Uni intake reveals growing desire for career change

DRAGGING yourself out of bed each morning for work in a career you regret is a familiar feeling nationwide, new statistics reveal.

The research shows three quarters of Australians wish they could turn back time to complete their education differently.

SEEK Learning’s annual Careers and Education Report shows 55 per cent of Australians think they did not make the most of their education opportunities and a third feel like they did not make the right education choices while at school, university or TAFE. 

In NSW, the report found 24 per cent of people are planning a career change this year. 

Mum-of-two Jodie Monkley, 42, will begin a nursing degree part time at the University of Newcastle in March.

Ms Monkley has switched career paths several times in her working life, starting in hospitality after high school for six years, then in banking for eight.

Her boys Bradley and Luke O’Neill kept Ms Monkley busy for a few years before she studied tourism and became a travel agent for seven years.

Now working in administration at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital and occasionally at the Wauchope District Memorial Hospital, Ms Monkley was inspired to become a nurse.

“There’s no hard and fast rule that you have to go on to [tertiary study] or decide on a career right away,” she said.

Bradley, 19, did not complete his high school certificate and is now working in hospitality on Lord Howe Island.

He has saved enough money to buy an around-the-world ticket to embark on a working holiday this year.

Luke, 17, knows he wants to become a policeman and his parents are helping him pave the way into the career.

“Everyone is different,” Ms Monkley said.

Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie campus director Dr Muyesser Durur said education not only improves chances of employment but builds confidence, social skills and strong work ethics.

To those considering study to switch career directions, Dr Durur advised talking to a career councillor for guidance on the best path to take.

“The prediction is in the next 10-20 years, people will change careers 10 or 15 times in their working life,” she said.

“Seize the moment. If you don’t try it, you’ll never know.”

Ready to try something new for a career: Hanging up her head phones for a nurse’s uniform, Jodie Monkley.

Ready to try something new for a career: Hanging up her head phones for a nurse’s uniform, Jodie Monkley.


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