly reviewing the national skills needs of Australia and provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for occupations nationally. They predict a job growth of 17% over the 5 years to 2026 for professionals.  

4. Flexible working and career options

Graduates who want to pursue a business career in Australia have many options available to them. After successfully completing your bachelor’s or master’s degree at KBS, you may be eligible to apply for a two-year post-study work arrangement in Australia.**

Also, as an international student, you can work up to 48 hours a fortnight while studying in Australia. This means that even while studying, you’ll be able to seek work and potentially even gain practical experience in your field of interest.

For more information, please visit www.homeaffairs.gov.au/.

5. Develop your English language skills

If you want to have a successful business career, you need to be fluent in the global business language of English. Studying business in Australia will help you to immerse yourself in the language and fast-track your language development.

At Kaplan Business School you can choose to study elective subjects such as ‘Skills for Advanced Business English’ where you will engage in weekly workshops that will present you with real-world business contexts through which grammar instruction, communication practice activities, listening tasks and writing tasks take place.

You also have access to dedicated student support services such as the Academic Success Centre, where you can access help with your assessments and academic language skills via one-on-one sessions with an advisor, workshops, and lectures.

TYPES OF BUSINESS DEGREES

Studying business can span different areas, majors and specialisations. 

Here we break down some of the common study options if you’re looking to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in business. 


ACCOUNTING
 

What you’ll learn

Let’s dive a little deeper into the subject matter.

The key knowledge and skills covered across your core subjects will include:

  • Financial accounting processes and concepts
  • Record-keeping and the preparation of financial statements
  • Double-entry accounting
  • Financial recording and reporting
  • Management of information systems and technologies
  • Business processes and transaction cycles as well as systems mapping, internal control systems, database concepts and enterprise information systems
  • Corporations law
  • Management accounting information systems
  • Principles of corporate finance
  • Auditing and assurance
  • Taxation law
It’s also worth noting that the bachelor’s and master’s degrees are accredited by CPA Australia, CA ANZ and ACCA, and offer a direct pathway to professional certification and employment.

CAREER OUTCOMES

- Corporate accountant

- Tax accountant

- Business analyst

- Management accountant

- Financial officer

Is accounting right for me?

Accounting has the benefit of offering a clear career path. Traditionally, accountants are responsible for maintaining and analysing financial records for companies, government agencies, and other organisations.

As an accountant, you could also choose to specialise in the strategic side of finance such as forecasting and analysis. At that level, an accounting role can encompass the process of translating numbers into insights that can help inform a business’s decision making.

In terms of skills, working in accounting requires you to be adept with numbers and technology, but also possess the ability to problem-solve and come up with innovative solutions. Attention to detail and analytical skills will likely be part of your day-to-day role as you help an organisation to assess financial activities, problem-solve and reduce costs where necessary.

You can read more about the reasons to study accounting and career outcomes in our blog – 6 top reasons to study accounting.

BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT
 

What you’ll learn

Let’s dive a little deeper into the subject matter.

The key knowledge and skills covered across your core subjects in an undergraduate business management degree will include:

  • Understand management tools and theoretical concepts to analyse organisations in different industries
  • Key aspects of financial accounting
  • Business communication includes professional and academic reading, writing, research and presentation skills
  • Key marketing principles
  • Introduction to business analytics
  • Commercial law Introduction to mathematical and statistical concepts, and economics
  • Human resources management
  • Examination of organisational structure and culture
  • Business ethics
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Strategic and change management
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Issues in international business

CAREER OUTCOMES

- Administration manager

- Quality assurance supervisor

- Customer service leader

- Business coach

Specialisations and Career Outcomes


Management – Management consultant, Business strategist, Corporate manager, Human resources adviser, Small business owner
Hospitality and tourism management – Hospitality manager, Events and community manager, Hotel supervisor, Tourism operator, Travel industry entrepreneur
 

Key skills/traits that will help you thrive 

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Communication and negotiation
  • Financial management
  • Leadership

Is business or management at an undergraduate level right for me?

Curious about how companies build, maintain, and promote brand reputation? Do you see opportunities for businesses to operate more efficiently or solve problems facing society? There are many paths possible with a business degree for people who are energised by problem-solving, full of ideas, have natural leadership skills or tendencies, and have numerical skills or an interest in data.

Pursuing business at an undergraduate level will help you acquire business communication skills, high-level problem solving, financial literacy and a host of other transferable skills. Whether you wish to work as a consultant or to start your own business, this degree provides an excellent platform for your business career.

