VET-FEE HELP, Diplomas, Certificates and actually getting a job
June 16, 2014 4 Comments
If you have no other skills or experience is a Diploma going to get you a job!
There had been a lot of talk recently about VET-FEE Help programs, the cost of the Diploma and above qualifications and the way in which these courses are being marketed by some RTO’s and their Agents, but in addition to all of the other things that trouble me about this issue, Debt, quality, outcomes, what really worries me is that it seems that a large amount of the marketing of these programs is being done to people who do not have any other formal qualifications and little who possess little or no experience in the area in which they are commencing study. Which leads me to today’s question,
Is that Diploma that you spent $10-20,000 on actually going to help you get a job if you don’t have any experience or would you have been better spending $3000 or less (and much less if you are eligible for government funding) on a Certificate III or IV?
I think if we are being really serious about this, the answer is pretty straightforward; if you don’t have relevant experience or other qualifications a Diploma is not going to get you the job you think it will. Lets look a scenario or two shall we. So you are in your 20’s and unemployed, your friends say you would make a good counsellor, so when you see an add on Facebook to become a counsellor for no upfront charges and not have to pay until you make a certain amount of money you jump at the chance, particularly when you get a free Ipad as well. So you do your course (which in reality ends up costing you nearly $20,000, but you don’t really notice because it is on VET-FEE Help), get your certificate and go and go and look fora job.
Now the real question here is is this person going to actually find a job as a counsellor? My initial reaction is probably not, (ok they could set themselves up in their own business, if the course they have just finished is accredited with one of the registration bodies for counsellors, bet they didn’t ask that before they signed up) I don’t know many organisations who are going to employ someone with just a Diploma of Counselling and no other experience in the Community Services sector, particularly when there are a lot of people out there with higher qualifications and better experience. So in the end the person takes a role in an organisation as say a support worker, or an admin assistance or intake officer, if they can get one, over people who actually have a qualification (which is likely to be a cert III or IV) relevant to the role.
This is of course not just the case in the community sector, is just having a Diploma in Project Management is going to land someone a role as a project manager, probably not, again they will probably end up in a role like a project officer or something similar.
Of course the real problem with both these scenarios is that the person in question has accumulated a massive debt, to get (if they are lucky) a role they could have got with a qualification which would have cost them much less.
Unless you have some relevant experience, or at least some other relevant skills, then a Diploma by itself is not going to necessarily help anyone get a job, and they may well have been better off in the long run, doing a government-funded Certificate III program and saving themselves $10-20,000 in Debt.
But you know, that’s just my opinion.