There's an automatic assumption that a university degree will take
you places that a "lesser" qualification (like a TAFE NSW
diploma) never could. But how accurate is this assumption?
According to LiveSalary, a university degree holder earns a base
salary of around $75,000. By comparison, a diploma graduate can
reasonably expect to earn a base salary of around $70,000. On the
surface of it, the degree holder appears to be better off to the tune
of $5,000 per year.
But dig a little deeper and you'll see that it isn't quite as
straightforward as that. Once you take into account factors like study
duration (a degree generally takes longer than a diploma), cost of
training and job availability, that $5,000 a year difference suddenly
isn't quite as meaningful.
A TAFE NSW diploma sits above a Certificate IV qualification and
below an advanced diploma qualification, to which it's a popular
pathway. Both the diploma and advanced diploma levels offer more
complex and technical skills and theoretical concepts than the
certificate levels cover, and are good at helping people to advance
their careers with more specialized, expert knowledge. Graduates at
the diploma level will have a broad range of cognitive, technical and
communication skills that can advance them in almost any area.
And it almost goes without saying that a TAFE NSW diploma has the
well-known ‘TAFE advantage'. "It's practical, it's very much
hands-on," says ex-student James Bruce. "What you learn at
TAFE in the classroom is what you use in real life." And James
should know. After successfully obtaining his diploma in accounting,
he went on to complete the advanced diploma in accounting in 2013."
Susan Jarrett is another holder of a TAFE NSW diploma who went on to
forge a killer career for herself. Susan graduated from Sydney TAFE in
2011 with a Diploma of Architectural Technology. Now she runs a
successful building design company, Structure Building.
TAFE Illawarra graduate, Ito Rivera, is also in the process of
building a great career on the back of a diploma. Ito graduated in
2014 with a Diploma of Children's Services (Early Childhood Education
& Care). He was named TAFE Illawarra's International Student of
the Year, is now working full-time in childhood education and has an
ambitious vision for his future. "I hope to one day have the
opportunity to become part of global humanitarian organisations such
as UNICEF or World Vision, caring for children across the globe,"
Clearly a TAFE NSW Diploma can be a great foundation for a successful
career. If this is something you've always considered to be just the
"poor cousin" of a university degree, it's time to rethink
that outdated and inaccurate notion. Get yourself enrolled for a TAFE
NSW diploma qualification and see your own career take off.