Cadetships in Australia

If you want a way to get some valuable hands-on work experience while you study, cadetships are the perfect way to do it.

Similar to an apprenticeship, you’ll get to work with an employer in a relevant field, all while completing your studies – and best of all, you get paid to do it. The main difference is that cadetships are usually available to those studying at a university level.


Cadetship perks


So what are the benefits of a cadetship? They can include things like:

  • Getting paid a salary while you study
  • Gaining real work experience with an employer
  • Credit towards your degree
  • Extra allowances to help with your study
  • A guaranteed job once you finish your degree

Each individual program will have different benefits, so make sure you check carefully before you apply.


When can I do a cadetship?


Cadetships are generally offered to students who have already begun their university studies, though sometimes you can apply the year before you start (when you’re in Year 12).

Some cadetships are targeted to students at the beginning of their degree, while others might be for students in their third, fourth, or even fifth year of uni.


Cadetships vs degree apprenticeships


There are a few different terms you might hear being thrown around, one of them being degree apprenticeships. So what’s the difference between a cadetship and a degree apprenticeship?

Fundamentally, they are very similar: both offer paid work while you’re studying at uni. The main difference is that under a degree apprenticeship, the government will cover your tuition fees as well (just like a regular apprenticeship). Cadets will still generally need to pay uni fees, unless they are specifically covered by an individual employer.

Another difference with degree apprenticeships is that your study pattern might be different. You might only study certain subjects instead of completing an entire degree, or some employers might offer their own training instead of you needing to go to uni at all. Cadetships generally require you to study a degree alongside your work, just like any other student would.

There are currently only two programs on offer in Australia at the moment: Deloitte’s Cyber Academy, and BAE System and AI Group’s Systems Engineering Program.


Is a cadetship right for me?


Because you’ll be working and studying at the same time, you’ll need to be dedicated and have great time management skills to succeed in a cadetship. If you’re feeling confident about your dream career, a cadetship can be a great way to secure employment before you finish university.


More about cadetships with PCA


We spoke to Alister Wilkinson from Professional Cadetships Australia to learn more about their Business and Technology Cadetship programs, currently open for applications.


SWG: What’s involved in the cadetships?


Alister: Cadets combine study at the university of their choice in Sydney with paid work at leading companies. Business Cadets work at either UBS, or Barrenjoey Capital Partners or Macquarie Group. Technology Cadets work at UBS.


SWG: What degrees can I study?


Alister: Business Cadets may choose from a wide range of degrees, including business, commerce, economics, mathematics, computer science & technology and the humanities. It is also possible to study some combined degrees.

Technology Cadets will typically study computer science, information technology or information systems. Alternatively, they may study a generalist degree like commerce or arts, or a combined degree.


SWG: What is it like to be a cadet?


Alister: To give you an idea of the cadet experience, why not have a look at our video and PowerPoint? You might also like to check out our Facebook and Instagram sites for insights into what is on offer and tips on the application process.


SWG: How can students apply?


Alister: Cadetship applications are made online to Professional Cadetships Australia. Business Cadetship applications close on 24 May and Technology Cadetship applications close on 2 June 2023.

In 2023, there is a greater number of cadet placements available to Year 12 students than ever before. But cadetships are only open to current Year 12 students so if you don’t apply now, you will miss out for good!

Note: applications are only open to students in NSW & ACT.


A big thanks to Alister for providing us with some insight on their cadetship programs!


Cadetship programs in Australia


If you’d like to find out a bit more, we’ve gathered some other cadetship programs from around Australia you might like to look into.


Digital Cadetship Program


The Australian Government has a Digital Cadetship Program, aimed at university students studying business, IT, cyber security, STEM, and more. You can apply once you’ve finished the first year of your degree. Find out more.


Defence STEM Cadetship


The Department of Defence offers entry-level cadetships for students studying STEM at university. If you’ve finished at least 12 months of your degree, you can enjoy perks like reimbursement of uni fees, a bursary payment, and ongoing employment with the APS. Find out more.


Australian Public Service (APS) Career Starter Program


Kickstart your career in Government with the Career Starter Program. You’ll get the opportunity to study a Certificate IV in Government while working full-time for a participating government department. Find out more.


AFL SportsReady First Nations Cadetship Program


AFL SportsReady offer financial support to Indigenous university students studying and working in Australia. You can work with employers including Jacobs, ANZ, Metro North Health Services, and BiOC. Find out more.


UOW Management Cadetship Program


Each year, UOW offer two places in their Management Cadetship Program for commencing students studying an eligible degree. One great perk is that you receive an allowance to cover the cost of your studies, so you graduate without any HECS debt. Find out more.


Coleman Greig Legal Cadetship Program


This cadetship program is open to first year law students, meaning you can apply straight out of high school. Find out more.


Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetships


NSW Rural Doctors Network offer a cadetship for medical students, giving students up to $15,000 per year for the final two years of their medical degree in return for undertaking two of the first three years of their hospital training in an eligible rural NSW hospital. Find out more.


Whitehaven Coal Cadetship Program


Whitehaven Coal offers four cadetships to Year 12 students from the Narrabri/Gunnedah region looking to study Mining Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, or Environmental Science. Find out more.


Doxa Cadetship Program


Doxa’s Cadetship Program is open to is open to Year 12 students transitioning to university and aims to support talented young people facing challenging life circumstances to complete university and gain the skills needed for an employable future. Find out more.


Hall Chadwick Cadetship Program


Hall Chadwick’s Cadetship Program is targeted at Year 12 high school students and first year university students who have already indicated their interest in business and accounting. Find out more.


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