If you’re thinking about your tertiary study options and not quite sure if uni is for you, then you might want to consider VET.
It’s a fantastic way to kickstart a STEM career without a degree and get lots of practical experience while you study. So what is it exactly and what kind of jobs can you get with this type of qualification? All this and more is answered below!
What is VET?
VET stands for Vocational Education and Training. Its aim is to partner with industries and the government to equip people with workplace skills and technical knowledge to help them start out in their dream career (or advance in it).
What are the benefits?
The workplace is rapidly changing, so VET is an awesome way to gain valuable skills quite quickly. It’s also a more cost-effective way to nab a qualification before heading into the workforce. According to training.com.au, “Bachelor degrees can often cost over $30,000, while TAFE and VET courses are usually much cheaper, especially as the fees for government-subsidised students are often heavily reduced.” Graduates get a lot of hands-on experience too, which gives them and their future employers lots of confidence in their abilities.
Where can I study a VET course?
TAFE, as well as privately operated training providers or colleges. Check out the relevant vocational education and training website in your state or territory for more information on places to study and courses offered.
What can I study and what kinds of STEM jobs can I get with this type of qualification?
There are so many STEM areas to study! Think nursing, engineering, machine learning, software, IT management, network security, health, agriculture and more.
When it comes to finding a job with your qualification there are loads of options, especially in STEM. You could become a:
- Health support worker
- Machinery operator or driver
- IT specialist
- Carpenter and joiner
- Construction manager
- Crop farmer
- Dental assistant
- Enrolled nurse
- ICT support technician
- Medical technician
- Software and applications programmer
Are VET graduates employable?
Very! According to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, VET Student Outcomes 2018, 79.8% of VET graduates who undertook their training as part of an apprenticeship or traineeship were employed after training.
Is it a better option than university?
There are pros and cons for both, and it really depends on your circumstances and what STEM career you’re after.
VET courses will broaden your skills in a specialised area and give you the practical experience you’ll need for the workplace – making you super employable.
Wanting to train in a shorter amount of time? VET could be the right choice for you. According to VET NSW, “VET courses generally take less time to complete than a general Bachelor degree (three years) or typical professional degree (four years or more). VET courses vary in length and are much more dynamic. Certificates I–IV range from six months to two years. Diploma courses typically take one or two years. Advanced diplomas usually take between 18 months to two years, a graduate certificate typically takes six months to one year and a graduate diploma usually takes between one and two years.”
If earning potential is important, then be aware that those with a PhD are more likely to earn in the top income bracket compared with Bachelor and VET graduates. However, you could start with a VET course then move onto university for further study when the time is right for you.
Uni not for you? Take a look at our Vocational Education & Training page for even more resources.
Author: Louise Meers
Louise is the acting digital editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals.