TAFE (IPA: /teɪf/) stands for Technical and Further Education. Offered by government-run organisations in Australia, the TAFE courses provide practical, industry-relevant skills required to thrive in the workplace. TAFE can be opted for after high school in vocational areas like accounting, IT, business, childcare, beauty, and many more.
This way, TAFE graduates are prepared to step straight into the workforce. These courses are a cheaper, quicker and more practical way to learn career-relevant skills.
Universities and TAFE (or VET) institutes both offer tertiary education. Nonetheless, TAFE programmes typically offer practical or “focused” knowledge for a given field or sector. University courses frequently include more theoretical material, autonomous learning, and research.
Depending on your employment choice, earning a TAFE certificate might be more expedient and less expensive than going to university.
TAFE courses ensure Easy Entry Requirements
TAFE courses are flexible as they can be studied full-time, part-time, on-campus or online.
TAFE courses are affordable, thanks to the government funding program to make higher education accessible, irrespective of your budget or income.
TAFE courses can be used as pathways to undergraduate programs, meaning that you can reduce the period of undergraduate study by up to a year.
TAFE courses can support your hobby.
While opting for any TAFE course can help you with your career, it is always important to consider certain factors so that you can get familiar with the ins and outs of the course you are looking to opt for.
The first step in choosing a TAFE course is to identify your goals and interests.
What industry are you interested in? What kind of job do you want to have in the future? Do you want to gain a specific skill set, or do you want to explore a range of topics?
Once you have a clear understanding of your goals and interests, you can choose from the TAFE courses that align with them. For example, if you’re interested in healthcare, you could look at TAFE courses in nursing, aged care, or disability support.
Opting for any TAFE course is an important decision. So don’t hesitate to take your time to decide the right one for you.
Most candidates take a gap year after finishing school, especially if they are not sure what they want to pursue next. In the case of TAFE, you don’t need to take a gap year. Just a gap of three months should be enough to ponder over what course interests you.
TAFE courses are known for their flexibility.
They are available in a variety of formats such as part-time courses, full-time courses and hybrid (a mix of both). Moreover, there are online courses for people living remotely or who want to balance their work, study and other commitments.
TAFE semester courses are designed based on their predetermined dates, including exam dates, starting dates, assignment dates, closing dates, etc. Generally, on-campus courses are semester based, but not all online TAFE courses are. Also, keep in mind that semesters vary based on region and institute. For example, TAFE courses in Victoria might not be available at the same time as those in Queensland.
Online TAFE courses are available at many brick-and-mortar institutions. However, the online study might not suit all courses.
In this scenario, you can look for any TAFE institution offering hybrid courses letting you attend a certain number of tutorials or lecture hours per study unit or course.
TAFE short courses are a versatile and practical way to gain knowledge and skills across a range of subjects. They serve a multitude of purposes, catering to the needs of different individuals at various stages of their careers.
For beginners, TAFE short courses can provide an excellent introduction to specific applications, such as Microsoft Word. These introductory courses offer a solid foundation that can be built upon with intermediate and advanced courses, allowing individuals to improve their skills and knowledge in a particular area.
What’s great about TAFE short courses is their flexibility. They vary in duration, ranging from half-day to six weeks, and can be scheduled to fit in with busy lifestyles. This makes them an ideal option for those who want to upskill, but have limited time to commit to longer courses.
TAFE courses can be a cost-effective way to gain skills and knowledge in your chosen industry, but it’s still important to consider the cost when choosing a course.
The fees vary based on the qualification level, the number of contact hours, and your eligibility for a government-subsidised seat.
Certain states, such as Victoria, offer programs where the government funds your training. The Government of Australia provides VET Student Loans to help eligible students pursuing approved diploma courses or higher pay their tuition fees.
The repayment of the loan is determined by your income, so you commence paying off the loan only when your earnings exceed the minimum repayment threshold.
It is equally important to determine which career pathways your chosen courses can lead to.
At the Career Progress database, we have linked courses with job descriptions and potential career options so that you can get familiar with a range of occupations for which that course can serve as the base qualification.
Each job description comes with information on the typically required skill set for the role, typical job activities, and work environment, and the types of qualifications you would need to land that job.
Just because you have chosen a particular course, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to it forever. One of the big positives of doing TAFE is that you don’t require an ATAR to get enrolled on a course. But once you complete your TAFE course, you will get an ATAR-equivalent score that can be used as a pathway to university if you are planning to undertake further study.
If you’re considering TAFE as your next step in education, you may be wondering which location in Australia is best for you. Here are some of the top locations to do TAFE in Australia:
(Note: In this part we will add the locations with hyperlink to their respective internal pages)