Students get the Career Ready Advantage

Students at La Trobe University are starting their studies this year with a new competitive edge - an innovative career development program that is building their long-term career prospects while they study.

The program, called Career Ready Advantage, is available to all 35,000 students across all seven campuses. It has been designed in conjunction with Australia’s leading employers to help combat the rapid pace of change in the workplace and address the need for graduates to have a far broader range of abilities to be successful.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the program is tailored to suit each student and empower them to recognise and build on their strengths, as well as identify areas where they need further development. Students get personalised support and are given access to additional learning opportunities and employment support services while they study.

“We understand that the vast bulk of students come to La Trobe University to get a job or improve their career prospects and life opportunities,” Professor Dewar said. “That’s why we are giving them a wide range of services and support over and above their normal study.

“To ensure Career Ready Advantage successfully meets the needs of employers, we started by listening to our partners across a wide range of sectors and industries to fully understand their workforce needs – for now and into the future. The overriding message was that employers are looking for much more than a set of technical abilities. Skills relating to social intelligence and cognitive flexibility are also vital.

“Employers also told us they need people who are motivated and passionate about their work, who can bounce back from failure and adapt to change, who are curious to learn more and able to see things from others’ perspectives. In short, they display resilience, curiosity, empathy and passion.”

Employers consulted as part of the design process included: CSIRO, PwC, Austin Health, the Commonwealth Bank, Pfizer, the Cancer Council of Victoria, Telstra, the Bureau of Meteorology, Goldman Sachs, Optus, Accor Hotels, Moore Stephens, BHP, Melbourne City Football Club, Carlton Football Club, Suncorp and Thoughtworks.

Julie Hunter, Managing Director, Institutional Lending Transformation, Institutional Banking & Markets at the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) said: “As one of Australia’s largest employers, CBA was delighted to participate in the industry workshops to provide students and the program deeper industry insights. Employers today are increasingly demanding transferrable skills like problem solving, presentation skills and digital literacy for the jobs of the future.”

Professor Dewar said the Career Ready Advantage is delivered to students via an innovative app and website, which has been “gamified” to appeal to tech-savvy students.

“La Trobe students are offered a unique, personalised online self-assessment and the ability to track progress via their individual dashboard. However, unlike other programs, our support is not just delivered via algorithms. Our dedicated Career Ready team are also there, for face-to-face support and advice to help students promote their strengths and identify individual development needs,” Professor Dewar said.

“As they go through the voluntary program, students will learn how to stand out from the pack, develop their skills and be able to confidently communicate their story and value to future employers.

“We’ve also partnered with industry leaders so our students can seize every opportunity to better their job prospects. Every La Trobe University student is given free access to a world of online video learning via, where they can hear from expert teachers on a wide range of topics. In conjunction with UniTemps we are offering our students and graduates a dedicated employment service, to access work across our campus network and within industry.

“This is how we are ensuring all of our La Trobe graduates are career ready,” Professor Dewar said.

The Advantage program is one element of a larger La Trobe University commitment, called Career Ready, ensuring strong job outcomes for students.

There are regular opportunities to connect with potential employers while still at University. In 2017 La Trobe connected more than 200 companies with students through niche networking opportunities and careers events on-campus. The University also works with industry to offer innovation challenges, internships and student-employer mentoring.

The full components of the University’s Career Ready program are:

The Career Ready Advantage Award. La Trobe students are rewarded for participating in Career Ready programs such as work placements and volunteering. Using the Career Ready personalised app, rewards such as priority access to internships are unlocked as students progress through the program.

Career Ready mentoring. Students are matched with industry professionals who provide valuable insights into the world of work, while enabling students to grow their professional networks.

Tailored face-to-face support. Career Ready advisers provide advice on careers and required skillsets. They also advise on finding work experience, volunteering opportunities and access to networking events.

Tutorials by Students have access to LinkedIn’s online library of high-quality video tutorials to help develop new skills.

On-campus recruitment with Unitemps. La Trobe has an on-campus recruitment agency which provides students with paid work while they study.

Industry-aligned work placements. La Trobe’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program places students within organisations to gain valuable work experience.

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – – 0437 279 903