How Tough Is It to Get a Job in Australia for International Students

Australia offers a gateway for international students to come over to seek education and apply the skills learned in the relevant industries. But in recent years it has been observed that with the intake of an ample number of applications, the ratio between job seekers and the availability of jobs has been balanced out. This is why the jobs for students in Australia have become stagnant and are impacting the overall job market of Australia. 

As such, it becomes imperative to explore strategies and initiatives that can effectively address this imbalance and foster a more conducive environment for both international students and the Australian workforce. So, let us step ahead without any delay into exploring the reasons why the job market of Australia is narrowing its accessibility to only a few and how we can conquer the daunting aspect of it to seek jobs in Australia.


Synopsis of the Australian job market

There are indeed jobs in Australia for international students but it solely depends upon one's abilities, qualifications, and the job market at that time. All you need is to have patience, determination, and a proactive way to administer yourself under the specific role of your interest. 

Australia offers a hand to international students to live a life that they admire, and its cultural practices are enough for them to stay long in Australia. However the job market mainly provides opportunities to skilled people in various industries, and understanding them is a bit challenging. 

The Australian unemployment rate has remained low despite the recent global economic downturn, standing at 3.7% as of October 2023. The fact that it is significantly lower than the OECD unemployment rate of 4.8% proves the resilience and stability of the Australian job market.

Although the number of job openings in Australia has dropped in recent months, it has remained well above its pre-pandemic levels, providing strong support for the labour market.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 390,400 job vacancies in Australia in August 2023, a 71.5% increase from February 2020.

Though there are certain industries where the jobs are vacant the highest-demand jobs have the highest salaries in the world making the country incredibly attractive for ambitious fresh graduates seeking a successful career.


Prominent sectors that typically hire international students

The agricultural sector and other service sectors, with tourism as the crucial sector of their economy, mark the overall economy of Australia. The ones with specialised skills and expertise get opportunities to work in cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide. 

The key industries include:

1. Information Technology (IT) and Digital Technology: The tech sector of Australia remains at the top as it offers abundant job opportunities to international students. A student should particularly excel in the skills in software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, and digital marketing.

2. Engineering and Construction: The sector provides ever-lasting career prospects to international students. With ongoing infrastructure projects and a growing demand for skilled professionals, international graduates in engineering disciplines such as civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering.

3. Healthcare and Biotechnology: The healthcare sector provides ample opportunities, creating a demand for international graduates in areas such as nursing, allied health, medical research, and pharmaceuticals.

4. Finance and Accounting: The financial services industry in Australia provides opportunities for international students with backgrounds in finance, accounting, economics, and related fields to pursue careers in banking, investment, and corporate finance.

5. Hospitality and Tourism: Since Australia is a popular tourism destination, opportunities in hospitality management, tourism operations, event management, and culinary arts become abundant for international graduates.

These are the sectors in Australia that provide job opportunities to students across the globe but one needs to make sure that they acquire the knowledge and develop skills necessary to enter the dynamic job market. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone and also that it has impacted the whole community, and equitably has hampered the job market in Australia. As the economy continues to recover and adapt to changing circumstances, international students need to stay informed about industry trends and employment prospects to maximize their chances of securing meaningful employment in Australia.


Challenges faced to secure jobs for international students in Australia

The hurdles arising on the way to finding a job as per the interest and expertise of a student across a main field are many. These turn out to be significant and overcoming them henceforth becomes crucial. Here are some of the challenges coming in the way to secure a job post-graduation. 

1. Not all international students secure a job

It is very obvious that the priority of job vacancies gets occupied by the domestic leads and the rest get minimum chances to the available job offers. About 68.9% of domestic students get employed and the remaining 43.0% are international students. One-third of these students have to face the time of unemployment approx. For 6 months after graduation.

2. Lower-paying employment opportunities

Even after you secure a job, the income is at times not sufficient enough to support the survival of an individual in Australia. Not just this but the other truth is that the jobs do not align to their main course or the field of study, leading to less wages. According to studies full-time employed international students with an undergraduate degree earn 20% less than a full-time employed domestic graduate.

3. Language barrier and cultural differences

Whether you are in Australia or your own country, you know that employers do give priority to the unemployed youth of our own country and then the rest. Hence the language and cultural differences are enough to set international students back in the rat race. Those with poor English Language skills can face problems in job interviews, networking events, and workplace interactions. Additionally, cultural differences in workplace etiquette, communication styles, and professional norms can hinder their integration into the Australian workforce.

4. Visa restrictions and work rights limitations

When an international student works while studying in Australia, then he/she might face restrictions and limitations to the type and duration of employment. The limited right to work makes them unable to excel and gain relevant work experience or pursue full-time employment opportunities in highly competitive industries.

5. Employers are hesitant

A report published by Deakins University in 2020, stated that employers are reluctant to hire employees based on temporary visas as they think that they will not stay in Australia longer and are not worth training and recruiting, instead find permanent residents best to train into any specific industry.  

The challenges are indeed unavoidable when you try to seek a job in Australia but it is not impossible to secure them. By adopting proactive strategies one can be instrumental in overcoming common hurdles and moving to the path towards securing a meaningful employment post-graduation. Below you will find some of the practical tips to navigate challenges effectively. 


Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

1. Network and Build Professional Connections: It is important for a student, especially an international student to actively engage in networking events, industry seminars, and career fairs to expand their professional network. Not just this but connecting with alumni, professors, industry professionals, and fellow students through platforms like LinkedIn can be helpful. Overall, these relationships with professionals in your field can lead to valuable insights, mentorship opportunities, and potential job referrals.

2. Gaining Relevant Work Experience: As an international student, if you seek out internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities in your field, it will build your path ahead. This hands-on experience through part-time, internships, etc will help you demonstrate your skills to potential employers. Approach companies, research institutes, or non-profit organizations that align with your career goals and express your willingness to contribute and learn.

3. Improving Language Skills and Cultural Competency: Survival in Australia in the long term can be problematic if you do not have fluency in the English language. It is advised for you to join language courses, conversational groups, or language exchange programs to mitigate your path towards English language learning. Additionally, familiarize yourself with Australian workplace culture, etiquette, and business practices to adapt more seamlessly to the local work environment.

4. Seeking Support from Career Services: Take advantage of the career services offered by your university, which often provide resources, workshops, and one-on-one advising to assist students with resume writing, job search strategies, interview preparation, and visa-related queries. Utilize online job boards, alumni networks, and industry-specific career websites to explore job opportunities and stay informed about industry trends.



So the answer to the question “How tough is it to get a job in Australia as an international student” is, Yes it is indeed a critical task to get job opportunities in Australia for international students. There are ample reasons for this which ultimately leads to creating stress amongst the students from overseas. The job market in Australia has undergone significant changes hence narrowing down the scope of securing suitable job offers to students. However, by employing proactive strategies and leveraging available resources, international students can enhance their job prospects and seize rewarding opportunities in various industries. While challenges exist, it's essential to recognise the abundant opportunities available for international students in Australia. The country's diverse economy, multicultural society, and growing industries offer a wealth of possibilities for personal and professional growth.

For any kind of detail further into this account, you can seek support from OZ assignments’ experts or read out our blogs to get in-depth details on any query you have. 

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