AIB in the News: Master of Your Destiny
The following article was written by Lauren Ahwan and published in The Advertiser on 27 July, 2019.
Get a masters degree without doing a bachelor degree first. Lauren Ahwan reports.
A UNIVERSITY degree is no longer a prerequisite to postgraduate study, with increasing numbers of tertiary institutions recognising work experience as a valid pathway to higher-level qualifications.
While a Master of Business Administration is the most popular option for students without an undergraduate degree, experts say any postgraduate coursework program is open to those seeking to further studies. However, entry to postgraduate research qualifications, such as a PhD, still require a bachelor degree.
The Australian Institute of Business offers MBAs to workers with five years of experience in the workplace, including three at a managerial level.
Chief executive Paul Wappett says many workers have the knowledge to complete postgraduate study, even if they hold no formal qualifications. “(Completing postgraduate studies without previous university qualification) is not particularly tough – it’s no tougher than doing an undergraduate degree,” Wappett says. “If you have managed to pick up a fair bit of relevant work experience then we think that’s every bit as valuable, or even better than, the learning you would get in a three-year undergraduate degree.”
Good Education Group content manager Patrick Evans says entry criteria to postgraduate qualifications varies and urges prospective students to research their options. He says completing an undergraduate qualification remains the preferred way for most to enrol in a postgraduate program but those without should not be deterred. “It really depends on the individual – somebody with ambition and a strong work ethic is likely to be successful in their studies, regard less of whether they have already studied a bachelor degree or not.”
Kane Ryan, 36, dropped out of school to take up a tool-making apprenticeship with Holden and, over almost two decades, progressed to manage its paint shop, responsible for 130 staff working three shifts. When Holden announced it would close, Ryan realised he needed formal qualifications to secure a new job so enrolled in an MBA, which he completed in 2017 – two days after Holden shut its doors.
“It was daunting (studying alongside) students who had tertiary qualifications but … after a while I found there were a fair few of us who didn’t have a tertiary background,” says Ryan, who now works in field service and product support with Topcon Agriculture. “When I got through the first few subjects, I got a bit more confident and realised, ‘Hey, I can do this’.”