In 2021 most companies rely heavily on Information Technology (IT) to increase their business productivity. IT is a career that enables organisations to be more efficient with faster communication, better data storage and security of business documentation.

Information Technology (IT) is knowns as one of the highest paying industries in Australia. In the last three years, there have been 33,000 new jobs opportunities opening within the IT industry here in Australia.

According to the high salaries and demand, the interest for studying IT in Australia continues to grow rapidly. This article will discuss the various study options for IT in Queensland, skills assessment and PR pathways that you may be thinking about.

Permanent Residency Option

Once you have completed the Bachelor or Master of IT (as a Higher Education Program), you will be eligible to apply for a 485 visa (Post Graduate Work Stream). Therefore, an IELTS 6.0 is also required to apply for the 2 year 485 graduate visa.


While you hold a 485 visa, you will have time to prepare to apply for a Permanent Resident visa. There are several visa options under the skilled IT occupation list that can lead to Permanent Residency in Australia.

Below are the examples:

  • 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186)
  • 189 – Skilled Independent (subclass 189) – Points Tested
  • 190 – Skilled Nominated (subclass 190)
  • 407 – Training visa (subclass 407)
  • 485 – Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) – Graduate Work
  • 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – Family sponsored
  • 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – State or Territory nominated
  • 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) – Medium Term Stream
  • 187 – Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
  • 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) (subclass 494) – Employer sponsored stream
  • 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) State or Territory nominated
  • 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) Family Sponsored

For the 189, 190 and 491 visa subclasses, you will need to have a minimum of 65 points under the Skilled Migration Points Test. For the 186, 482 and 494 visa subclasses, these are not points test based but you need to have a sponsor and are also usually required to have at least 2-3 years of experience in the nominated occupation you are wishing to apply.

Advantages of studying IT in Australia

We are living in a world that cannot operate without technology. We cannot request our ride to work without our smartphone, we are not able to hold the international meeting without our laptop. Almost all businesses are fully reliant on Information Technology right now and the opportunities are limitless.

Australia is known for its internationally recognized IT programs. Once the student studied in Australia and successfully passes the skill assessment, they will have the opportunity to then be able to work in many regions globally. Moreover, the IT courses in Australia will offer the highest quality training which will equip students to work within a wide variety of IT fields and sectors.

The IT education courses in Australia can be studied throughout the country and follow several course majors. A globally recognized qualification is a good way to kick start your career while the IT courses offered here in Australia will also give you hands-on experience, technical skills, and a proven ability to learn new technologies.

The average salary of an IT professional is $87,191 AUD. Furthermore, these occupations are listed consistently in the various skilled occupation lists which is a strong advantage for the PR pathway.

What type of IT courses are available in Australia?

You will have three options while studying IT in Australia including Diploma, Bachelor and Master degree. The major difference is that only the Bachelor and Master degree qualification can pass the skills assessment while a Diploma cannot.

The Diploma of IT will take 1-1.5 years to complete. The English requirement is generally an IELTS 5.5 with no band less than 5.0. The Bachelor of IT usually takes 3 years to complete while the Master of IT will take 1.5 – 2 years to completed. The English requirement of both degrees are IELTS 6.0-6.5.

The Master of IT has 2 different types of program:

  • Master of IT (Graduate Entry) – This course is for students who have already studied or are working in the IT industry but want to build an advanced knowledge based on research practice.
  • Master of IT – This course is for students who would like to study IT but who do not have any relevant IT background or experience.

For those students who cannot meet the academic or English requirement, they can consider starting with the Diploma of IT in either Griffith College, QUT international College or TAFE QLD then gain a pathway to enter University.

At Griffith College, you will have to study 2-3 semesters and will have a guaranteed entry into the Bachelor of IT 2nd year in Griffith University on completion. You will also be able to study on the Griffith University Campus and take an advantage of their Trimesterly term system. However, on completion of the course you are only able to move onto Griffith University after completing this Diploma and the tuition is relatively expensive. The tuition fee for this course is $25,000 for the Diploma of IT.

QUT International College is offering the Diploma of IT for 2-3 semester as well, the tuition fee here however is lower than Griffith College. You will gain a guaranteed entry into the Bachelor of IT 2nd year in QUT. You will also be able to study at the QUT campus however you are only able to move to QUT after completing this Diploma. The tuition fee is $19,174 for the QUT International College Diploma of IT.

TAFE QLD is also offering an excellent Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology and Diploma of IT Networking. The whole study duration is 1.5 years (Cert III is 6 months and the full Diploma is 1 year). You will gain a pathway to the Bachelor of IT 2nd year in either Griffith University, ACU, QUT, USC and USQ. The strongest advantage of studying the Diploma of IT in TAFE QLD is that you can choose any Universities in QLD with around 1-year advanced standing. The tuition fee of the TAFE Cert III is $7,000 and the Diploma of IT Networking is $16,000.

The intake date for Griffith College and QUT International College are Jan, Jun and Oct while TAFE QLD only has 2 intakes which are Feb and July.

There are also some unique selling points for the other Universities. For instance, Charles Sturt University is the only University offering a Master of IT requiring only 12 subjects to complete (normally 16 subjects) and the tuition fee is cheaper then other universities. However, student can still apply for a 485 visa as this course is registered as a 2-year course.

Another option at QUT is the Graduate Certificate in Communication for Information Technology + Master of IT= total 2-year course. This course leads to a 485 visa and passes the Skills Assessment at ACS. The English requirement is an IELTS 6.0 (no band less than 5.0 for Listening and Speaking, or 5.5 for Reading and Writing).

Skills assessment – PYP course or 1-year work experience (Step 1- 2) by ACS

STEP 1: 485 VISA

2 years 485 post study work stream: For students who applied for, and were granted, their first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011 => IELTS 6.0 is required to apply for a 485 visa but is not required for Skills Assessment.

STEP 2: Full Skill Assessment

Full Skill Assessment: It requires Professional Year Program course or 1-year related work experience to pass the skill assessment.

After passing an ACS skill assessment, applicants can apply for 189/190 or 491 visas.

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