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Startup lets you shop for a postgraduate degree
PostgradAustralia.com.au is a brand new platform that allows students and professionals contemplating a graduate level degree to explore, compare, shortlist, and apply for over five thousand unique courses in one place.
Users can filter by study field, degree type, and region to generate a comprehensive list of courses that match their interests. Results can be sorted by tuition fees, duration, or even student satisfaction, allowing users to refine their results according to what is important to them.
Postgrad Australia’s founder, Richard McKeon, said “When you sum tuition fees, time off work, and potential career advancement, deciding to study a postgraduate degree is one of the biggest financial decisions people make in their lives.”
“For the other big life decisions, like buying a house, car, or insurance policy, many online comparators exist to help consumers to compare options, but for postgraduate degrees, the landscape was bare”, McKeon said.
McKeon came up with the idea for Postgrad Australia when he was researching his own master’s degree in Development Studies. “It took me an entire weekend to find all the information I needed to make a decision. The difference between offerings was immense; tuition fees ranged between just $12,000 to North of $50,000; some courses were offered online, but others were in person only; some courses offered credit for work experience, while others didn’t. I thought to myself: there has to be an easier way! After hearing similarly frustrating experiences from my classmates, I decided to launch Postgrad Australia”.
As the job market continues to become more competitive, more candidates are turning towards postgraduate qualifications to give them an edge. The number of Australians with a postgraduate degree has grown by 123% between 2006 and 2016, outpacing Bachelor degree growth at a rate of two to one .
Despite an ever increasing supply of students (or perhaps because of it), established universities have historically not had to compete aggressively on price and value. While some universities display tuition fees and reviews on their course pages, others make it difficult for students to find.
But McKeon argues that is about to change. “Millennials are used to comparing every purchase they make against the market. Compared to the generation before them, they’re less likely to enrol in a course just because it’s delivered by a sandstone university; they want to know the value they’ll get from it”.
With the average master’s degree costing between $20,000 and $37,000 in Australia , it’s not surprising that students will want to shop around for the right deal.
Over the last decade, the comparator website industry has exploded in Australia and around the world. Sites like iSelect, comparethemarket, and finder have become household names in Australia. The industry, however, is becoming increasingly proliferated, focussing on niche markets, rather than one-stop shops.