The release of this year’s ATAR results will give some school-leavers mixed feelings. If you don’t achieve the score you expect or are not in a position to enrol in the university of your choice, this isn’t the end of the world.
There are many alternative pathways into university and your dream career. TAFE courses, pre-apprenticeship training and general degrees are valuable options. If you feel like you might miss the mark as a result of a lower ranking, it’s time to think again.
Consider changing your preferences, institute or enrolling in a related course to stay on track. At this time, course advisers and career counsellors are a useful contact to assist you as you map out your future studies.
The step into an apprenticeship may be a completely new option for you. As a formal training contract between an employee and an employer, this pathway will give you the necessary skills to succeed in a trade or occupation.
A pre-apprenticeship can be undertaken on a full or part-time basis and is a fantastic stepping stone to kick-start your career in the industry of your choice. A pre-apprenticeship will prepare you for the working environment, improve your existing skill set and pave the way for further study.
If you prefer a more practical approach to education, this is a win-win. While there are questions as to the advantages of completing a pre-apprenticeship, it can be a vital component in getting industry placement further down the line.
2. Short courses
Rather than spend ample amounts of money and time studying a degree or higher qualification, short courses grant you the opportunity to transform your skill set in only a fraction of the time. It could be one day or one year in length and is a great way to experience an industry that you may be unfamiliar with.
Short courses make popular alternative pathways into university. Many creative degrees require a folio submission where extensive and diverse experience is preferable. If you have a hobby or passion that you would love to follow, this is a chance to build your skill set and unlock your job prospects.
3. Special entry schemes
Many education institutes will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you are able to undertake study at their specified standard. This usually includes an assessment of your educational background, achievements to date and motivation for applying to a particular course.
4. TAFE courses
While you may have desired a particular university or career outcome, a lower ATAR can often result in a re-appraisal of your post-school options. There are many different channels open to school-leavers. A TAFE course can prepare you for well-paying, highly regarded occupations.
There are a number of benefits to undertaking a TAFE course. Firstly, the smaller class sizes allow students to get the support and engagement when they need it the most. Learning experiences which encourage hands-on development also equip you with current industry knowledge.
In the modern workplace, hands-on training is what counts. Access to a tertiary course will encourage proactive thinking and give you the foundational knowledge necessary to achieve success. In most cases, TAFE courses offer a flexible full credit pathway into a Bachelor program.
Studying at a certificate IV, diploma or advanced diploma level can help you to meet the entry requirements by providing credit toward selected higher education courses. It is a great way for graduates to gain practical, work-orientated skills to assist in entering the workforce.
Is TAFE the right pathway for you?
While university courses tend to adopt an academic focus, TAFE courses are typically more hands-on. A wide range of courses in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector will provide you with the workplace skills and training that is required by employers.
TAFE institutes offer students industry standard equipment that will allow you to learn more about the workplace outside of the classroom. Designed with industry needs in mind, courses offer real-world experience in a way that is accessible.
Usually, VET courses have fewer entry requirements than universities and most diplomas do not require an ATAR. This is because they offer a lower level of qualification. It is important to check what level of qualification you will need for your career before enrolling in your studies.
A lower than expected ATAR doesn’t mean that all of the doors are now closed. Many students choose to pursue their passions without a higher qualification or through alternative pathways into university. TAFE courses are an excellent opportunity to increase your social circle, skills and knowledge.
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