Kangan Institute Blog

Alternatives to University: Why Should I Study a TAFE Course

With a wide range of courses and various education providers on offer in Australia, it can be somewhat challenging to decide where is best to study. This decision will all be dependent on what you want to study and what type of career you aspire to have.

Not all school leavers will decide to study at university. For those looking at alternatives to university, entry to certificates, apprenticeships and most diplomas in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector do not require an ATAR. VET courses are offered at both Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Institutes and private colleges and offer a wide range of subjects for you to choose from.

These courses take into consideration the highest level of secondary school completed, the range of studies previously completed and a student’s interests and career aspirations. This helps the student to find a course perfectly suited to them.

If you are looking at alternatives to university, you may choose to study a TAFE course. A TAFE course can provide students with a direct pathway into university but it is also an excellent opportunity to increase your skills, knowledge and social circle.

TAFE Institutes

TAFE institutes offer practically oriented VET courses at certificate and diploma level that focus on preparing students for vocational or paraprofessional careers, for instance, a career in veterinary nursing or hairdressing). TAFE institutes are government-owned of VET courses and provide courses to give students the skills required by employers, with work experience and training using industry-standard equipment incorporated into most courses, so you will be ready to graduate career ready!

Characteristics and Benefits

The nature of a TAFE institute is to provide students with practical, hands-on experience. At Kangan Institute, we offer a wide range of VET courses with a strong industry focus. Offering a range of student services which is often more limited at universities.

In comparison to the higher education courses offered by universities and private providers, a TAFE course has a practical focus, lower entry requirements, a shorter completion time and a lower cost. The practical, industry-focused nature of the courses may greatly improve your prospects in the job market.

How is TAFE Different from University?

  • Practical Courses: While university courses tend to have an academic focus, a TAFE course is typically more hands-on and are focused on providing students with the workplace skills and training required by employers. TAFE institutions provide students with industry standard equipment that allows them to learn outside the classroom, such as restaurants and hair salons that are open to the public. A TAFE course is designed with industry needs in mind and many offer opportunities to complete on the job training.
  • Wide Range of Courses: TAFE institutes are known for providing VET courses, such as certificates and diplomas. Some TAFE institutes also offer the chance to study an English language course and secondary school studies.
  • Lower Entry Requirements: TAFE institutes pride themselves on their accessibility and usually have fewer entry requirements than universities. 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.

Pathway to Higher Education

Studying a TAFE course at the certificate IV, diploma and advanced diploma level can provide students with a pathway into the higher education sector. A TAFE course can also help students meet entry requirements by providing them with credits towards some higher education courses. It is also becoming increasingly common for higher education graduates to complete TAFE qualifications in order to gain practical, work-orientated skills to assist them to enter the workforce

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