Learning a trade may be better for income

According to a new report, a number of factors, including university debt and limited job opportunities mean that learning a trade may provide better earning potential than studying at university.

A report published by the Grattan Institute suggests that many young Australians could increase their income potential by choosing to learn a trade, rather than studying at university. Read on to find out more about the report’s findings and what kind of qualification might be right for you.

What did the report find?

The report was published by the Grattan Institute, an independent think tank that works to provide practical solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing problems. The report found that men who had scored relatively low on their ATARs at school tended to earn more after receiving vocational qualifications in areas like engineering, construction and commerce than those who completed a degree qualification.

While the number of Australian students enrolling at universities has increased by almost 33 percent in the last 10 years, vocational education has taken a back seat. In fact, the number of students taking trade-based courses has decreased by around 43 percent in the last five years. This means that the country now faces a critical skills shortage and many university graduates (particularly those with generalist qualifications in humanities and science) often struggle to find work.

The Grattan Institute report suggests that many university students may be better off studying vocational trades, particularly if their ATAR scores were low at school. Interestingly, this tends to be the case for men in particular — men with low ATAR scores who qualify with university degrees are at risk of struggling to find well-paid work. Women with low ATAR scores, on the other hand, particularly those who choose to complete nursing and teaching degrees, often end up with good employment opportunities and the potential to earn well.

What vocational qualifications are available?

If you are considering studying a trade in favour of a university degree, you may be wondering what kind of options are available to you. Fortunately, there are a wide range of choices, and the kind of course that suits you best will depend on your own unique interests and strengths.

At Kenvale College, we offer courses in Commercial Cookery, Hospitality Management, Event Management and Home Management. We also offer a number of short courses, including Barista courses and Responsible Service of Alcohol. Our courses can be taken either full-time or part-time, and can also be used as a progressive pathway towards university degrees both locally and abroad, if you decide you would like to study further.

One of the elements that makes Kenvale College unique in its approach to vocational training is the opportunity that students have to work while they study. In fact, it is a requirement of our courses to gain work experience in the hospitality and events industry and students who elect to study in one of our two-year programs are required to work at least 1600 hours in approved hospitality or events establishments. This translates to two days of class, plus around 20 hours of paid work experience per week.

If you are considering a vocational trade, but are not sure where to begin, we recommend that you take our Kenvale career test. It’s a simple quiz, which will tell you what type of qualification you are most suited to. You are also welcome to chat to one of our course advisors who will be happy to answer any questions you have about our individual courses and how to apply. To speak to one of our experienced course advisors, have a look here.

If you have any questions or concerns about studying at Kenvale College, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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