Choosing a career path straight out of high school is daunting. It's hard to know exactly what you want to do with your life before you've had the opportunity to explore the workforce and develop your passions.
Particularly with the extreme pressure of Year 12 exams, many students may not have thought any further than getting through high school. So what lies ahead? Diving straight into tertiary education can feel like a huge step. Fortunately, there are options available to earn a qualification that gives you flexibility and experience, so you can begin earning a living as soon as possible and easily move into other careers as you discover more about yourself.
Consider a qualification in cookery, hospitality or event management to start your journey to a diverse, exciting career portfolio. Let's discuss the many reasons these qualifications are perfectly suited to young Australians.
1. Transferrable skills pave the way into diverse careers
If you aren't sure what career you'd like to follow after high school, cookery, hospitality and events are all industries in which you'll enjoy an extremely rewarding career. However, a qualification in these areas also doesn't limit you to staying in them. Instead, they open doors to countless other sectors.
Graduates with a vocational education and training (VET) qualification in cookery, hospitality and events gain experience and real skills which are relatively generic and therefore easily transferrable. In part, this is because there's an overlap in skills between these sectors and the highly pervasive sales roles. Sales positions exist in most corporate sectors, and hospitality and events professionals in particular are very suited to take them up.
All three of these sectors are also excellent for developing what the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) calls "enterprise skills". These include:
- Customer service.
- Workplace communication.
- Organisational skills.
- Problem solving.
- Project management.
Enterprise skills are highly desired in most industries and are representative of great leaders and entrepreneurs. So, studying towards a qualification in cookery, hospitality or events sets you up to move between industries or establish your own business as your career goals change. You aren't limited to one career path – you're paving the way to as many as you please.
2. Travel-ready skills help you see the world
A gap-year is a popular option for many high school leavers. The idea behind a gap year is that you take a break from studying and explore the world, gaining mind-expanding experiences and cherished memories. There's potentially a lot of value in a gap year, with the Gap Year Association (GYA) reporting 98 per cent of students felt they developed as a person during their gap year.
However, there are drawbacks to a gap year. They can be financially taxing, as you're often travelling the world alone and working low-income jobs or not at all. There's also some pressure to make the most of your gap year. Complacency can quickly turn a gap year into wasted time that could be spent developing a career, studying or learning more about yourself.
One attractive alternative to a gap year is a VET qualification in cookery, hospitality or events. These qualifications take no more than two years to complete and by the time you graduate, you'll have significant workplace experience. Completing a VET qualification before travelling means you can explore the world with a highly transferrable skillset and engage in better paying work while overseas. Cookery is an especially great option for Australians, as our chefs are highly prized throughout the world due to our diverse and modern food culture.
You'll also have the added benefit of earning an income as part of your study, enabling you to save for travel while you gain your qualification.
3. Young and social work environments
The accommodation and food services sector in Australia offers a work environment that's young, fun and social. The median age of employees in this sector is 26 years old, according to the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
It can be disheartening to enter the workforce and find your colleagues are all much older than you. Not only does can it make it difficult to be taken seriously, age differences in the workplace can inhibit social bonding and make a workplace unwelcoming.
Cookery, hospitality and events all offer you working environments that are upbeat and engaging. Your coworkers will statistically be much younger than they would be in more corporate sectors, and you'll also have the benefit of interacting with countless new people every day in hospitality and events roles. If you're looking for a social, vibrant first career then these sectors are for you.
4. There are jobs for any lifestyle
Besides international travel, cookery, hospitality and events can also bring you to just about any region of Australia. Of course, there are plenty of employment opportunities in major centres where there's a high concentration of hotels and restaurants, but you'll also find there are jobs out in regional Australia.
Whether managing vineyard restaurants in the idyllic South Australian countryside, or coordinating events for beach-side venues in New South Wales' most popular sun-soaked destinations, a rich and varied lifestyle is easily achievable with one of these qualifications.
Tourism is one of five super growth industries driving the future prosperity of Australia, according to Tourism Australia. For three years in a row, tourism has outpaced the growth of the national economy. This means the demand for more food business, accommodation and corporate event services is growing, and Tourism Australia only expects this growth to continue. So, there will be more opportunities to move to the countryside or to beaches and enjoy the career benefits tourism growth will bring, whether you do so when you graduate or later in life.
Don't feel tied down to one career – gain transferrable skills at Kenvale College
Kenvale College is dedicated to equipping our students with real skills for real careers. Our VET programmes provide students with practical, transferrable skills that enable them to pursue whatever ambitions they have in life tomorrow or ten years from now.