SYSTEMS accountant Steve Cross never liked studying. Not one little bit – until now.
“I couldn't wait until (school) was over
and I had no intention of going to further studies when I left,” the 44-year-old from Sydney said.
“So I entered the workforce and worked my way up the ladder mostly in accounting and logistics roles.”
After being “persuaded” to complete a TAFE Associate Diploma in Accounting 20 years ago, Steve found himself in limbo in 2012 when his IT distributor job was made redundant and employers baulked at hiring him for the accounting roles he wanted because of his lack of tertiary study.
After too many job-hunting setbacks it became clear to Steve that he needed a university degree if he was going to get the job and salary he was chasing.
He is now studying a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) with Swinburne Online and that once ambitious goal of becoming a Certified Practising Accountant is within reach.
“The ultimate outcome of the course is so that I can go on to become a CPA and then move into a more highly paid role that will enable me to pay the mortgage off. That's it in a nutshell,” Steve said.
It’s the perfect pathway to advance his career, even at 44.
“I found it hard to get employers to consider me for middle to senior accounting roles, despite my experience, because I didn't have those three magical letters after my name – CPA,” Steve said.
"I then started looking at further study to enable me to secure a job that would let me pay the bills.
“I considered going through the CPA Foundation Program for people with experience but no qualifications, but I decided that it would be better to have the university degree to back that up as things had probably changed a lot since my TAFE days.”
Plenty of research and self-examination went into Steve’s decision on a university course, and it was what Swinburne Online offered that ticked all the boxes.
“After all, this was a significant time and financial investment I would be making,” he said.
“I needed a course that would allow me to work full time and study in the evenings and that was close to home so I wouldn't be spending hours travelling to and from campus.”
“We all have busy lifestyles these days and I found Swinburne's Online campus an attractive alternative to normal classroom study.
“It offered me a degree that would lead to CPA accreditation where I could choose my own study schedule and I could do it from home so there was no time lost travelling.”
Steve is a study convert, the online education concept finally convincing him that “further studies” are not the chore he once considered.
“Swinburne Online offers the flexibility of studying when you want from wherever you want at any time you want,” Steve said.
“The materials are delivered electronically so you can take it with you on laptop or tablet ... and there’s a smart phone app.
"You can study from home, during your lunch hour at work, or even on the beach if you really wanted to. You can go overseas and still be able to access your study material so you don't miss anything important.
"For those who have a busy lifestyle, who don't think they can fit a uni course in, online study is a perfect solution and I think Swinburne Online does it well.”
Find out how you can re-direct your career by visiting http://www.swinburneonline.edu.au
* This article was written by an independent journalist as part of a commercial agreement between Fairfax Media and Swinburne Online.