Why vocational education and training (VET) is the right choice
When deciding which study option is best for you it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Is TAFE or university better? Should you go to uni, TAFE, or a private provider? Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what the 'right' answer is. It can be hard to sort out fact from fiction.
We could tell you plenty of reasons why we think you should study at TAFE Queensland (but we might be a little biased). Instead, we'll tell you about the findings from a Skilling Australia report that uncovered the benefits of studying at a Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider (like TAFE Queensland) compared to going to university.
VET graduates are paid more
The 'Perceptions are not reality' report from Skilling Australia debunked some of the most common misconceptions about vocational education and training in Australia. While it's widely acknowledged that getting almost any qualification will enhance your earning potential and job prospects, the report showed that VET graduates are paid even more than those who studied at university. The median starting wage for VET graduates is on average $2,000 per year higher than that of a university graduate. Surprising, but true!
VET graduates finish sooner
Another benefit of studying at TAFE Queensland is that you can complete your qualification in less time than it takes to complete a university degree. We offer certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas that take as little as six months to two years to complete, rather than a standard three to four year university degree. Completing your qualification faster allows you to enter the workforce and start reaping the benefits of your new qualification sooner. You could be in your dream job a year before your university counterparts, using the time to make connections, develop your skills, and enjoy your graduate income.
VET graduates find work
Studying at a VET provider like TAFE Queensland also increases your chances of finding work after you graduate, the report found. Only 67 per cent of university students find work after graduation, while nearly 80 per cent of VET graduates secure employment after successfully completing their course. This is because we focus on giving you the practical skills you need to hit the ground running when you graduate. Instead of being stuck in the classroom, we prepare you with hand-on skills and work-placement opportunities where you can meet potential employers.
Additionally, almost 85 per cent of TAFE Queensland graduates go on to work or further study*. So if you're looking for a pathway to university VET is a great option, and you can work in your chosen field while studying at a higher level.
VET students graduate
The chances of you completing your course are also greater for VET students than for university students. The completion rate for Commonwealth and state-government funded VET courses was 83 per cent compared to only 73 per cent for bachelor degree students. The academic-style of learning provided at university is not for everyone. It can be hard to see how theories apply to real-world situations when you're still in a lecture theatre. But at TAFE Queensland you'll study in a range of specialist facilities such as engineering workshops, hairdressing salons, commercial kitchens, and clinical nursing wards where you'll put theory into practice straight away.
The impact of COVID-19
2020 was a year of change for all of us, as we responded and adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has had a major impact on jobs and graduate employment outcomes in Australia across both the VET and higher education sectors, the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching organisation found that those with vocational qualifications still fared better.
The Australian Government's Job Outlook service also acknowledges that jobs are changing not only due to COVID-19, but as new technology is developed and we find new ways of working. Via the Labour Market Information Portal they've identified a range of professions that are likely to continue to experience strong growth including health care and community services, education and training, construction, and more, in the years leading to 2024.
What has not changed is that TAFE Queensland is here to support you in your next steps, to find your passion, and give you the best chance of finding stable employment and skills to last your lifetime.