Close Nav

What do you need to study to join the logistics workforce?

By Pacific National
Could studying help you jump start your career in transport and logistics?

It goes without saying that your school years are some of the most important in your life. From the hobbies you take part in during this formative period, through to the circle of friends you socialise with – the choices you make and the subjects you study will have a huge impact on your life further down the line.

Introducing Rail Careers Week  

What’s more, as the workforce grows more specialised, many people are being forced to consider their career path earlier on in life. In 2014, there were 3,694,101 students attending school in Australia, according to figures collated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), many of whom will already be thinking about what areas they should pursue after school. There are many initiatives in place to help this up-and-coming workforce make their transition to the professional world easier, such as Rail Industry Experience Week.

Running from 21-27 September, Rail Careers Week is another initiative aimed to encourage students and graduates to assess whether a career in the rail industry would be right for them.

Australasian Railway Association Chair Bob Herbert highlighted some of the initiative’s other key objectives.

“Rail Careers Week is all about challenging out-dated ideas about rail. Our industry offers a wide range of opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and experience,” explained Mr Herbert.

“The industry is also strongly committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce – in particular, lifting the number of women employed in rail.”

You can learn more about Rail Careers Week and the sector as a whole in the following tweet from Public Transport Victoria:

A growing demand for workers in transport and logistics  

From automotive enterprises to forestry companies, countless organisations depend on Pacific National’s rail network services to carry their goods across Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the mining and extraction industries rely heavily on our transportation solutions.

While the sector has undeniably slowed down in recent months, research suggests it could still have an important part to play in the country’s economy in the years ahead. The good news for job hunters is that the growing demand in these sectors highlights the fact that pursuing a career in the transport and logistics industry may provide you with a higher level of certainty and job security.

According to a comprehensive report from Deloitte, clean coal will be a significant source of income for the country, with the study estimating that Australia will export over $20 billion worth of thermal coal in 2017-2018. What’s more, if future technologies are able to reduce the expenses associated with processing coal, it’s possible that we’ll see greater investment in the sector in the future.  With more substances being extracted from the ground, it follows logically that there’ll be more demand for reliable and safe ways to transport these materials.

How can you start a career at Pacific National?  

What could you be doing in your job at Asciano?What could you be doing in your new transport and logistics job?

Given the breadth of the industry, you’ll find an incredibly diverse range of employment opportunities awaiting you at Pacific National – regardless of your level of education or work history.

If you’re fresh out of school, entry level positions provide you with the chance to get hands-on experience in the world of transport and logistics. Once you’ve learnt the ropes, you’ll also have the opportunity to enrol in further studies, which will enable you to not only gain a better understanding of the industry, but also help you to make progress in your career.

Have a little more experience under your belt? As Australia’s biggest private rail freight company, there are near-countless channels in which you can showcase your expertise. You could demonstrate the abilities you’ve learned throughout your employment history or put your university degree to good work in a practical and dynamic environment.

What should you study to get a head start in transport and logistics?  

Studying at a TAFE or university can help you get ahead in your career.Studying at a TAFE or university can help you get ahead in your career.

We’ve discussed the potential advancement opportunities that might open up to you once you’ve started your career at Pacific National, but for those who are yet to enter the industry, what should you be studying to help you land your dream transport and logistics job?

That’s not necessarily an easy question to answer, given that there are so many different types of roles to pursue, from operational to corporate and everything in between. However when it’s not specifically a direct trade or a corporate service function, what type of higher education would be relevant for a logistics-specific position?

Technical and further education (TAFE)  

TAFE institutions are a popular place of study for students looking to garner practical insight into the transport and logistics industry. Completing a course will typically take between one to three years, though this varies depending on the school and specific qualification you’re pursuing.

TAFEs differ slightly from universities in that they take more of a hands-on approach to learning. If you’re looking to join the operational side of things in transport and logistics, a TAFE qualification will quickly help you train up the skills you need to succeed in your career.

As a real world example, studying international trade, logistics and government at Sydney TAFE could lead you into a variety of roles within the sector, including store person, operations manager, warehouse manager and supply and distributions manager, among others.

University diplomas and bachelor’s degrees 

Studying at university is the more conventional option for people wishing to receive higher education in transport and logistics. Many universities across Australia offer a diploma in logistics, which typically takes one year of full time study to complete.

For a more comprehensive understanding of the principles and theories surrounding the industry, you may want to consider taking a bachelor of business, specialising in logistics management. While this qualification usually takes three years of study to finish, you’ll be in a stronger position to move into a more managerial position once you’re ready to enter the workforce.

The skills you pick up at high school, TAFE or university will undoubtedly help you make progress in your transport and logistics career. In saying this, Pacific National welcomes employees with all levels of education, and those who exhibit a strong work ethic and a desire to excel will ultimately enjoy the most success, regardless of their formal qualifications. For more career info, check out