Vocational Qualifications vs University Degree

"The reality is that by pursuing a vocational qualification, and particularly a trade, students have a higher probability of getting a job, often have a starting salary higher than university graduates and, according to census data, are more likely to be business owners and entrepreneurs in the future," [Education Minister Simon Birmingham] said.

I both agree and don’t agree with pushing vocational qualifications. It’s definitely a huge relief to students to know that university education is not the only option - this is my opinion from being there before and trying so hard to get into a degree of course. (Not just any degree, but a prestigious degree no less, because parents want bragging rights.)

I also consider vocational jobs more interesting and more rewarding at times because you can directly see the results of your hard work whereas an office job can often result in wondering what you’ve accomplished, if anything at all.

But this commenter makes an interesting point as well.

salishan 9:23 AM on 23/09/2015
But people need an education through to tertiary level - not just job training. That is the issue. An educated society is a considerate and level-headed society. True education, not job training.

It’s true that university can open your mind, but just living life can as well and as some say - university is not for everyone. You can also enrich yourself through reading and self-motivated learning, just as how students can attend university by skipping all their classes and just studying right before the exams to pass them.

My feeling is this is a somewhat old-world view of university education. My parents consider university to be ‘true education’ and all this education should make me eloquent and well-mannered. Bet I surprised them with my swearing and cursing and overall temper.

"The data shows employment rates for people who complete trade-based apprenticeships are around 90 per cent. Starting salaries are often better than those for university graduates and the chances of running your own small business are greater."

But the overarching matter is everyone these days needs a job to survive and the statistics seem to say that people with vocational training seem to be doing better than those coming out of universities, holding a degree but unable to find a job in the area they need. You only need to look at the very many students waiting to hear back, and I sure wouldn’t mind a starting salary higher than 40K if apprentices really are earning more.

Whatever the case, removing the university deregulation is a good thing. Education should be readily available to anyone whether they choose to go the university path or the vocational one.

Personally, I would consider going and doing an apprenticeship now, even with two degrees under my belt as I’m rapidly realising that office work isn’t particularly interesting, and a hands-on job would be by far more rewarding and interesting. Are apprenticeships available for older people like me (ie. non-teenagers)?

Articles: ABC News, Sydney Morning Herald