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george7378

(189) Software Engineer assessment - degree questions

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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

I have a BSc Physics degree, but my professional work so far (3 years) has all been in software engineering (specifically, programming and testing). If I wanted to go the points-tested route for a 189 visa, I think the most sensible nominated occupation is Software Engineer (261313). This requires a skills assessment from the ACS. However, I think with my current degree I'd need a lot more work experience to pass the assessment, since my BSc has very little focus on IT (I don't think there's a single module which is totally IT-major).

One thing I'm considering is studying for a masters, and I'm confident I could get one in a subject which is 100% IT focused. My question is this - if I did get a software engineering MSc, would that be considered 'well' by the ACS? Or would they still look at my Physics BSc and say that my overall education isn't IT-focused?

I guess I'm asking - does the MSc 'override' the BSc, or not?

For reference, the ACS has a summary of what they consider 'suitable' in the skills assessment here. Would an IT masters with my Physics BSc put me in the first 'skills' row as indicated below?

it_skills.thumb.png.5c34535cb071ddc4e543d738e653c246.png

Note: As I stand, I can get 75 points on the immigration test. If I get 3 more years of work experience, it will safely put me in the '3 to 5 years' skilled employment band, and give me another 5 points. I think I'm correct here in my understanding that the 2 years 'relevant work experience' indicated above is NOT counted in the points test - so, of my 3 years work so far, I could only use 1 and I'd have to add another 2 (let's say 3 to be safe) in order to get the extra 5 points.

Thanks, I really appreciate your input.

Edited by george7378

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Posted (edited)

Update: I just read in here that any work experience prior to the masters degree wouldn't count in the points test. It should be enough to get the 2 years for the skills assessment as shown above though. So, I'm assuming that I have 75 points (or 80 with state sponsorship on a 190; something else I need to read about as I don't fully understand it yet).

Edited by george7378

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1 hour ago, george7378 said:

Update: I just read in here that any work experience prior to the masters degree wouldn't count in the points test. It should be enough to get the 2 years for the skills assessment as shown above though. So, I'm assuming that I have 75 points (or 80 with state sponsorship on a 190; something else I need to read about as I don't fully understand it yet).

You will need to opt for a 190 (if your state offers it) as I can't remember anyone being invited to apply with only 75 points for a 189 for over a year

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Oh, OK - yeah I just looked at the stats here and it seems like 85 or thereabouts would be needed. Does it always follow an upward trend, or does the point cutoff ever come down? Would love to see data over a few years.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, george7378 said:

Oh, OK - yeah I just looked at the stats here and it seems like 85 or thereabouts would be needed. Does it always follow an upward trend, or does the point cutoff ever come down? Would love to see data over a few years.

As at end of November this, this was the number of outstanding EOI submission for your career code (from an FOI document on their website)

2613 Software and Applications Programmers

65pts 3,018

70 pts 2,226

75 pts 3,689

80 pts 2,305

85 pts 1,669

90+ pts 430

So at November there could already have be 8,093 people ahead of you in the 189 queue (They don't split it out by visa class so some of these would be 491)

Now in another FOI request, there have been 14,203 grants issued for 189 applicants in your career since 2013 (so about 2,000 per year).

As you can see from the stats above you would need to have 85 or above to really stand a chance of a 189 (however in a quirk someone - possible more than one - did get an invite in May with 80 points) 

Certain occupations (and yours is one) fit under a pro-rata scheme (because there are so many applicants) in May only 264 people with your code where invited to apply. Pro-rata occupations almost always require higher points than other occupations.

The 190 is your better option as they look more at your profile rather than just your points score, but this rules out WA and QLD as they don't offer 190's for your career

The 491 is also worth a look, but it is harder to get an IT job in the regions (and you can't work in the big cities with this visa) No 491's for WA, QLD or NSW

Edited by Ausvisitor

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23 minutes ago, george7378 said:

Oh, OK - yeah I just looked at the stats here and it seems like 85 or thereabouts would be needed. Does it always follow an upward trend, or does the point cutoff ever come down? Would love to see data over a few years.

