1 in 5 Australian Graduates Don't Think Tertiary Education Prepares You For The Workplace

22/10/2015 3:59 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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If you feel your time at university or TAFE didn't prepare you for the workforce, you're not alone.

A new study of graduates in 14 countries ranked Australia second last in terms satisfaction their study provided career-relevant experience.

Singapore scored the worst in this question while students in China, the U.S. and India reported gaining the most relevant experience.

The study of more than 7000 people by software company Instructure also found one third of Australian university and TAFE graduates weren't working in the field they wanted, and Aussies lagged behind the international average when it came to satisfaction with tertiary environments.

Furniture company Ikea, meanwhile, proudly stated its founder Ingvar Kamprad didn't have any formal tertiary education, much like entrepreneur Richard Branson, director James Cameron, restaurateur Shannon Bennett and Boost Juice founder Janina Allis.

Ikea Australia HR manager Richard Harries said 25 percent of their national workforce was under 24 with a fair proportion having come straight from high school.

"Our learning model is rooted in how the founder himself started out," Harries said.

"We really do believe in self-guided learning in the work environment because you are the best person to decide what you want to learn, and how you learn best."

He said people who started in retail could end up doing the in-house merchandising, finance, food or logistics and many Aussie staffers ended up overseas.

"Australia is a relatively small office in comparison and we've exported about 50 staff overseas so far," Harries said.

"If people are motivated in their own development, a career will follow."

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