Vocational education is a better pathway to a job than university
May 23, 2017
A new report urges parents to seriously consider urging their school leaving children to study a vocational course rather than a university degree because, in many cases, it is a pathway to better jobs.
The report, Perceptions are not reality, from the Skilling Australia Foundation, says there are myths about vocational education and training (VET) which “simply do not stack up against reality”.
Citing data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and Graduate Careers Australia, the report says that vocational education graduates have a slightly higher median salary ($56,000) compared to bachelor degree graduates ($54,000).
“The highest average starting salary for a VET qualification (certificate IV in hazardous areas – electrical at $85,400 ) is higher than the highest starting salary with a bachelor-level degree (dentistry at $80,000), the report said.
Similarly vocational education graduates have a better chance of finding a job with 78 per cent of VET graduates finding a job compared to 69 per cent of bachelor degree graduates.
Skilling Australia chief executive Nicholas Wyman said that even though nearly 80 per cent of parents wanted their kids to get a university education,it “might not be best for them”.
“The prospects for getting a job are tumbling with a uni degree but with VET, they’re rising and rising,” he said.
Mr Wyman said that vocational education was also more flexible, easier to access and adaptable in a world where most jobs were changing rapidly and there would be a need to reskill.
“Workers don’t have time to go back to university to reskill but the shorter and more up-to-date VET courses are much more flexible,” he said.
Citing the federal government’s Australian Jobs 2016 study, the report said that nine out of the 10 occupations with the greatest number of future jobs needed vocational, rather than higher education, qualifications.
The report was commissioned from social researcher Mark McCrindle.