Engineering and related technologies, management and commerce the most common fields of study
Engineering and related technologies was the most common broad field of study for post-school qualifications in 2001 (18 percent) and 2006 (19 percent). The second most common was management and commerce, reported by 18 percent of people (unchanged from 2001).
Since 2001, there have been small decreases in the proportion of people with post-school qualifications in health or education.
Information technology was the least common field of study for a post-school qualification, reported by 3 percent of people in both 2001 and 2006.
Note: Percentages for field of study are calculated as the percentage of people who stated the subject of their post-school qualification.
Women and men choose different fields of study
In 2006, women were most likely to have a post-school qualification in management and commerce (21 percent, up from 20 percent in 2001). This was the most common field of study for women working in occupations as diverse as managers, sales workers, and labourers.
The next most common fields of study of a post-school qualification for women in 2006 were health (20 percent, down from 22 percent in 2001) and society and culture (19 percent, up from 18 percent in 2001). Women were least likely to have a post-school qualification in architecture and building (1 percent in both 2001 and 2006).
One third of men (34 percent) had a post-school qualification in engineering and related technologies, up from 33 percent in 2001. This was the most common field of study for men working as technicians and trades workers, managers and professionals.
The next most common fields of study for men with a post-school qualification were management and commerce (15 percent, down from 16 percent in 2001) and architecture and building (12 percent, up from 11 percent in 2001). The least common field of study for men was education (3 percent, a decrease from 4 percent in 2001).
Top five fields of study for men and women with a post-school qualification
| Engineering and related technologies
|| Management and commerce
| Management and commerce
| Architecture and building
|| Society and culture
| Society and culture
| Natural and physical sciences
|| Food, hospitality and personal services