Research Library

Alternative Pathways

This title looks at some of the alternative ways of gaining entry into the professions, rather than through the traditional route of completing a degree after high school at an Australian university along with practical training and/or an exam.


Author(s): John Chellew, Katherine Chow, Belle Anais and Francesca Mendoza

Professions, particularly the more traditional professions, tend to have standardised pathways for gaining the relevant higher education qualification and then for entering the profession. For example, the traditional path for entry into the legal profession is for a high school student to complete a law degree at an Australian university and then enter the profession after a year or two of practical training.  Doctors, similarly, traditionally enter the profession by completing a medical degree after high school and then do an internship before being registered as a doctor.  The education is usually a bachelor’s degree at an Australian university, with the course largely made up of compulsory subjects deemed essential, with only a limited amount of flexibility in terms of electives. This traditional paradigm is beginning to be broken down and challenged with new, more flexible alternative pathways to entry into professions.

This title looks at some of these alternative pathways to becoming a professional, in particular:

  • Graduate degree pathways;
  • Profession-based rather than academic qualification pathways;
  • Apprenticeship pathways;
  • Transitional requirement pathways;
  • Limited rights to practice pathways; and
  • Foreign qualification pathways.


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