Launching Your Global Accounting Career After Studying in Australia (and How This Can Help You Move Back Permanently)

This article is sponsored by ACCA Global

If you’re studying accounting in Australia, you might be thinking about what to do once you finish your course. For many international students, it may be time to make a challenging decision about whether to leave or remain in Australia. Some students choose to stay and gain Australian work experience, while others take their qualifications overseas. 

If you do choose to leave Australia and pursue a career overseas, it doesn’t have to be forever. There are several advantages to gaining work experience overseas – doing so might even make it easier to migrate to Australia if you decide to return. 

The benefits of moving overseas after graduation 

Whether you move back to your home country or to somewhere completely new, there are numerous benefits to starting your career in a different country. 

Gaining international experience 

Many employers really value candidates who have international work experience if you are able to demonstrate your transferrable skills. This is because people who have worked overseas usually return with a global mindset, a willingness to think outside the box, and sought-after interpersonal skills such as independence, adaptability and openness. International experience also provides you with a valuable global network of professional contacts who could open up future career opportunities in Australia and overseas. 

Working at one of the Big Four 

The ‘Big Four’ refers to the four biggest accounting firms in the world: Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and Ernst & Young. For many accounting graduates, working at one of these firms is a huge career goal. With their highly regarded reputation, global reach and networking opportunities, a position at a Big Four company can set you up for a long and successful career. The Big Four have divisions located all over the world and openly embrace cultural diversity in the workplace. Working with a Big Four company overseas could even lead to a transfer to an Australian branch. 

If working for an accounting firm is not for you and you would prefer a corporate role, multinational corporations (MNC) or global enterprises which own or control the production of goods and services in multiple countries could be a good starting point. Some familiar MNCs include IBM, Google, Coca Cola, Kimberly Clark and Honeywell, to name a few. As with the Big Four firms, you may be able to request a transfer or secondment to the Australian branch when the opportunity arises.

Stand out when getting a job back home 

After graduating, many international students bring their new skills and qualifications to their home country to begin their career. Australian degrees are world-renowned; your Australian qualification and experience studying overseas will help you stand out from the crowd when you apply for positions back home. Australian graduates are often known to be vocal, proactive in introducing initiatives and have great people skills. Use that to your advantage to differentiate yourself from other applicants. When you have gained sufficient experience back home, you can then use this experience to get a job in Australia, if you choose to return.

Travel while you work 

Just because you’ve come to the end of your studies in Australia, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop exploring the rest of the world. Many students feel the need to choose between travelling and working, but it’s possible to do both at the same time. Beginning your career overseas means you can dedicate some time to exploring various countries before settling somewhere long term. Whether you choose to live in Australia, your home country or in a completely different destination, experiencing life in other countries will help you decide where to settle in the future. More than 60 countries around the world offer Working Holiday visas, including Australia. With a highly portable degree and professional qualification, you can explore the world searching for opportunities. 

How international experience can help you move back to Australia

Did you know that accounting is one of the most in-demand careers in Australia? The profession is listed on the Australian Skilled Occupation List, meaning accounting graduates may be eligible for a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa. Your eligibility for skilled migration is assessed in a number of ways, including through a points test that takes into account your qualifications, skills and work experience. Your international employment experience will count towards your points on the points test, and can make it even more likely that you’ll be able to permanently migrate to Australia. This means that staying in Australia after completing your degree is not the only way to gain residency here – having relevant work experience could make you even more sought after!