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Structure of Professional Year course in Australia

Often referred to as the ‘Job-Ready Program’, the Professional Year (PY) Course in Australia is offered to the graduates of Information Technology, Accounting, and Engineering disciplines. The course aims to prepare graduates for their professional careers in Australia in their chosen fields. The PY course bridges the gap between full-time study and employment in Australia by offering a blend of coursework and internship placements.

If you are wondering what the PY course constitutes and whether it is worthwhile to invest in it, this article will shed light on the key areas and help you decide for yourself. Let’s start with the PY course structure.

Professional Year (PY) course structure

The duration of the PY course is 44 weeks, divided into classroom training and internship placements. The first 32 weeks of the program are face-to-face classroom training, and the remaining 12 weeks will be the internship. Due to the COVID restrictions, the PY classes are now being delivered online. 

Face-to-face learning

Face-to-face learning is 32 weeks in duration, and students need to attend their classes once a week. In this first component, the students will learn about:

  • Australian workplace culture – covers important topics such as Australian workplace norms, rights & responsibilities, legislative requirements for working in Australia, organisation’s policies and procedures and what is expected of an employee in the workplace. 
  • Business communication – aims to enhance student’s workplace communication skills (internal and external communication), including things to consider such as cultural sensitivity, language use, building empathy and dealing with complaints appropriately. 
  • Workplace relationships – builds an understanding of effective communication and assists in developing networking skills and maintaining a positive relationship in the workplace.
  • Professional meetings & presentations – focuses on developing skills to effectively organise and participate in business meetings and develop professional presentation skills. 
  • Interview preparation – aims to develop skills required to master an interview, including techniques such as dressing for the interview, expected behaviour, stages of conversation and likely interview questions.
  • Job search skills – focuses on job search strategies, including building an effective resume, tailoring applications for each job, writing cover letters and addressing the requirement criteria of the job application. 
  • Internship preparation – aims to increase confidence to undertake internship placements by further developing presentation skills, refining interview skills and developing research skills. 

Internship placement

Internships are an integral component of the PY course in Australia. Each PY provider is responsible for placing their students in an (unpaid) internship in Australian companies for 12 weeks after the coursework component of the PY program is completed. The internship provides international students with an opportunity to experience real work-life in Australia and apply their learned skills in practice. 

The PY program providers work with a range of Australian companies (know as host companies) for internship placements. Their specialist placement division works with students to place them with the best host companies based on their career aspirations. The 12 weeks internship placement is crucial for international students as they can work in real Australian companies and have an opportunity to convert their internships into jobs. Also, the placement experience will work as an added advantage for those who choose to undertake the PY course against those who do not have any work experience.

If you are currently working in your field, you have the opportunity to convert your job into an internship. All you need to do is reach out to your provider’s internship division and complete some formalities required by the institution and assessing boards.

Should I really take the PY course?

If you are still asking this question, the following benefits may help you make that decision:

  • Completion of the PY program grants  you 5 points towards your PR application
  • You can get your full Skills Assessment with the PY course
  • An internship helps you to take that first step in your professional journey in Australia
  • You will build a professional network that could be beneficial for future work opportunities

Am I eligible for the PY course?

If you meet the following requirements, you can undertake the PY course:

  • You are an Australian university graduate (Bachelors or Masters degree) in the fields of Accounting, IT and Engineering.
  • You have applied for or have at least 12 months remaining on a 485 visa.
  • You meet the English requirement of overall 6.0 and each band 6.0 in IELTS or equivalent. (IELTS overall 6.0 with no less than 5.0 in each band or equivalent for Engineering)
  • For Accounting and Engineering, you have a valid skills assessment from relevant assessment bodies.

All in all, there are only benefits to undertaking the Professional Year course as not only will it assist in paving your career pathway, it is one of the easiest ways to get 5 points closer to your PR dreams. So, don’t think too much – just provide your details, and our teams will assist you in starting your PY program application process.

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