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Title: Associate Degree of Geoscience.

Title: Associate Degree of Geoscience.

It's one thing to have work available in mines, but quite another to get skilled professionals to fill roles. When Australia's mining industry needed more fully qualified geologists, it looked overseas.

"The industry had to bring in professionals on 457 visas," says Andrew Hammond, of Central Queensland (CQ) University.

One partial solution has involved training paraprofessionals - geologists trained to work alongside their fully qualified colleagues. This associate degree, designed with input from the minerals industry, does just that.

The course is aimed at those already working in the mining industry who want to advance to supervisory positions, as well as those keen to enter the field.

Mining roles are typically in remote locations, which is a reason this course is run mostly online.

Duration: Four years part time (16 courses in total).

Time: Expect to study about 10 hours a course a week.

Where: Online through CQUniversity. (Some residentials required from the Rockhampton or Mackay campus.)

When: Intakes twice a year, in February and July.

Link: handbook.cqu.edu.au.

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