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"One of the highlights was being able to study online."

Although originally interested in becoming an accountant, James Rodden’s growing interest in the property market led him to complete Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Property.

With an undergraduate degree in business, James says he chose Deakin because of its reputation in property studies and the flexibility of online course delivery.

‘One of the highlights was being able to study online. I was able to receive information at any time and from anywhere in the world – and the groups assignments facilitated great networking opportunities. Professor Richard Reed [Chair in Property and Real Estate] is also a well-known industry professional who does an excellent job at delivering the course.’

With a range of ‘hands-on’ assessment tasks embedded into the course, James was able to add practical depth to his learning.

‘These assessments required me to go in to the “field” and gain real-world knowledge in order to complete them. For example, going along to auctions and inspecting properties,’ he explains.

Currently, James is working as an assistant valuer with an international property firm where he works on asset valuations up of to $1 billion.

‘Every property valuation provides different internal dynamics whilst the external valuation dynamics – that is, the principles – remain largely the same. The challenge is keeping up to date with almost-daily market changes as well as keeping on top of the everyday tasks such as sales and lease deals.’

‘In order to obtain Certified Practising Valuer status of the Australian Property Institute (API) you need to have studied a property-related degree. The postgraduate diploma was especially useful for me as it was only a one year course and, combined with my previous qualification, makes me eligible.’

He says this is particularly important for anyone considering a similar career or study path.

‘In the job market it is difficult to differentiate yourself between other potential employees. Postgraduate study makes you more desirable to potential employers. And for those considering a later career change, the course delivery provides an excellent platform when combining full time work with study.’