Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications include certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas, offered across a large number of industries and study areas. They offer many advantages — from pathway options to skill development. If you fit into one of the categories below, a VET course could be your next step.

You’re looking for practical, hands-on training

The VET sector is all about preparing students for work, by providing practical learning, skills for the workforce and industry experience. While higher education courses tend to have a heavier focus on theory, VET qualifications are all about preparing students for work, and you’ll find that many VET providers have their own industry-standard facilities on campus for students to learn in — commercial kitchens and restaurants, hair and beauty salons, nursing wards and trade skills centres, to name a few.

You’re looking to qualify for a specific job or trade

If you have a particular career in mind, you may undertake a VET qualification to meet industry requirements or to increase your chances of gaining employment. If this is you, you may be combining your studies with on-the-job training through an apprenticeship or traineeship .

You’re looking to ‘try out’ a study area before you commit to extensive study

If you’re unsure about your suitability or interests in a given field, you might consider ‘sampling’ it through a shorter certificate or diploma program. If you decide that it’s an area you can see yourself working in and would like to pursue further, you can use the VET qualification as a pathway to further study (see below).

You’re looking for a pathway to university study

With the Australian Qualifications Framework designed to allow easy transition from one qualification level to the next, a higher VET qualification (such as a diploma or advanced diploma) can provide a great pathway to study at undergraduate level — often with credit! See Pathways into your course for more information.

You’re looking to add to your current skill set

If you’re already in the workforce, you may decide to build on your established skills and knowledge by completing a VET course. This could be to add to your skills in a specific area of interest, through a specialised certificate or diploma, or to gain skills in a new, unfamiliar area through a general introductory course. VET qualifications are also popular among those looking to pursue a hobby outside of their professional life.