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How to decide which VET provider to study with?

by Marianne Stenger
Posted: October 23, 2020

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**This is an updated post**

With so many options out there today, finding the perfect Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider to study with can be a real challenge. If you’re looking to upskill, retrain, or get qualified and enter the job market for the first time, you might feel a little overwhelmed by all the choices out there.  

Then of course there’s also the option of uni compared to VET.  

So, how do you narrow down the playing field and find the right education provider for you? 

VET vs university 

VET and uni both have their selling points.

 Here are some of the differences between VET and uni, and the benefits of studying a VET course. 

  • VET graduates have a higher employment rate than university graduates. More than 78% of VET graduates are employed after training, while the rate of employment for uni graduates sits at 69%. 
  • VET graduates earn comparable (if not higher) wages than university graduates. The average full-time starting salary for a VET graduate is $56,000, while the average starting salary for students completing a Bachelor’s degree is $54,000. 
  • Some of the most in-demand jobs in the country—such as Aged Care Support Worker, Early Childhood Worker, and people working in the building and construction industry—can be applied for with a VET qualification.  
  • VET courses usually take much less time to complete than a university degree. A VET qualification usually takes between six months to two years to complete. But a general Bachelor’s degree will take 3 years.  
  • There are some jobs where the minimum qualification is a university degree. However, VET can sometimes act as a stepping stone to university, reducing fees and the duration of the course.  
  • VET courses often include a work placement aspect that gives you real-world experience and prepares you for the realities of work. Many uni courses focus solely on theory and soft skills, without hands-on experience. 

 correct VET provider

If you’re considering VET, how do you find the right provider? 

With so many different courses and providers to choose from,?how do you decide which VET provider to study with??If you’re currently facing this question, here are some of the most important things you should look for when selecting a diploma or certificate course. 

Is the training organisation registered and nationally recognised?

The first thing to look for when assessing the quality of a VET provider and its courses is whether it is a registered training organisation (RTO) and can deliver nationally recognised training. If the provider is registered, it should be able to provide you with a registration number.

The information you’re provided with can then be crosschecked using the national database on vocational education and training in Australia.

Does the course lead to an Australian qualifications framework (AQF) qualification?

Another important thing to check before you enrolling in a VET course is whether it will lead to an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification. What does this mean?

In Australia, vocational training is regulated and follows a national system known as the AQF, which sets the framework of qualifications to ensure that training courses meet a high standard. These qualifications are recognised by employers and universities all over Australia, so before enrolling in a course, make sure that the VET provider will be able to award you with an AQF qualification.

There are many online training providers in Australia. But not all of them can offer you a nationally accredited qualification. If the course is short and inexpensive, it may only be able to teach you basic skills instead of offering the in-depth training offered in an accredited VET course. 

Is the provider a member of industry bodies and associations?

Many VET providers have membership to certain industry bodies or associations, and this can be extremely valuable for networking purposes as well as gaining industry-specific information. Usually, training organisations will have this information listed clearly on their website, but if you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to ask which industry bodies or associations the provider has membership to.

What jobs can the training lead to?

Before enrolling in a VET course, you need to make sure that the qualification you will earn is the right one for the type of job you actually want to get upon completing the course. Start by reading the course outcomes carefully and comparing them to your career goals. You can also look for student testimonials and reviews to see what the VET provider’s previous students have to say about how well their courses prepared them to work in their area of interest.

What support and online services are provided?

If you’ll be following an online learning program, it’s also important to look into how much support will be provided to ensure that you’ll be able to complete the course successfully.

For instance, is it easy to get help if you run into technical difficulties? What if you need help outside of normal business hours? Will you have one-on-one support from a Trainer? How are assessments conducted? It’s important to have the answers to these any other questions you may have before you enrol in your VET course, so you can make sure it will meet your specific needs.

What can OC offer me when it comes to online study? 

Open Colleges offers a range of accredited, nationally recognised, online VET courses. We’re one of Australia’s largest online VET education providers, and we’ve helped more than 25,000 people graduate within the last five years alone. We have a robust, multi-faceted support network, so you can always get the right kind of support when you need it. And our intuitive, online learning platform can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can study whenever and wherever you want.  

If you’re ready to start working towards a nationally recognised qualification that will equip you with the skills you need to start working in your field of choice, take a look at OC’s portfolio of online courses. From youth work to interior decoration, take a look at our courses and find the right match for you.  

Enrol today and unlock your potential.  


Marianne Stenger

Marianne is a London-based freelance Writer and Journalist with extensive experience covering all things learning and development. Her articles have been featured by the likes of ABC Education, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central.

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