‘Uni or TAFE?’

Posted November 1, 2013, by Jo Messer

‘I didn’t get the marks to get into uni. Is TAFE a good alternative option?’

Amanda, 18

’Uni or TAFE?’

TAFE is a great stepping stone if you don’t get into university straight from Year 12. Depending on what course you are doing and what your ultimate career goal is, it could be an even better option than university.

The learning environment of TAFE is more focused on ensuring students gain practical skills for work. If you prefer to be more hands-on in your learning then TAFE could be a good fit.

The other advantage of going to TAFE is that it can be an easier transition from high school to tertiary study. Class sizes are generally smaller and there tends to be more personal contact with teachers.

At TAFE, qualifications are certificate I, II, III or IV, diploma and then advanced diploma. Completing a qualification may take one to three years, depending on what course you are doing. You can build on your qualifications as you go and there are exit points along the way.

Make sure you have a look at The Job Guide to review the qualifications needed to work in the job or area you are interested in. TAFE tends to offer predominantly vocational courses that prepare students to work in fields like building and construction, aged care, community work, office work or trades; whereas university caters to more ‘professional’ white-collar careers such as law, medicine, academia, research, consulting or general business.

The good news is that many institutions are now dual-sector, so they have both TAFE and university courses, and many TAFE courses can act as pathways into university degrees. For example, a Diploma of Nursing can be a pathway to a Bachelor of Nursing; likewise, a Diploma of Business can segue into a Bachelor of Business. So even if you didn’t get the marks to enter uni now, it could still be an option down the track with the help of a TAFE course.

’Uni or TAFE?’

Jo Messer is a Career Development Specialist who has many years of experience in supporting and guiding students and graduates of some of Australia’s most respected universities, as well as mature-aged clients, across all facets of their career. She is a Professional Member of CDAA and an active member of NAGCAS. Whether you have a specific question about how to achieve your career goal or something more general, Jo is available to provide you with up-to-date advice.

’Uni or TAFE?’
Jo Messer

AIM Business School
All Health Training
Australasian College of Health and Wellness
Australian College of Physical Education
Australian Institute of Business
Australian Institute of ICT
Australian Institute of Management Education and Training
Australian Institute of Personal Trainers
Builders Academy Australia
Building and Construction Training Australia
College for Adult Learning
Deakin University
Ducere Global Business School
Edith Cowan University Online
Endeavour College of Natural Health
Foundation Education
General Assembly
Hammond Institute
Industry Skills Training
James Cook University Online
La Trobe University
La Trobe University Online (Delivered by Didasko)
MCI Institute
Mentor Education
Monarch Institute
Nepean Industry Edge Training
Onfit Training College
Open Colleges
RMIT Online
The Hotel School
TrainSmart Australia
UNE Partnerships
University of Adelaide
UNSW Online
UTS Online
Victoria University Online
Torrens University
University of East London
University of Mauritius
University of New England
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Open Colleges School of Health
HTMi Australia
Southern Cross University