With the second school semester almost here, older students are getting closer and closer to tertiary applications. While university is certainly an end goal for many, it’s important to discuss tertiary options with your child and whether university is a path they’d like to pursue. Read on as we address some common ‘what ifs’.
Even in the later years of schooling, it’s not at all uncommon for your child to not have a clear destination in mind. As someone with experience in the workforce, why not get them thinking by asking about their work preferences? Would they like to work with people? Indoors? Outdoors? Tell them about how you selected a study or career path, as well as any changes you made along the way. Hearing a ‘real’ story can make all the difference. Getting advice from their school career adviser, chatting to older siblings or friends of the family and attending open days are also very helpful.
Uni being ‘worth it’ has many different definitions. For some, a good return on investment is securing a great job and salary at the end of the line. For others, it’s all about the knowledge, skills and experience gained from tertiary study.It’s also true that university graduates may not see the benefits of pursuing study until several years into their careers, but it’s worth noting that — any way you look at it — those who undertake further study have greater long-term earning potential than school leavers.
The Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector provides certificates and diplomas in a range of study areas — from hands-on fields leading to trade qualifications, to semi-professional roles in areas such as accounting, health and even law. There is a common perception that vocational study is a last report for those unable to enter university, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. While the VET sector does provide an alternative pathway for students to progress towards higher education, it also offers a great study option in its own right.
The most important thing is that your child chooses an education and career pathway to which they are committed. Pursuing a university education should be a considered choice, not one that is influenced by your (or anyone else’s) ideas about your child’s future. This is becoming especially important as we await the introduction of the federal government’s fee reforms, which could see undergraduate course costs increasing significantly. Of course, it’s possible that they will change their mind along the way — just as many adults do when reevaluating their career next steps.