The required points does fluctuate throughout the year for most applications, however as I mentioned in my earlier post, your career is a pro-rata one, and as such tends not to really move as it is so popular they never get anywhere near the lower end of the queue because too many high-pointers join the queue each month and they automatically go ahead of those already there on lower points

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the info - ah, so it's controlled by the number of higher-point people in the queue ahead of you. Yes, I agree about the regional visa - it would be a bit of a stretch to rely on it for IT work. Plus I'm not sure if I'd really want the restriction of not being able to work in the cities anyway.

I think the career stream for me would be 261313 (Software Engineer). I'm not sure what the difference is compared to 261399, but WA does allow 190s for this path. I'd love to end up in WA, but any state would be fine. Can you apply for more than one?

It's a hard choice, since by the time I'd have my MSc, plus my skills assessment, english test results, etc... it's only going to be more saturated.

Edited by george7378

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I just checked and WA doesn't offer 190's for that career code - it does feature on the list but it isn't open to apply for.

WA has pretty much closed its doors to IT migration (unless you get a 189 where they can't stop you) as they have a huge number of local candidates - I've worked with people from WA and NSW for years and they all say WA doesn't need any more IT people - and its actually driving down salaries now. You'd be better placed heading to Sydney (NSW) for the two years of the 190 residency requirement and then see if you still want WA after that

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I would get a couple more years software experience, as much coding, probably java,, as you can, save some money by not doing your masters and then apply. Demonstratable experience goes a long way here.

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13 hours ago, Ausvisitor said:

I just checked and WA doesn't offer 190's for that career code - it does feature on the list but it isn't open to apply for.

WA has pretty much closed its doors to IT migration (unless you get a 189 where they can't stop you) as they have a huge number of local candidates - I've worked with people from WA and NSW for years and they all say WA doesn't need any more IT people - and its actually driving down salaries now. You'd be better placed heading to Sydney (NSW) for the two years of the 190 residency requirement and then see if you still want WA after that

Thanks for looking into it. Yes, I'd honestly be happy to do it anywhere. I like WA because that's where I spent most of my working holiday and I'm familiar with it!

 

4 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

I would get a couple more years software experience, as much coding, probably java,, as you can, save some money by not doing your masters and then apply. Demonstratable experience goes a long way here.

Ah right, thanks for the input! I'm torn what the best path is - not just considering Australia, but life in general. I already have £27,000 of student debt (I was the first year that the fees tripled to £9000 per year), so honestly, the tuition loan for a masters just feels like putting another round of beers on the tab 😆 Uni is terrible value for money these days, so looking at cost alone will make any sensible person conclude that there has to be some better way of spending your time. For me, the main motivator is if it opens doors to working abroad in general. This is all for me to think about though.

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It's not really like just adding "more beers behind the bar", because the masters loan needs to be paid alongside your repayments for your undergrad loan - it isn't added onto the overall amount owed it's a new account.

It's like having a car loan and a mortgage you have to pay both at once. So you'll pay what you pay in undergrad loañ repayments still and also the monthky amounts on the masters loan too

Also most IT masters courses fee wise are in excess of the amount you can borrow so you'll need to find extra cash too just to do it.

Add into that the fact that both UK and Oz value experience not master's degrees in IT careers and it feels like an MSc (unless done because you actually want the education) is just throwing money away

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5 hours ago, Ausvisitor said:

It's not really like just adding "more beers behind the bar", because the masters loan needs to be paid alongside your repayments for your undergrad loan - it isn't added onto the overall amount owed it's a new account.

It's like having a car loan and a mortgage you have to pay both at once. So you'll pay what you pay in undergrad loañ repayments still and also the monthky amounts on the masters loan too

Also most IT masters courses fee wise are in excess of the amount you can borrow so you'll need to find extra cash too just to do it.

Add into that the fact that both UK and Oz value experience not master's degrees in IT careers and it feels like an MSc (unless done because you actually want the education) is just throwing money away

Good advice above, and also to be factored in: 2-3 years is a long time in the migration space, particularly now, so what ACS and/or the Department is currently looking for may be radically different in a couple of years time.


____________________________________________________________________

Paul Hand

Registered Migration Agent, MARN 1801974

SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation. 

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