You will graduate with a firm understanding of different business environments and develop effective ways to approach, create and execute operational business plans. The insights you gain will be relevant to any industry and will empower you to build productive, ethical and successful teams and organisations.

BUSINESS ANALYTICS
 

What you’ll learn

Let’s dive a little deeper into the subject matter.

The key knowledge and skills covered across your core subjects in a master’s level business analytics degree will include:

  • How to manipulate state-of-the-art software analysis tools such as Tableau
  • Knowledge about the data life cycle
  • Hands-on experience in the documentation, collection, cleaning, pre-processing, mining and validation of data
  • Data security and ethics
  • Data-driven decision making and forecasting
  • Social media analytics
  • Analytic in accounting, finance and economics
  • Statistical techniques and the basic quantitative methods used in business entities
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Project visualisation, planning, initiation, risk assessment and management
  • Digital marketing and competitive advantage
  • Analytics-driven business innovation

CAREER OUTCOMES

- Business analyst

- Social media specialist

- Reporting analyst

- Business consultant

Key skills/traits that will help you thrive

  • Attention to detail
  • Interest in data and analytical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Leadership and presentation skills

Is business analytics right for me?

The term ‘analytics’ might allude to an exclusive focus on technical skills such as algorithm building, coding and programming, however studying a degree in business analytics, you’ll find that technical skills are covered, but always in a business application context.

The job requires critical and creative thinking and problem-solving. It takes a person capable of identifying and healing the cracks in a struggling business or managing the health of a larger corporation. A keen interest in data is a must, though! It’s what will help shape the solutions you put forward to correct a business.

Business analysts draw on insights from data to maintain the equilibrium between the needs of stakeholders and unmatched opportunities and changes within a business structure. It combines the technical aspects of data analysis with the business acumen you would gain through more traditional business education.

Forecasting, analytics, and diplomacy in the realm of business also require a creative thinker. As such, you’ll need to develop a knack for thinking outside the box, and seeing through processes, rather than taking elements of business at face value. This will help you to envision outcomes and ensure success in new markets, environments, and the rapidly evolving landscapes that businesses operate in.

MBA
 

What you’ll learn

Let’s dive a little deeper into the subject matter.

The key knowledge and skills covered across your core subjects in a general MBA degree will include:

  • Business psychology, coaching and mentoring
  • Interpret and draw conclusions using the financial and economic information integral to business operations
  • Governance, ethics and sustainability
  • Microeconomic principles relevant to business decision making
  • Managing the human resources within an organisational system
  • Emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence and diversity
  • Dynamic strategy and disruptive innovation
  • Data analytics for business
  • Thinking styles, negotiation and conflict management
  • Operations management and decision-making models
  • Data relationship, modelling and analysis
  • Artificial intelligence programming for business analytics

CAREER OUTCOMES

- Management consultant

- Entrepreneur

- Leadership trainer

- Research analyst

Specialisations and Career Outcomes

  • Data-driven Leadership – management consultant, data strategist, corporate reporting manager, research consultant, design thinking catalyst
  • Women in Leadership – corporate leader, diversity manager, executive coach
  • Tourism and Hospitality Leadership – tourism executive, hotel general manager, events planner
  • Project Management – project manager, risk consultant, implementation manager
  • International Leadership – global director of strategy, remote/virtual leader, change manager
  • Health Services Management – nursing manager, practice manager, health care administrator
  • Entrepreneurship – start-up consultant, venture capitalist, business coach
  • Digital Management – marketing consultant, information resources manager, business analyst.

You also have the option of undertaking a duel specialisation which will allow you to gain knowledge and skills in two industry-specific area of the MBA.

Key skills/traits that will help you thrive

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership and presentation skills
  • Communication skills

Is business administration right for me?

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is widely regarded as the preferred qualification for professionals wanting to pursue a career in strategic management. That is, by undertaking the MBA, you’ll become an expert in terms of understanding the science behind effective leadership and management.

During the general MBA program, you will receive a broad education in business management and leadership, and learn foundational skills across all specialties including communication, problem-solving, as well as creative and critical thinking. Industry and academic professionals will provide valuable insights into what it takes to essentially run a business effectively. This includes how to increase productivity and sales, solve problems, nurture clients and stakeholders, along with applying theoretical and practical approaches to build strategies and minimise risks.  General MBA skills can be applied to a range of different fields, making you a flexible professional.

