In a nutshell, you should do a PhD in Australia because it takes less time to complete, research outputs have global recognition, PhDs are mostly funded, the industry is welcoming for PhD graduates and a PhD can give a good boost to your eligibility score for permanent residency visa options.
That said, doing a PhD in Australia is hard and PhD graduates might also struggle for academic jobs in Australia. Still, the Australian PhD can be a positive point when looking for work in the industry there. The benefits of an Australian PhD are
- PhD is usually shorter in timeframe (3-4 years) when compared to other countries such as US and Canada. This means you can leave academia after a PhD sooner and join industry.
- The Australian research is recognized all over the world, making collaborative research opportunities and projects possible.
- Most PhD positions are funded, means you do not need to pay fee or worry about surviving during you PhD. Although you PhD stipend wont be much but still you can survive as an international student.
- Usually you can do part-time work along with PhD in Australia, thus, increasing you earning potential during your PhD.
- Points for permanent residency application for your PhD.
Being a specialized worker in the eyes of Australian employers can give you an edge over other job seekers, as PhD can help a lot here.
Here you can check many more benefits of doing a PhD in Australia.
Australia is considered the best destination for students as well as immigrants. It has the most livable cities in the world, starting from Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide. The climate is very friendly for outdoor activities. The majority of the population speaks English so no language barriers. It is also ranked 5th by Numbeo for the highest quality of life.
|Average PhD stipend in Australia||AUD$29,500 per year|
|Average living costs for students in Australia||AUD$21,041 per year|
|Average post-doc salary in Australia (for work in university after PhD)||AUD$98,712 per year|
|Average salary in Australia (for work in industry after PhD)||AUD$60,000 per year|
1. Best for PhD research
Australia is the home to many world’s best-ranking research institutes including some universities performing well-above world standard for research output. These universities have the best research labs and departments in many fields of studies from STEM sciences to humanities. Plus, Australian research labs are actively collaborating with other centers of research in Asia, America, and Europe, making the nation’s research a global standing.
Here are some stats for Australia’s research competence from Australian University Research 2018-19 ERA National Report comprising 42 Australian institutions
- 90% of Australian university research assessed were performing at, or above, world standard with 5 or more universities performing well above world standard.
- 85% Australian universities were rated medium or high in research engagement.
- 88% Australian universities were rated medium or high in research impact.
- Number of researchers– 76,261
- Unique Research Outputs submitted-506,294
- Funding for research-$10.9 billion
Australia’s excellent research is bringing innovation to large industrial sectors in the country from health, environment to agriculture to government policymaking. In addition to all the research competence, Australian universities have strong frameworks and support structures. Some examples of Australia’s global research hubs are the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Monash University, and Australian National University.
2. Best for industry experience during PhD
Apart from research, you can get hands-on experience in many industries during your PhD to fast track your post-PhD career in Australia. These internships can benefit you for job search and getting hired in the industry after graduating with PhD. Industry experience during PhD in Australia is a good opportunity to connect with potential employers in the industry and show them your competence as a highly-skilled worker.
Institutes like APR.Intern (Australian Postgraduate Research Intern) are actively arguing for alternate career paths for PhD students in the age of precarious post-PhD employment opportunities in Australia. Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) program survey revealed the following useful information about PhD students
- 90% of PhD students saw themselves in industry
- 97% want to collaborate with industry
- 79% showed active interest in doing internship during their PhD
3. Best for PhD scholarships and funding
Most full-time PhD positions are paid in Australia. Data suggests that this PhD funding amount is good compensation against your PhD work. This means you do not need to pay to study and you will get a monthly stipend (enough to survive) and other benefits like health insurance during your PhD years. Apart from universities’ own funding for PhD students, the Australian Government also offers thousands of scholarships to international students with programs like Research Training Program and Australia Awards.
In addition to this, there are many programs to fund students in research degrees especially, research masters and doctorates. This means that you as a PhD student will be paid to do your PhD by the Australian government, international grant providers as well as universities themselves. Some of these popular fully-funded PhD scholarships can be accessed here and here.
4. Best for post-PhD career opportunities
Australia is always in need of more workers and is inviting a talented workforce to work and live in its various sectors such as academia, technology, manufacturing, and medicine. Therefore, you will have solid post-PhD career opportunities if your PhD is in a lucrative field of study. Also, there are many benefits of working in Australia after your PhD.
If you are doing a PhD in accounting, computer science, or engineering (or a closely related area) you can apply for the Australian Professional Year Program, this will not only set you ahead for industry experience right after you graduate but will also increase your acumen with the professional work environment in Australia. The biggest benefit of the Australian Professional Year Program is to acquire more points for your permanent stay in Australia.
Find out if you are needed in Australia: There are many eligible skilled occupations that can make you eligible to live and work in Australia. You can enter your field/ skills/subject of research in the search bar here to check. You can also check the type of jobs and compensation for them being offered in Australia with your particular skill set.
5. Best for settling after PhD graduation
PhD can benefit from the longest possible post-study work visa-Many options for permanent residency in Australia require at least 3 years of post-graduate work experience. The opportunity to work after PhD with a 4-year post-study work visa is the best deal to migrate and settle in Australia. You can check your eligibility for the Post-Study Workstream here.
PhD can improve your eligibility score for Permanent Residency Visa-Educational credentials weigh more than anything when we consider reaching to a minimum of 65 points for an Australian permanent residency application.
Overall, a PhD in Australia can boost your score for permanent residency options in the following ways
- 10 points for Australian General Skilled Migration Visas.
- 5 points for Australian Study Requirement
- 5 points for PhD completed at a regional institute in Australia
- 5 points for completing Australian Professional Year Program (check for requirements)
- 5-10 points or more initiated with the help of work permit-4 years by post-study work visa (Temporary Graduate visa-subclass 485)
Applying to PhD positions and scholarships as international student
The process for PhD application is mostly similar for different institutes and universities in Australia. You can find easy-to-read and step-by-step guides to apply for fully-funded PhD positions at The University of Sydney and RMIT University. Other universities in Australia also offer such guides to PhD application and funding. You can check the website of your desired institute in Australia for specific information on PhD positions and scholarships.
PhD application and scholarship application process in Australia is daunting at first because
- it can take time to prepare your PhD application in Australia – from communicating with your advisor to Expression of Interest (EOI) to Research proposal everything takes time and effort.
- there are many steps you need to go through in order to apply as an international student. unfortunately PhD application is a series of steps in Australia and you cannot do all things at once.
Further Reading: PhD Study in Australia – A Guide