I have a degree in Civil Engineering and want to apply to the Australia Skilled visa, I didn't know what exactly type of visa will be better for me but looks like Australia Skilled Independent visa: Permanent (subclass 189) will be good.

My main purpose is to live (with my wife, she has a degree as an accountant), work abroad a few years (I want to work in 2-3 different countries apart from my home country within the next 3-6 years) and possibly immigrate.

On this page I read that to get 10 points for qualification my degree should be recognized as suitable to my occupation.

You can receive 10 points for any other qualification or award which is recognised as suitable for your nominated occupation in your skills assessment by the relevant assessing authority.

My question: is it enough to have a degree in another technical specialty to be recognized as qualified person or I need to get a Master's in an IT area?

I don't want to go through Bachelor since it is too long and I already have a [specialist degree (5 years of education) in Civil Engineering] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specialist_degree) (it was commonly used in Russia until a few years ago when the Russian education system finished integration in the Bologna Process; usually it is translated to at least a bachelor degree).

In my case: I work in IT as a software developer and studied Civil Construction.

  • (+1) Just to clarify: You already have a bachelor, right?
    – Gala
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 12:25
  • I have specialist degree (5 years of education) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specialist_degree, it was commonly used in Russia until few years ago when Russia edu system finished integration Bologna Process, usually it is translated at least as bachelor degree
    – X A
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 13:38
  • Might be useful to specify that in your question, as the “I dont want to go thourgh Bachelor since it is too long.” is really unclear. Incidentally, this is more relevant to your other question but if you could get it recognised as such, this degree might be quite good for Germany (before the Bologna Bachelor/Master system, Germans often got what's called a Diplom, which sounds similar to the Specialist degree and is still well-known and well-liked there.)
    – Gala
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 14:15
  • Updated original question @Gala I really appreciate your help!
    – X A
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


There is an option which involves a successful Recognition of Prior Learning application.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS), which will assess your skills for migration purposes has guidelines on how degrees and work experience are assessed.

This PDF has a table outlining the possible combinations for suitable skills assessment, and most require you to have a degree with an ICT Major or Minor. If you don't, you would need to fit in the following requirement: "6 years relevant work experience completed anytime in past work history plus a successful RPL application".

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) doc explains how can you submit an RPL application, on which you will need to demonstrate your on-the-job skills. From the doc:

The purpose of the RPL application is to provide applicants without an ICT educational qualification the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired an equivalent level of knowledge by addressing as many of the areas referred to in the document, “ACS Key Areas of Knowledge” they consider are covered by their acquired knowledge

  • So as I undestand, if I receive Master's in Software Engineering it would be much easier to receive Australia Skilled Independent visa: Permanent (subclass 189), but still with my current education I have chances to get it, am I right? Would it be easier and more successful if I would apply to another visa (for example Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)) already having job offer from Australian company? for me it seems that there will be same process of assessment of my education and skills - looks like same as subclass 189.
    – X A
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 6:56
  • 1
    @RafailAkhmetshin it would probably be easier if you had a Master's in IT, but you're right, you could attempt the RPL right now. You're also right that already having a job in a company that will sponsor you helps a lot; however, not many companies sponsor employees for a permanent visa from the start. You might need to get a job under a temporary visa (subclass 457) first.
    – Boj
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 10:56

From what you have described, your Civil Engineering degree is 5 years of education. Based on the number of years of study, it's likely to be considered equivalent to a Bachelor degree under the following clause:

Bachelor Degree

To receive 15 points for having at least a Bachelor degree, you must have met the requirements for an award of Bachelor degree by an Australian educational institution or your qualification must be considered as at least comparable to a Bachelor level at Australian standards.

Even without that, it's totally normal for software professionals to have a degree in some other technical field (or even non-technical). Having a Civil Engineering degree would not be considered unusual for a software developer in Australia.

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