Blogs (Media Centre)


TAFE NSW Bankstown

 Riverwood hair braider often lauded by her clients for being a good listener is taking the compliment to the next level after enrolling in a TAFE NSW course to pursue a career as a psychologist.

17-year-old Sophiat Fashola gained hairdressing and cosmetology qualifications in her home country of Nigeria. After moving to Australia, she enrolled in a Certificate III in Pathways to Further Study at TAFE NSW Bankstown.

It was there that Sophiat was told about the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation, which prepares students for higher education by developing the technical, social and academic skills needed to graduate with a Tertiary Entrance Score (TES).

Sophiat (pictured right) said studying the Tertiary Preparation course meant she didn’t need to repeat year 12 when she arrived in Australia and allowed her to continue work as a hair braider while studying.

“Many of my clients say that having their hair done is like a therapy session for them where they are able to share what’s on their mind with someone like myself who is open-minded and a good listener,” Sophiat said.

“Thanks to TAFE NSW I’m one step closer to pursuing a career in psychology through university. The tertiary preparation course has allowed me to study the subjects I’m interested in and focus on developing key practical skills like how to write an essay as opposed to just theory work,” Sophiat said.

The number of psychologists in Australia grew very strongly over 5 years from 22,600 in 2014 to 26,800 in 2019, giving Sophiat a great start to her career. Soft skills have become increasingly valued by recruiters and employers who want to hire candidates that can evolve with 91 per cent of talent professionals indicating that soft skills are vital to the future of work.1

TAFE NSW Team Leader of Career Pathways and Employability Skills, Louis Maule, said the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation was perfect for mature age students or school leavers to fast track their way into university.

“Whether you didn’t get the marks you were after or you didn’t sit the HSC, the course is designed to pathway students into higher education without needing to do the HSC,” Mr Maule said.

“It also qualifies students to work in the Australian Defence Force or study a Diploma or higher qualification so the options are limitless.”

To find out more about how TAFE NSW provides pathways to higher education visit, or call 131 601. 

Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211.