With so many choices and student numbers multiplying, people
are looking for other ways to stand out
The 60-million-dollar question at the moment is about higher
education and whether a degree qualification is really necessary. As
universities continue to increase their fees and students take on more
and more debt, many people are questioning whether it's all worth it.
There's no doubt that a higher education qualification can broaden
your horizons and increase earning potential. Despite a small hiccup
in 2008, the economy has tended to favour people with a degree for
over 30 years, with certain industries treating graduates particularly
well. For example, a 2011 report¹ by Graduate Careers Australia showed
graduates were some of the best paid in Australia, with an average
salary of $75,000. But it's not the only option.
In the past, many young people found themselves at university to get
a degree for no better reason than that it was "the thing to
do". But today, with so many choices and student numbers
multiplying, people are looking for other ways to stand out.
Institutions like TAFE NSW
offer a range of vocational courses that provide practical, on-the-job
training and apprenticeships – often a much better option for people
looking for jobs in industries like plumbing, electrical engineering
This trend is becoming particularly obvious in Europe, where
economies have been harder hit by the GFC and debt crises than here in
Australia. Increasing numbers of students in Europe and the UK are
opting to take their chances of landing a job without a degree, rather
than finding themselves a graduate with poor job prospects in a tough
economic climate, thousands of dollars in debt because of university
fees. In Italy in particular, less than 60 per cent of students² who
finished high school in the last year have enrolled in an Italian
university, the lowest number in 30 years.
But different people and different industries require different
qualifications, and TAFE NSW offers a range of higher
education choices in addition to the more traditional vocational qualifications.
And where these degrees stand out are their industry relevance.
Programs are developed with industry consultation to ensure they are
as current as possible and focus on practical skills rather than
Students are also given the opportunity to practise skills and
demonstrate ability in workplace placements, as well as enjoying
smaller class sizes and an easy progression from other TAFE courses.