We Asked A Psychologist About The Benefits Of Fast Tracking Your Degree

It can look like a pretty attractive option because, well – it totally is.

Brought to you by Open Universities Australia


Feel like kicking your degree into overdrive so you can graduate early, dive headfirst into your career, and make some sweet moolah? You’re not alone. Fast tracking can look like a pretty attractive option because, well – it totally is.

No one knows this better than 20-year-old Curtin University student, Darren Halstead. Darren shaved an entire year off his Bachelor of Arts and Commerce double degree by studying on-campus while also taking on extra subjects from Griffith, Macquarie and Swinburne, online through Open Universities Australia. “I wanted to get into the workforce, to make a name for myself,” he says in a blog post. “Last semester, I did eight instead of four, the one before that I did six units, and then during the summer and winter I did two on average”.

Since completing these subjects, Darren has started a business internship and has even been offered a full-time position within a digital marketing agency. “It was such a great opportunity to get my foot in the door, and to get started right away,” he explained.

But there’s more to fast tracking your degree than jumping into the workforce and hoping to get Oprah-rich. Here, career expert and registered psychologist Suzie Plush breaks down all the awesome benefits to graduating at warp-speed.

You’ll Become The Superman Of Study

Fast tracking your degree isn’t just good for the ol’ bank balance, it’s also good for your work ethic. “Packing everything in to a short amount of time can give you a great sense of momentum,” Plush told Junkee. “You really get into the flow of studying because you don’t have those big breaks in between, meaning there’s no stop-starting – you’re just in the zone.”

This highly efficient use of your time means less hours in front of your screen spent procrastinating and more time pushing yourself to get it done.

Image: Nick Morrison

You’ll Slay The Competition

Looking for a way to demonstrate your drive? Plush believes fast tracking gives you a real-world edge on your peers. “There’s a competitive advantage because you can show an employer you have the capacity to balance your time,” she explains.

“It also demonstrates determination, which will help you stand out from the rest.” Trust us – with the completion of your degree around the corner (instead of years away), you’ll be able to whack “effective time management” on your resume – and mean it.

You’ll Surprise Yourself

Pressing fast-forward on your degree does require a bit more motivation due to the extra workload and pressure, but, hello! You’ve totally got this! Most of the time, we don’t know what we’re truly capable of until we’re placed in situations that require us to step up. Give yourself a chance to go next-level.

“Some [people] step up to the extra pressure and demand,” says Plush. “They thrive in that environment and they’re able to be really robust with what they say ‘no’ to when it comes to social engagements – they’re quite disciplined.”

But if that sounds scary, don’t fret – completing additional subjects online provides a flexibility that timetabled classes can’t, meaning you can make it work with your lifestyle and not the other way around.

You’ll Do It Your Way

If you really are interested in fast tracking your degree, why not start with a trial period? Plush believes this is the best way to dip your toe in the fast tracking pool. “Do one extra subject over summer and see how it goes,” she advises. One extra subject to start? Don’t mind if we do!

This is particularly useful if you find you’re not keen on any of the electives offered by your uni or the subject you need to do is only offered once a year on-campus. This way, you can pick and choose from (literally) hundreds of subjects on offer from leading Australian unis online through Open Universities Australia.

(Lead image: Christin Hume)

Get a head start on your career. For 25 years, Open Universities Australia has enabled students to study online with leading unis and fast track their way to graduation. Explore your options at or call a friendly student advisor on 13 OPEN.