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Education after school is different to high school. There are hundreds of courses available in Victoria and across Australia. You can study because you want to improve your skills or gain a qualification for work. Or simply because you love learning!

There are five main ways to study:

  • Learn Local
  • TAFEs and RTOs
  • University
  • Online Courses
  • Professional Development

Learn Local

Learn Local is a community education centre that offer basic education and training programs.

Learn Local centres can help you return to study, improve your reading, writing and maths skills, gain a qualification, get a job or learn something new. There are 300 Learn Locals centres in Australia and all are funded by the government.

Click here to see what you can learn at a Learn Local centre.

TAFE and RTO

TAFE stands for Technical And Further Education.

Other similar training organisations are also called Registered Training Organisation (RTO). These training organisations offer courses that are related to Vocational Education and Training (VET). Click on the below to see different courses offered:


Fast facts:

  • Not all training organisations offer the same courses
    For example: Holmesglen Institute offer massage courses, but Melbourne Polytechnic does not
  • Some RTOs are privately owned
  • Some TAFEs offer extra programs that can help you improve English, reading, writing, mathematics, computer and online skills
  • TAFE qualifications include Apprenticeship, Certificate I, II, III, IV and Diploma. Click here to learn more about these qualifications.
University

A university is a high level educational institution that students can study for degrees and academic research.


Benefits of going to university include:

  • More opportunities in gaining skilled jobs and better salaries
  • To specialise in an area. For example: becoming a psychologist
  • Opportunities to study overseas
  • Develop your adult networks, mentors and future work colleagues

Universities offer a large range of courses to study - below is a brief list of what you can study at a university:

  • Arts (English, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Journalism, History, Languages, etc)
  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Business
  • Environments (Architecture, Engineering, Urban Planning, Property, etc)
  • Fine Arts (Painting, Media, Film, Photography, Dance, etc)
  • Health (Nursing, Doctor, Psychology, Dentistry, Social Work,
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Science (agriculture, earth, etc)
  • Teaching
  • Veterinary

Universities offer five degrees - below is a list:

  • Bachelor degree (also called undergraduate degree)
  • Master degree (also called graduate degree)
  • PhD (stands for Doctor of Philosophy)
  • Doctorate degree (highest academic degree)

Go to this link to learn more about each of these degrees.

Click here to see a full list of universities in Victoria.

Online Courses

Online courses range from free to paid courses and from short courses to accredited courses from TAFEs, private colleges and universities.


This can be ideal for many reasons:

  • Flexible timetable: easier to balance study, personal and work commitments
  • You can usually study at your own pace
  • Study anywhere at any time

Below are some online educational providers - some courses charge fees and some are free of charge:

Professional Development

Professional Development (PD) is learning to earn or maintain professional qualifications through work or for work.

If you are working, you can ask your organisation to provide you further professional development in skills that you want to learn or improve. Ask your workplace about opportunities for professional development.


What are student services?

For the English transcript, please click here.


A deaf student studied online (CC)


I have questions!

What is the difference between TAFE and university?
TAFE aims to help you become ‘job ready’. You often learn in a practical environment. Sometimes, you can even work and learn at the same time!

Universities offer a more academic pathway – you are expected to study more theory and you do less practical work. Some people choose this pathway to become doctors, health professionals, researchers etc.

See below to compare benefits of studying at TAFE, a private college or at university.

TAFE and RTO are ideal if you are looking for:

  • Become job ready
  • Practical and hands-on training (ie. Apprenticeship and Traineeship)
  • Vocational Education Training (VET) related study
  • Flexible training
  • Qualify for a specific job or trade
  • Try out a study area before committing to longer term study
  • Pathway to university
  • Add to your current skill set'
  • Get paid while you work and learn

University is ideal if you are looking to:

  • Do more academic study
  • Receive an academic qualification (Bachelor degree, Master degree, etc)
  • Want wider opportunities for employment
  • Want to specialise in a subject
  • Want a pathway to further research

Here are some links which might be useful when you are planning where and how to study:

Australian Disability Clearing House On Education and Training - Table

La Trobe University - What to expect at university and TAFE

What are the benefits of studying on campus compared to studying online?
Another good question! It is up to you how you would like to study. Here is a list of the benefits of studying online and the benefits of studying on campus.

  • Flexible timetable: easier to balance study, personal and work commitments
  • Often there are no due dates: you can study at your own pace
  • Study anywhere at any time
  • Ideal for mature age students who may have family and work commitments
  • More opportunities in gaining skilled jobs and better salaries
  • To specialise in an area. For example: becoming a psychologist
  • Opportunities to study overseas
  • Develop your adult networks, mentors and future work colleagues

Here is Brent sharing his experience of studying at TAFE. Brent talks about some of the differences between school and TAFE, including the important role of the Disability Liaison Officer.

Click on the following link for a transcript of the above video: Studying in VET Transcript.


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