Have you ever stopped to question why?
Why did you have to go to uni? Why are some professions considered better than others? Why does society put more value on knowledge than skill?
There are some many things we do in life without questioning. We simply do, what is expected as opposed to what feels right or is right for us.
One of the greatest examples of this is the belief that you must go to Uni if you want to get a good job and earn good money. But the reality is, university is not the only option. And we are kidding ourselves if we think that university is always the best option.
Let’s back this up with some hard facts.
- Of 2014’s Apprentice and Trainee graduates, 84.1% were employed after completion.1
- Of university graduates from the same year, 68.8% of those looking for full-time work found it within four months.1
Let’s take a closer look at the stats…
|There is a significant shortage of qualified tradies in Australia today, which places higher demand on the skill set. 2||Whilst some degree level role have shortages they are often related to geographic location – e.g. Doctors in remote Australia.|
|Apprentices learn while they are working in the industry.||There isn’t often a paid work opportunity associated with the degree.|
|The average employment rate of a VET graduate is 78%.2||Undergraduate employment rates have fallen significantly in the last decade to just 69%.3|
|VET graduates who completed an Apprenticeship or Traineeship have an employment rate of 82%.2||University graduates full-time employment rate sits at 69% in 2017.3|
|For VET graduates who complete a trade-based Apprenticeship the employment rate can be as high as 91%.3||University graduates full time employment rate sits at 69% in 2017.3|
|Out of the 10 jobs that are predicted to have the highest growth over the next 5 years*, the VET sector offers courses in 9.3|
|VET qualification can cost between $2,000 and $10,000.||A university degree can cost anywhere between $35,000 and $100,000+.|
|Completing a VET qualification lowers long-term unemployment rates.3|
|VET courses are often funded by the Government which is driven by the need to reduce the skills gap in the Trades sector.||While some scholarships are awarded by university, the majority of students take out HECS debt to afford their education.|
|VET course duration can take between 2 and 4 years.||Degrees will take from 2 to 7 years.|
|The average full time income for a VET graduate is $56,000.3||The median salary for Bachelor degree students is $54,000.3|
|The average income for an experienced Trade sits at $81,404 however, some higher risk Trades bring in over $100,000 a year.4|
|Apprenticeships are open at any time to all ages (subject to eligibility).||Uni is available to anyone, however there are set start and finish dates.|
Bottom line, vocational education is an option not a back-up plan. It’s an option that should be considered equal with university. You simply cannot argue that a trade qualification does not provide the lifestyle that a university graduate might achieve.
Just so we are clear on this one, a VET qualification in a high risk trade like Electrical has an average salary of $85,400 which is higher than the highest starting salary of a Bachelor level degree (Dentistry $80,000).3 The best bit yet, Trades are in high demand. Take a look at the stats below: 1 in 3 jobs are not filled in the construction and building industries.3
As much as we hear of the glass ceiling in the corporate world, Tradies are fortunate that they have options to boost their income. For one, starting a business and scaling up from building homes, to Tier 2 and Tier 1 sites.
The opportunities that a VET qualification can lead to are endless and sorely undermined by popular opinion that University is (and we’ve proven is not) the only option.
Want to get into a Trade?
3 Perceptions are not Reality: myths, realities & the critical role of vocational education & training in Australia (2017). Skilling Australia Foundation 2017.