EDUCATION | Why vocational study could better prepare you

GRADUATE: Hajar Ahmadi wondered how to stand out from the crowd of 180,000 graduates when seeking full-time work.
GRADUATE: Hajar Ahmadi wondered how to stand out from the crowd of 180,000 graduates when seeking full-time work.

A RECENT report encourages school-leavers to consider a vocational course as a tertiary study option which can offer better job prospects than just university. The Skilling Australia Foundation report suggests vocational-education graduates have a higher average salary ($56,000) than bachelor-degree graduates ($54,000).

And many students said the hands-on experience of vocational training gives them a practical edge that a university student may not get with just an academic qualification.

Hajar Ahmadi spent two years studying a Bachelor of Law before considering her degree structure. “It seemed to be all theory and assessments and did not provide any hands-on experience,” she said. “I tried applying for legal assistant and junior paralegal jobs but  I didn’t have the skills or experience.”

She enrolled in a Diploma of Legal Services at Australian Careers Business College to supplement her degree. She just got a full-time position at Clarence Chambers, helped by ACBC careers advisers.

Almost 80 per cent of VET graduates were in work after completing their courses, compared to fewer than 70 per cent of uni students. With nine of the 10 jobs with fastest demand growth over the next five years involving VET training it seems diversifying tertiary study options will help more students excel, regardless of ATAR.

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