Many Australians today believe that vocational training graduates earn less than university graduates. This is simply not the case.
According to the Perceptions Are Not Reality report, released by the Skilling Australia Foundation in 2017, the view that vocational education and trainig (VET) graduates earn less than university graduates is still a common misconception in Australia today.
In the report 68% of surveyed Australians indicated that they believe the average VET graduate earns at least $10,000 less than the average university graduate and almost one third of those people think that the wage gap is closer to $20,000.[i]
Thankfully, the reality is a whole lot more positive than these false perceptions. In fact, VET graduates actually earn wages equal to, if not greater than, the average university graduate.
The stats show that on average a full-time income for a VET Graduate is $56,000[ii] whilst the average income for a student completing a Bachelor’s degree is $54,000.[iii] Notwithstanding that huge debt that university students incur as they study…and is paid off out of their salary…
While many Australian’s still believe that university is the only sure fire way to get a stable job; the stats for vocational education truly speak for themselves. Did you know, more than 78% of VET graduates are employed after training?[iv]
In addition to immediate income opportunities, there is an abundance of other benefits that come with undertaking vocational education. Typically, a VET course doesn’t take as long to complete when compared to university undergraduate (and postgraduate) programs. Further to this, it can be said that vocational training has adapted more readily to the future needs of our workforce. It provides courses in 90% of occupations that are predicted to experience significant growth in job opportunities in the next five years.
VET training provides an alternate pathway for those looking to gain a formal qualification and kick-starting their career. And why wouldn’t you complete a course that you could earn while you learn? The flexibility of the vocational pathway and the opportunity it provides graduates is sorely undermined by common (and unjustified) beliefs that university is better, because you’ll earn more.
So the next time you are considering taking your education level up a notch, give a VET course a go, you won’t regret it.
[i] Skilling Australia Foundation (2017). Perceptions are not reality. http://saf.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/EMAIL_SkillingAustraliaFoundation_VisualisedReport_McCrindle_MAY2017-FINAL-1.pdf
[ii] NCVER (2016). Total VET graduate outcomes 2016. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED571291.pdf
[iii] Graduate Careers Australia (2015). Grad Stats. http://www.graduatecareers.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/GCA_GradStats_2015_FINAL.pdf
[iv] Skilling Australia Foundation (2017). Perceptions are not reality. http://saf.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/EMAIL_SkillingAustraliaFoundation_VisualisedReport_McCrindle_MAY2017-FINAL-1.pdf