Home' VCE Expo : April 2010 Contents NATAGE S020
When it comes to the Top Cat spots,
professional preparation for your
professional career provides the
competitive edge that differentiates
you from the pack.
Find out how a career enhancing
qualification from the University
of Canberra is a big plus come job
hunting and trapping time.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
T 1800 UNI CAN (1800 864 226)
FROM THE CROWD
THE AGE • MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010
ALTHOUGH it may seem these days that
everyone "goes to uni", three times as many
people attend TAFE as university, making it the
main provider of higher education in Australia.
One reason for this is that TAFE courses
are specifically designed to prepare students
for industry and give you job skills. However,
now that most students complete year 12,
many people assume that every student will
go to university if they can and that those that
don't are choosing the lesser option.
But Swinburne University of Technology's
manager, Alexandra Sims,
strongly refutes this idea.
"Definitely, no!" she
says. "TAFE is not the
poor cousin or second
choice. There are many
Swinburne is a
case in point -- it won
the Victorian Large
of the Year Award
service at Box Hill TAFE
agrees. She describes TAFE as the
"hidden jewel" of further education. "People
still think of us back in the '70s, when it was
very much around trades. We're a long way
from that now." Although trades are still
important, even these have changed, often
becoming more technically oriented.
"When a person undertakes a TAFE
program it has actually been designed by
industry for industry. That means when
a person's employed they're hitting the
ground running. Not only do they have the
theoretical knowledge, they have the practical
knowledge," Staggard says.
In fact, there are many industries where
TAFE is not only best option, but the only
for training, as Ash B found.
Ash had finished year 12, started a course,
dropped out and was working full time in a
"no-brainer" job. "I'd been out of school for a
couple of years and my sister was applying for
university, and I was just flicking through the
Ash had always been interested in the
music business, so when he came across
an ad for the diploma of music industry
(business) course at Box Hill TAFE, he
decided to sign up."It was pure coincidence
that I found that Box Hill offered this course,"
he says. "Music was just something I was in
to, and I never knew where I could study it."
He had the prerequisites: a pass in year 12
English and a passion for the music industry,
along with some hands-on experience
promoting some friends' bands, so after an
interview with the head lecturer, he was in.
The course covered a wide variety of areas,
from running a record label, putting on events
and managing artists. He
went on to complete
the new bachelor
course, now in its third
year, and then landed a
job with Missing Link
Records before he'd
finished his second
year. He was given
a new job in digital
downloads within the
company "pretty much
as soon as I graduated".
Alistair Walsh also
found the practical focus
of TAFE useful -- for the
opposite reason. After a
decade or so in the music business,
Alistair, 41, decided he wanted a change
and opted to study psychophysiology as
an undergraduate degree at Swinburne
University of Technology.
But he could not enrol directly as he hadn't
done any science subjects at school. "The head
of the department suggested that I go into the
first year of the lab technician's course, as it
Going to university
gives you a great
general education, but
TAFE prepares you for
a career, writes Jane
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