While international candidates are aware of specific skill shortages areas via DIAC and courses to suit outcomes, when will Australian students follow suit?
– commenter Andrew Smith, 21 October
The answer to Andrew’s question is: already. Because we have university applications data by field of study we can track whether would-be students respond to labour market trends.
In looking at this issue, I classified courses as in-demand if they satisfied two conditions. First, they had to lead to occupations on the skills shortages list. Second, there had to be a tight graduate labour market, which I classified as 5% or less of recent graduates looking for work in the Graduate Destination Survey.
All the disciplines that satisfied these tests showed an increase in applications, while all other disciplines put together showed a decline:
News about job opportunities does seem to reach would-be students and affect their applications. It is one further reason to doubt that ‘managed markets’ would do better than ordinary markets in allocating student places.