How does vocational education work?

Published by MAXSolutions on January 16, 2024
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If you have been thinking about a career change you may have considered some kind of training to help make you more employable.

A vocational qualification could be the answer! There are a lot of opportunities in a range of industries for people with practical skills.

However, before you make a decision you may have questions about how vocational training works, what the differences are between university education or whether it’s worth it.

The benefits of vocational education

Practical skills acquisition:

One of the biggest advantages of vocational education is its focus on practical skills.

Students engage in hands-on training that directly prepares them for their chosen profession.

Whether it's hospitality, nursing or support work, or business, vocational education ensures that individuals are ready for the challenges of the workplace.

Faster entry into the workforce:

Vocational education typically has a shorter duration compared to university courses.

This enables you to enter the workforce faster, reducing the time spent studying and allowing for quicker career progression and the ability to earn a living.

Industry-relevant curriculum:

Vocational programs are developed in collaboration with industry experts, ensuring that what you will study is relevant to the current needs of the job market.

By making sure the qualification delivers the skills employers want, people who complete the course have better chances of finding work.

Diverse career options:

Vocational education is the starting point for many careers.

From trades and technical fields to healthcare and creative arts, individuals can choose a vocational path that aligns with their interests and aptitudes, providing a diverse range of career options.

The practical skills you learn along the way can also make you stand out should you switch careers later in life. 

How is it different from university?

Focus on specialized skills:

Unlike university education, which often provides a broader and more theoretical understanding of a subject, vocational education is laser-focused on specific skills required for a particular job.

This targeted approach ensures that you are well-prepared for the practical demands of your chosen profession.

Duration of programs:

While a university degree may take three to four years or more to complete, many certificate 3 qualifications can be completed in as little as a year full-time.

Flexibility in learning:

Vocational education offers a more flexible learning environment. Many programs provide options for part-time or evening classes, allowing you to pursue education while working or managing other responsibilities.

This is true of work placements also. Your training organisation and partner workplaces will work with your schedule to ensure you can complete your on-the-job training while fitting in with your life.

Classroom learning vs. flexible learning

Classroom learning:

Traditional classroom learning in vocational education involves hands-on training, practical demonstrations, and interactive sessions.

The physical presence of instructors allows for immediate feedback and guidance, fostering a collaborative learning environment.

Flexible learning:

With advancements in technology, many vocational education programs now offer blended or online delivery of your training.

Online courses provide flexibility for students who may not be able to attend physical classes.

Blended and online training still have the practical components as they are integral to vocational training.  

However, they will generally be condensed into a workshop format that fits in with your schedule so you can show your practical skills in action.

What are placements?

Hands on experience

Placements, also known as internships or work experience, are a crucial component of vocational education. They provide students with the opportunity to apply their skills in real-world settings, gaining practical experience and often making valuable connections in their chosen industry.

A bridge between education and employment:

Placements serve as a bridge between where you study and potential employers. Students have the chance to showcase their abilities and employers get to evaluate the skills and suitability of prospective employees.

Enhanced employability:

Successfully completing a placement improves both your resume and chances of securing an interview.

Employers value practical experience, and placements offer students a chance to demonstrate their competence in a real working environment.

A vocational qualification can do a lot for your career. Whether it’s a change in direction after many years in another field or just starting out after high school, there is a lot of opportunity.

There are many jobs in the vocational sector that pay quite well and the demand for employees is strong and not slowing down.

If you have been thinking about doing some further study why not get in touch with our team to discuss your goals for the future?


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