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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 10 - Education and training >> Educational attainment

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Formal educational qualifications are the desired outcome of most study at educational institutions. When issued by an accredited authority they denote a particular level of knowledge, skills and perhaps competencies. This assists the graduates themselves when entering the labour market, employers in selecting appropriate personnel, and clients in assessing the quality of professional services. The classification of educational attainment to level assists in measuring the stocks of available skills in a community, enabling policy makers to monitor the volume of skill levels compared with skill shortages, and to influence the direction of future educational focus.

In May 2004, of the 13.2 million people aged 15-64 years, 6.7 million (51%) had at least one non-school qualification. These comprised 2.5 million whose level of highest non-school qualification was a bachelor degree or higher, 1.0 million whose highest was an advanced diploma or diploma, 2.0 million whose highest was a certificate III or IV and 0.8 million whose highest was a certificate I or II. Among those without a non-school qualification, 34% had completed Year 12, while for 31%, their highest year of school completed was Year 10 (table 10.25).

10.25 LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a), By highest year of school completed - May 2004

Highest year of school completed

Year 12
Year 11
Year 10
Year 9 or below
Total(b)
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

Postgraduate degree
355.2
*4.8
8.3
**1.2
369.5
Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate
295.3
16.3
17.4
**1.7
330.6
Bachelor degree
1,660.1
49.0
64.1
14.2
1,787.6
Advanced diploma/Diploma
742.4
106.1
153.1
26.2
1,027.8
Certificate III/IV
637.3
317.2
862.0
221.3
2,038.1
Certificate I/II
313.2
120.5
305.7
79.5
819.3
Certificate not further defined
109.1
37.2
63.2
22.6
232.1
Level not determined
40.3
12.7
32.0
9.0
94.0
Total with non-school qualification
4,152.9
663.8
1,505.7
375.6
6,699.2
Total without non-school qualification
2,214.6
874.7
1,979.3
1,358.8
6,473.9
Total
6,367.5
1,538.5
3,485.0
1,734.4
13,173.0

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.
(b) Includes persons who never attended school. Boarding school pupils at May 2004 have not been allocated a highest year of school completed but are included in the total.

Source: ABS data available on request, Survey of Education and Work, Australia, 2004.


Graph 10.26 shows the proportion of males and females aged 15-64 years and their level of highest non-school qualification in 1994, 1999, and 2004. During this period the proportion of people aged 15-64 years with a bachelor degree or higher increased by 5.9 percentage points for males and by 9.0 percentage points for females. In 1994 there was a greater percentage of males (12%) with a bachelor degree or higher than females (11%). Females had moved ahead by 1999 (15% of males, 16% of females). In 2004, 20% of females had a bachelor degree or higher, compared with 18% of males
.

Graph 10.26: LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a)



Tables 10.27 and 10.28 examine the highest non-school qualification held by people aged 15-64 years. The most qualified age group was those aged 25-44 years, 61% of whom held non-school qualifications, as did 53% of those aged 45-64 years. While the younger age groups held fewer non-school qualifications, their participation in education was relatively high (graph 10.20 and table 10.21).


In the 25-44 years age group, 24% had a highest non-school qualification of bachelor degree or above, compared with 19% in the 45-64 years age group (table 10.27). In the 25-44 years age group, 18% had a highest non-school qualification of certificate III or IV, compared with 17% in the 45-64 years age group.

10.27 LEVEL OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a), By age group - May 2004

Age group (years)

15-19
20-24
25-44
45-64
Total
’000
'000
’000
’000
’000

Postgraduate degree
-
6.3
193.2
170.1
369.5
Graduate diploma/Graduate certificate
**0.4
12.4
161.2
156.7
330.6
Bachelor degree
-
187.4
1,042.5
557.7
1,787.6
Advanced diploma/Diploma
7.0
92.7
524.8
403.2
1,027.8
Certificate III/IV
35.5
195.8
1,017.8
789.0
2,038.1
Certificate I/II
42.9
48.9
396.0
331.6
819.3
Certificate not further defined
24.7
55.2
106.6
45.5
232.1
Level not determined
*2.2
*4.2
46.9
40.6
94.0
Total with non-school qualifications
112.8
602.9
3,489.1
2,494.4
6,699.2
Total without non-school qualifications
1,260.4
784.9
2,231.0
2,197.6
6,473.9
Total
1,373.1
1,387.8
5,720.0
4,692.1
13,173.0

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.

Source: Education and Work, Australia, May 2004 (6227.0).


The most common main fields of education for the highest non-school qualification held were management and commerce (23% of those with qualifications), and engineering and related technologies (20%) (table 10.28).

10.28 MAIN FIELD OF HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION(a), By age group - May 2004

Age group (years)

15-19
20-24
25-44
45-64
Total
Field of education
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

Natural and physical sciences
**0.3
21.1
131.7
85.9
239.0
Information technology
8.4
44.8
154.7
54.6
262.5
Engineering and related technologies
13.2
83.6
647.7
579.2
1,323.7
Architecture and building
*3.5
35.1
233.3
177.3
449.3
Agriculture, environment and related studies
*4.7
20.4
109.5
48.8
183.3
Health
*4.2
34.8
313.1
282.7
634.8
Education
**1.4
19.8
221.5
260.9
503.5
Management and commerce
30.2
151.7
834.3
498.0
1,514.2
Society and culture
10.2
76.6
412.1
296.2
795.1
Creative arts
6.7
52.2
156.3
71.0
286.2
Food, hospitality and personal services
28.1
57.2
232.8
107.8
425.9
Mixed field programmes
**1.3
*2.5
*4.7
*3.8
12.3
Field not determined
**0.5
*3.1
37.4
28.2
69.3
Total
112.8
602.9
3,489.1
2,494.4
6,699.2

(a) Persons aged 15-64 years.

Source: Education and Work, Australia, May 2004 (6227.0).


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