Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
Reviewing Australia's trade information brochures
To become a foreign affairs and trade officer you usually have to complete a degree at university. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recruits graduates from a range of disciplines, including economics, commerce, law, Asian studies, arts (including politics, international relations, history and strategic studies), public administration, accountancy, human resource management and languages.
To get into these courses you usually need to gain your QCE. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.
Recruitment is undertaken through either the Department's graduate recruitment program or the general recruitment program. Graduate recruits are provided with a comprehensive academic and professional skills program including formal courses and on-the-job training. Recruits with accounting degrees are provided with training to enable them to obtain their Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification.
Graduate positions with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are advertised in the national press in March each year. General vacancies are advertised throughout the year on the Australian Public Service Commission website (www.apsjobs.gov.au), and on the Department's website (www.dfat.gov.au/jobs). Entry to the field is extremely competitive, as positions are limited and there are many applicants.
The Department is keen to encourage applications from graduates with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-English-speaking backgrounds. Knowledge of a foreign language is not necessary but is an advantage.
Successful applicants have a strong record of academic achievement, and many have an honours, combined or double degree. On completion of their initial training program, graduates are eligible to apply for an overseas posting.