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The benefits of an industry-backed degree

The Associate Degree in Applied Business has opened new doors for James.

Working full-time and studying is not an impossible feat, just ask father of two James Johnston. With a background in logistics, the 35-year-old Lindisfarne resident said completing an Associate Degree in Applied Business, Specialising in Supply Chain Management, was a natural progression.

The program is a great stepping stone to a new or accelerated career, and for James the part-time study fits well with his full-time role as Storeman at the Kingborough Council and also his family.

“It is a bit of a juggling act because of family commitments, as well as getting back into study after some time,” James said.

“But I like studying via distance as I can make it work for when it’s convenient for me. I’m looking at about four hours of study a week.

I encourage anyone to give it a go. You may think you don’t have time to study but you’d be surprised.

The first year of the program serves as a foundation year, while the second year provides students with a pathway to employment in organisations relevant to their specialisation, such as event management companies, tourism operators, sporting clubs, leisure centres, and local government.

Since joining the Kingborough Council two years ago, James said his manager has been supportive of his study.

“My manager can see this as a long-term benefit for the Council. I’m hoping this course will open a few doors for career advancement, but I’d also like to be happy with whatever I’m doing in regards to my career.”

With a background in logistics, James worked for the Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) for 11 years, based in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and Victoria.

“I’ve always wanted to do further education but because of my previous employment in the RAAF, the timing and opportunity wasn’t right,” he said.

The Associate Degree in Applied Business Specialising in Supply Chain Management was developed with industry experts, who are actively involved in its delivery. Students learn about contemporary business concepts and practices while developing problem solving and project management skills through industry placements and case studies.

“With my background in logistics, I always focused on one area but with Supply Chain Management it’s a lot broader, which I’m looking forward to,” James said.

The work/life balance can be a bit full on but the best advice I’ve received is ‘if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well’.

The program is available for full-time and part-time study (depending on specialisation) across all campuses in Tasmania and is delivered through a combination of online study, face-to-face classes, practical workshops and tutorials.

Interested in studying applied business at University College? Learn more.