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Vocational Education Training v/s University Education

by Craig Boyle

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is often compared unfavourably against graduate-level study. It’s a common myth that VET courses are somehow inferior to University study in terms of prospects. Fortunately, a survey by the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) has shown that this is not the case. In fact, the report states that those completing VET training may be better off in terms of job outcomes and salaries when compared to University graduates.

With these benefits in mind, VET Training is more appealing than ever.

Here’s why it’s worth considering Vocational Education and Training over University

The benefits of VET

A lower barrier for entry

One of the most appealing features of VET courses is that often, you can enter them with far lower qualifications compared to a bachelor’s degree. Many VET courses provide a pathway to degree-level education, which can be helpful for those choosing to up skill later in life and may not have the right qualifications.

VET courses offer a lower barrier entry, but also provide high learning potential. For example, our education courses start from Certificate III, which can be attained with a  year 12 certificate, then move through to Certificate IV and to Diploma-level study. VET courses are also typically shorter than graduate level training, requiring anywhere from 6 months to 2 years as opposed to 3+ years in graduate training.

Fees for Vocational Education and Training in Australia

VET courses are typically more cost-effective than University pathways,with the added benefit of having direct entry points to your career. VET graduates can often spend less on their studies whilst also experiencing better employment prospects.

Income: Graduates are often associated with lesser earnings compared to their degree-holding counterparts. According to the study carried out by CICA, the median full-time income for a VET graduate is $56,000, while the median graduate salary for students completing a bachelor’s degree is $54,000.Essentially this means many VET graduates earn a superior salary compared to their graduate counterparts.

Rapid adaption to changing needs

VET courses are not outdated or a thing of the past. Instead, the Commonwealth Government Department of Employment estimates the VET sector currently provides training courses for 9 out of 10 occupations predicted to have the greatest growth over the next five years. Essentially this demonstrates that VET courses are adapting to meet the changing needs of the Australian economy.

Taking this further, the CICA study states that as the rapidly changing job market evolves, VET training can provide a faster and more adaptable solution for upskilling. In as little as 6 months, a VET student can gain new skills and enter a different field, which benefits both the Australian economy and the student themselves.

Higher employment rate for VET

One of the most common objections to VET training is that many assume that finding work following training is more difficult. However, this is not the case, in fact more than 78% of VET graduates are employed after they complete training. On the other hand, 69% of bachelor degree graduates in the CICA report were found to be in full-time employment. To put this simply, VET graduates experience a higher rate of full time employment compared to other graduates.

With all these fantastic benefits in mind, it’s hard to deny the appeal of VET courses. Compared to bachelor degrees, VET courses offer rapid adaptability, a higher prospect of employment, affordability and even less time investment. In a changing job market, choosing to study a VET course allows you to quickly train in the skills and knowledge needed to launch yourself into a specific career.

Considering health, community services and education markets are projected to have significant gains by 2020, it’s now a great time for prospective students to start studying VET courses and building their future careers. 

If you’d like to learn more about vocational training, take a look at our Certificate IV course pages to find your future career field.

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