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How to use forced downtime to transform your future career


Media team
22 June 2020
Kahu Simpson
Southern Cross University law graduate Kahu Simpson

For many Australians the future of work has rapidly shifted in the face of COVID-19.

While some may be working from home indefinitely, others have had their hours reduced or in some cases, have been left without a job. Many people who have found themselves either with changed plans or more time on their hands in the face of a tightening job market are choosing to upskill to secure their future.

In response, Southern Cross University recently announced a suite of short courses, at incredibly discounted rates, for people looking to upskill from July. There has been strong demand for the micro-credentials, with hundreds of direct applications and enrolments.

Each six-month course includes four subjects, (all eligible for HECS-HELP). Graduates receive a certificate that can be fully credited towards a Bachelor degree or Diploma at Southern Cross University.

Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said these government-backed short courses give Australians the opportunity to upskill and reassess what career path they want to pursue, which is especially important for those impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis.

“Southern Cross has long been a sector leader for our online education offering, with all degrees currently being offered online. We consistently see strong employment outcomes and high graduate salaries as reflected in federal government QILT data, and we are rated one of Australia’s best universities for student support, which is imperative for students at a time like this.”

Students can choose a short course or ‘Undergraduate Certificate’ in 11 key areas including Information Technology, Engineering, Civil Construction (Engineering Management), Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sport and Exercise Science, Biomedical Science, Psychological Science, Environmental Science, Coastal Systems Engineering, Education, and also Allied Health which serves as a path to studying speech pathology, occupational therapy, osteopathic studies or podiatry.

Two new short course ‘Graduate Certificate’ options include Sustainable Engineering Management which is a pathway to the Master of Engineering Management/Master of Business Administration; and Early Childhood Education which is a pathway to the Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) and an early education career.

Southern Cross University Senior Lecturer in Psychology Dr Christina Samios is currently working on fascinating research into the impacts of COVID-19 on people’s sense of purpose and meaning in life.

“Our research is ongoing but from what we have observed, the impacts of COVID-19 has put a stop on a lot of people’s plans. This has not only challenged people’s expectations for how important life events should unfold, but has also removed important sources of meaning in life,” Dr Samios said.

“While some people have enjoyed a forced down time, many others have lost work or are physically separated from their partners and loved ones. These varied situations can all disrupt one’s sense of meaning in life and our study results suggest that the greater the impacts of COVID-19, the less one feels their life makes sense, has purpose, and that their life matters.

“Like other stressful life situations, the impacts of COVID-19 could actually lead people to grow and change in positive ways. For example, people might identify new possibilities or change their priorities as ways of restoring meaning in life.

“It is possible that University study presents an option for people looking to follow a new path in life. With many restrictions still in place, University study could be a way for people to further new interests and apply the personal strength that people often discover they have after stressful situations. University study might even be an opportunity for someone to move toward work that is more meaningful to them and aligns better with their values.”

For more information and to apply for a short course visit