A leading analyst from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business says students in Bendigo need to stick with education to further their job prospects.
Assistant Secretary from the Labour Market Research and Analysis Branch Ivan Neville said students needed to diversify their skills to increase their options in the workforce.
"The more broadly you think about work, the more chances you are going to get a job," Mr Neville said.
"If you're 17 and looking for a job, you don't have much education behind you and you don't have much experience behind you.
"That's why I'm stressing the importance of completing the VCE or VCAL, getting some work experience, and going on and doing some further education and training.
"That will improve their odds of getting a job enormously."
Data Mr Neville collated from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed for people aged 25-34, those who didn't finish high school had an unemployment rate of 13.5 per cent.
For those who finished Year 12, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 per cent, while for those who completed further study, the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 per cent.
Mr Neville said with that further education and training, students should also look to one of the growing industries in Bendigo like health care.
"When you think about the health industry and what's been driving the increase in jobs in that industry, those things are going to continue," Mr Neville said.
"There are a number of influences. We've had pretty strong population growth and Bendigo is a big centre so that should continue. We've also got an ageing population and we've got the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
"All of those things combined are going to provide awesome opportunities in the health sector. But you don't have to be a doctor or a nurse or in a caring role to be in that industry."
The latest data from the ABS shows Bendigo has a youth unemployment rate of 8.8 per cent for June 2019.
That figure is down from the 18.3 per cent in December 2018 and 13.6 per cent in March 2019, but an ABS spokesperson said the rate could be higher due to limitations in the way data is collected.
Mr Neville said it was "encouraging" to see the youth unemployment rate decline and that people should be more optimistic about the future of work.
"Often young people and their parents are worried about the jobs market and about a lot of jobs being lost to automation but there are a lot of opportunities," he said.
"It's all about positioning yourself for those job. It's about education and training, it's about work experience and it's about getting those personal and people skills."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.