Job-Ready Certificates tackle acceleration of change

Griffith University is meeting the challenge of a rapidly changing employment environment through an expanded short-course program for 2021 aimed at boosting the employability of graduates.

Griffith’s Job-Ready Certificateshas been bolstered by additional Federal Government funding to provide even more affordable options for students and those already in the workforce looking to hone their skills.

The program offers students courses ranging from 12 to 24 weeks across varied disciplines, all with a focus on the future challenges faced by professionals in their respective fields.

“We’re in the midst of a massive acceleration of change,” said Professor Nick Barter, Dean and Director of Learning Futures and Griffith Online.

“COVID-19 has been a key driver of much of that change through digital disruption and through the way we approach major issues confronting business and the community generally.

“Industry, for example, is now demanding a lot more from the digital space such as data analytics, while new responses are being sought for climate change, sustainability and the circular economy, and especially now for public health.

“In developing the graduate certificate programs and working with the government to get the funding allocation to make them really affordable, we looked at key fields of study such as STEM, but also other areas that fall into the zone of special needs.”

Autism Studies is among those areas that Professor Barter says impacts people in many ways, prompting Griffith to allocate 110 places to this program. Other programs include Renewable Energy Engineering, Cyber Security, Safety Leadership and Suicidology.

“We are covering the whole breadth of these growing and fast-changing areas that business and community service providers need to understand more about as they move forward.

“You could find in any one of these graduate certificate programs a direct line of sight to changes that are likely occurring in your industry and workplace.

“It might be a big climate change initiative and how today’s commitments by business will impact your workplace or career in 10 years’ time. It’s important to understand where you want to land in that situation.”

Professor Barter said while the graduate certificate program is aimed at augmenting the skills of existing graduates, allowing them to ‘upscale pretty quickly’, it is also being made available to those who have never completed an undergraduate degree.

“You just need a strong work experience base,” Professor Barter said.

“For individuals who are specialists in their respective fields, such as accounting for example, the program will prepare them for the next wave of innovations in business.”

Griffith University has been able to increase the placings available for its Job-Ready Certificates program following an expansion of the Federal Government’s Job-Ready Graduate Package last year. Government subsidies offer savings of between $3000 and $9000 per program of study at Griffith.

“There’s something for everyone here and I think the incentives we have secured from the extra funding from government make a lot of sense.

Nick Barter leans agains red brick wall
Professor Nick Barter, Dean and Director of Learning Futures and Griffith Online

“There’s a great deal of incentive for people to take advantage of these places now as the funding is only available through 2021 with a limit to the number of students we can accept.”

Griffith also has ensured the program offers optimum study flexibility to meet the individual needs of participants in managing existing work or family commitments.

“Students can complete this program through any pathway they choose,” Professor Barter said.

“The graduate certificates all offer hybrid study options that may involve either face-to-face or online sessions, or a mix of these. Some of our subjects will still require students to come to a lab to undertake a particular experiment.”

As for the benefits of studying at Griffith, Professor Barter points to the University’s founding vision of doing the best for others to create a positive change.

“The values we have around social justice, environmental justice and our progressive way of thinking and challenging convention, comes through in everything we do.

“One thing we can count on is that disruption will continue in some way shape or form.

“We hope that through the basic understanding that our students get from the certificate programs, and with the Griffith ethos on top, they will be armed for the next set of challenges in their career.”

Applications for Griffith’s Job-Ready Certificates program close on February 14, 2021.