Undertaking a specialisation assists you with honing precise, industry-specific skills, while still offering the foundational skills acquired throughout the MBA.

At KBS you also have the option of undertaking a dual specialisation which will allow you to gain knowledge and skills in two industry-specific areas of the MBA. This is achieved through your selection of elective subjects as part of your MBA degree.

An MBA can be especially valuable for professionals who want to:

  • Grow professional skills to attain promotion and/or access higher salary potential
  • Build management and leadership skills, leading to enhanced career opportunities and job satisfaction
  • Leverage the learning and skills offered through an MBA to start in a new industry or role
  • Gain entrepreneurial skills to start or grow their own company
  • Network and expand their business networks
  • Leverage the value an MBA has within the global marketplace to build an international career

For more in-depth information about studying an MBA, you can read our Ultimate Guide to doing an MBA in Australia.

MARKETING
 

What you’ll learn

Let’s dive a little deeper into the subject matter.

The key knowledge and skills covered across your core subjects will include:

  • Introduction to management
  • Key aspects of financial accounting
  • Business communication including; professional and academic reading, writing, research and presentation skills
  • Key marketing principles
  • Introduction to business analytics
  • Commercial law
  • Introduction to mathematical and statistical concepts and economics
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Integrated marketing communications including the role of advertising, media, promotions and digital
  • How to conduct market-specific research
  • Services-marketing for service-based industries
  • Consumer behaviour includes gaining an understanding of the buyer decision-making process
  • Digital marketing
  • International marketing
  • Strategic marketing

CAREER OUTCOMES

- Public relations

- Marketing consultanting

- Advertising

- Events management

- E-commerce

- Digital marketing

Key skills/traits that will help you thrive

  • Communication skills
  • Strategic, analytical and creative thinking
  • Adaptability
  • Sales-minded
  • Good people skills

Is marketing right for me?

Essentially marketing focuses on creating, managing and enhancing brands. In marketing, you might work across many different channels and skill areas, from advertising, public relations, digital marketing, social media, and search engine optimisation.

Most marketing positions now relate to online marketing. Traditional offline marketing like radio, TV and newspapers still exist, but there’s significantly less demand given the huge growth of online platforms.

Marketing requires creativity and collaboration supported by strong interpersonal and communication skills. There’s a highly strategic component to marketing that focuses on your target audience. You’ll need to learn to understand the desires and needs of your customer – who they are, what they expect from you and what value you can bring them. You’ll be required to closely follow the evolution of digital platforms and the emergence of social media trends.

Doing some research on different marketing fields can help give you a better idea of the type of roles you can expect to apply for in the industry. These may include:

  • Social media marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Web and conversion optimisation
  • Content strategy Inbound marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Start-up marketing

IT
 

What you'll learn

  • Identify business opportunities using technological and programming tools 
  • Effectively communicate technological problems, solutions and outcomes to stakeholders 
  • Implement business solutions using technology-based approaches 
  • Work within or manage expert terms to oversee technological initiatives 
  • Ethical, privacy and information security 

CAREER OUTCOMES (gENERAL)

- Cloud architect  

- IT consultant  

- IT project manager  

- IT quality assurance engineer  

Specialisations and Career Outcomes

  • Analytics – Database administrator, Data Centre technician, Database analyst, Network analyst
  • Programming – Software tester, Programmer, Network engineer, Software analyst
  • Cyber Security – Security administrator, Cyber intelligence analyst, Digital forensic analyst
  • Web and mobile development – Multimedia developer, Web designer, Software developer, Front-end developer

Key skills/traits that will help you thrive 

  • Attention to detail 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Critical and creative thinking 
  • Communication  
  • Project collaboration 

Is IT right for me? 

The IT industry is growing at a rapid rate, driven primarily by the effects of the pandemic which led to companies being dependent on digital technology for the majority of their business operations.  
By 2027, Australia will need over 1.2 million IT workers to fulfil our digital needs*.   

Technology is changing and advancing quickly so if you thrive in a fast-paced environment, enjoy collaborating with people on building new applications and frameworks, developing more efficient and user-friendly information systems, analysing data, and enforcing cyber security, then IT is the right fit for you.  
*ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2022 

Find out more about our range of undergraduate and postgraduate business courses at Kaplan Business School. Or, read our free ebook to find out everything you need to know about studying in Australia.

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