Vocational Education Training vs. Short Courses: Which Path Should You Take?

June 28th, 2019 4 Comments Features

Vocational education training is becoming a smarter option in an age marked by accelerating change. To keep up with trends in the job market and ensure your tech knowledge is up to par for your chosen industry, pursuing vocational training can keep you grounded in practical skills which can be honed and developed with additional coursework as necessary.

Open Colleges offers several online course options to help you develop your career: regular qualifications, short courses, and learning libraries. Below we’ll break down the difference between these course types so you can decide which track is best for you. Whether you’re looking to obtain a fully accredited degree or simply add to your existing knowledge base, our vocation training and short course offerings can provide you with the educational value you need.

Regular Quals

Open Colleges offers nationally recognized, regular degrees and certificates in vocational education. Part of the Australian Qualifications Network (AQN), these “regular quals” degrees are recognized by employers across Australia and adhere to the same standards as on-campus degrees. Through our online course offerings, you may choose to study Education; Health & Dental; Nursing; Accounting & Finance; Community Services; Business Administration & Management; or another vocation or trade. The best part is that you can obtain a nationally recognized degree at your own pace, wherever and whenever you please.

Short Courses

In addition to regular long-duration courses, Open Colleges offers shorter, “taster” courses called short courses. A short course may be for you if you have just left school, are entering the workforce for the first time, or are in the early stages of your career. You’ll have up to 6 months’ access to it and can complete it at your own pace, either intensively in a couple of days or a few hours a week over the term—whatever works best for you. You can read about one of our short courses, in Professional Communications, here.

While Vocational Education Training courses are part of the regular quals course offerings, short courses are non-quals courses, meaning they’re not part of the regular long-duration diploma and certification qualifications offered by Open Colleges. Still, you will receive a certificate of attainment showing that you’ve fast-tracked your professional development and focused on growing your career. In many cases, you can also use a short course to receive credit toward a Professional Certificate.

Learning Libraries

Beyond regular certificates and short courses, Open Colleges offers thousands of digital learning assets in its online Learning Libraries. These videos, eBooks, and audiobooks can be accessed via desktop, tablet, or mobile device and provide you with 12 months’ access to curated knowledge in a subject area of your choice. Improve your skills in a preferred development area such as Business Skills and Productivity, Leadership and Collaboration, Project Management, or IT and Programming. Signing up for Learning Libraries access means you can educate yourself whenever you want, wherever you are, whether it’s reading an e-book on the commute to work or listening to a podcast during your workout.

If you’re looking to continue your education, we’ve got something for you. Open Colleges makes it easy to build up both your personal knowledge base as well as your professional qualifications. Obtain a regular, nationally recognized degree through our regular quals courses; piece a few short courses together into a professional certificate; or supplement your learning with an e-book or video from the Learning Libraries. Education should be accessible—that’s why we’ve got all the best options for you in one place.


Saga Briggs is Managing Editor of InformED. You can follow her on Twitter@sagamilena or Facebook.

4 Responses

  1. Pawan says:

    I honestly like your article writing approach & information in which you present. I will bookmark your site for future reference!

  2. I am glad to read the detailed information shared by you here. I would love to read your future posts on interesting topics like this.

  3. For me, I prefer Vocational Education because it gives enough time to learn the required skills. However, others people will prefer short courses because the duration is short. By the way, the choice depends on the course outline.

  4. This blog is so useful for me. It provides us knowledge about the Open Colleges offers nationally recognized, regular degrees and certificates in vocational education. It’s a very nice blog. Thank you for this valuable blog post.

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