Tertiary Education Pathways

Deciding what to do after completing high school is a big decision. Having to make a choice can become overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure of what path you’re wanting to follow. With so many options available it’s easy to get weighed down wanting to make the “right decision”. The truth is, there are no wrong choices.

When thinking about further education it’s important to consider:

  • Which courses and qualifications best suit your interests and aptitudes
  • The cost associated with the qualification or degree you’re wanting to study
  • Whether completing the course will give you the skills you need to get the job you want.

Vocational Education and Training

Do you need a degree to work in your chosen occupation?

Vocational Education and Training (VET) opens the doors to many professions and ones with strong job prospects too. VET courses differ from university degrees because of their practical focus, shorter completion time and lower cost. This means you can become qualified, enter the workforce and start earning sooner.

Qualifications range across four levels of certificates (Certificate I, II, III and IV), as well as Diploma courses and Advanced Diploma courses.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Choosing to do an apprenticeship or traineeship gives you the best of both work and study. You’ll train on the job, study and earn an income all while working towards achieving your qualification. Completing an apprenticeship or traineeship can take anywhere between one and four years, depending on your qualification.

When you finish your training, you will have a nationally recognised qualification that can take you anywhere in Australia and is held in high regard in many overseas countries as well.

Occupations that do NOT require a degree include:

  • Agricultural Technician
  • Allied Health Assistant
  • Builder/Carpenter
  • Civil Construction Worker
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Electrician
  • Enrolled Nurse
  • Hairdresser/Barber
  • Hospitality Services Worker
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Massage Therapist
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Veterinary Nurse

Did you know?

  • VET graduates have a higher employment rate than university undergraduates.
  • VET graduates find work faster and earn more in their first year compared to their university counterparts.
  • VET graduates earn wages comparable to, if not more than, that of university graduates.

VET to Uni Pathway

Choosing VET doesn’t mean you can’t also complete a university degree. In fact, if you don’t get the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) required for your course, a VET pathway can help. By completing a Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualifications you can gain entry into a number of popular degrees. With hundreds of qualification to choose from, there’s a VET course to suit everyone.

Check with your preferred university to see how a VET pathway can lead you to your degree.

Download the Tertiary Education Pathways factsheet

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