Millennials Are Choosing VET Over University


Millennials Are Choosing VET Over University

As a Millennial there are some universal truths you accepted a long time ago.

Avocados are expensive but worth the hassle, the dream of owning property is something far into the distance, and your career is going to change multiple times during the course of your working life.

According to CNN Business Millennials and Gen Z are on track for four major job changes before they are 32. Through the course of your life you’re estimated to have 17 different jobs and 5 different careers as it was reported in this article by the Sydney Morning Herald.

With a career trajectory that will change five times over and an estimated 17 different major jobs to look forward to in their lifetimes, millennials are understandably sceptical about investing an average of 30 grand and four years to complete an undergraduate degree. Especially when only 55% of university graduates gain a role in their field.

Similarly the changes in each industry are coming at such a rapid rate that many millennials are discovering their degree is outdated by the time they are graduating.

Changes to curriculums and subject content mean that those who started 3 years ago have a different degree with different subjects to those who have just begun their higher education.

With pressure to remain relevant in the job market this is a big concern for Millennials which is why so many are turning to vocational training to fill the knowledge gap and upskill in their industry.

VET Studies are on the Rise

According to an article in SBS news 4.2 million Australians last year undertook vocational education  and around one million went to university.

Vocational education in Australia continues to come on in leaps and bounds, updating regularly with courses advancing in line with their industries. Employment Minister Michaelia Cash told SBS news “31 out of the 50 top-earning occupations, they require a VET pathway.” 

What can VET offer that university can’t?

Practical skills

Vocational education is based on practical skills instead of theory, giving students the chance to practice the skills they’ll be able to use in their industry.

Would you rather learn about spreadsheets or create them? In the workforce there isn’t much good is understanding the theory of something if you can’t execute the task.

The value of a vocational course is the assignment work is the task you’ll need to be able to do – so you leave with the skills and knowledge instead of just knowledge.


These days the 40 hour work week is a thing of the past, many people report working longer hours than before.

Many companies have high expectations of individual workers and with the advancements in technology, work follows us home.

So the idea of trying to fit study into the equation can be a daunting one.

Not many of us cannot afford to take time off of work to attend mandatory tutorials and lectures at university.

Luckily vocational study can offer more flexibility than university.

With ASSET’s diverse range of online courses you can study at your own pace in the evenings or weekends, giving millennials the chance to upskill while they work.


At university your choices for study are much broader.

When you chose a field you pick a major and a minor but the course itself covers an entire area of study like Business or Communications.

However once you are out in the workforce you’re encouraged to find a niche and establish expertise in your area.

This can be achieved through vocational training courses.

Certificates and Diplomas offer more specialised qualifications with specific skills that are directly relevant to your field.

Shows Initiative and Drive

Taking on Diplomas or Certificates shows your initiative and drive.

A university degree is kind of a given these days.

Students are pushed to enter university straight out of school without much guidance. Luckily, there is support for school-leavers now with organisations like Year 13.

Usually though, if they’re not sure what they want to do they are often pushed into a Bachelor of Arts and as a result they don’t have a specific niche or speciality.

More than that, a BA degree is almost like a standard on most resumes these days.

Taking the initiative to find a Diploma or Certificate that offers you specialised knowledge in your field shows you’re passionate and motivated about your career progression and you have a clear idea of your career trajectory.

A Diploma of Leadership and Management shows you’re ready to step up and run a department or a Certificate IV in Marketing and Communications shows you’re willing to collaborate with the marketing department on campaigns.

Every course you take refines your direction and strengthens your position.

Time Management

Time is a big factor for the millennials choosing vocational study over university.

The average Bachelor’s degree takes 3 years to complete full-time but in the VET sector you can do a Diploma in a year, and you can fit it in around your current work.

Vocational studies are a great way to fine-tune your time management skills, balancing working and studying online will not only show employers that you’re motivated to upskill and grow in your career but that you’re capable of handling competing priorities.

University Pathways

If you’re wanting to get the degree there are ways to speed up the process.

Completing a Diploma in your field of study could shave 2 years off the degree or if you’ve already got your BA it could provide a pathway into a Masters program.

And you’ll already hold one full qualification once you begin the university course, leaving you better placed to gain employment in your sector prior to completing the university course.

ASSET offers flexible online study options with Diplomas and Certificates in Business, Business Administration, Leadership and Management, Small Business Operations, Marketing and Communications, Quality Auditing, Human Resources and many more.

If you’re thinking about niching down and skilling up have a chat with one of friendly course advisors today and they can help you work out the next steps to career progression and satisfaction.

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