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Fancy Living And Working Abroad?

Blog photoHere Are Some Awesome Career Suggestions That Could See You Traveling The World

There are many reasons why someone would want to pack up their old life and move abroad to work. Perhaps you’ve just been through a bad breakup? Or maybe you’ve not got many friends left thanks to them all settling down and getting married? Either way, achieving this goal is a lot simpler than you might expect, and with that in mind, the article you’re reading today has been written in an attempt to give you some great tips and advice. Obviously, you’ll need to retrain in a new career to find work in another country, and so I’m going to list a few now that you might find interesting and fulfilling.

Just take note of the fact that this isn’t a comprehensive list, and there are many other desirable skills the governments of other countries are looking for. Even so, from my own experience, and in my own opinion, the career paths listed here are some of the best and most enjoyable out there, so you definitely shouldn’t overlook them too quickly.

Teaching English

Nearly every country about the world that doesn’t have English as their first language employ native speakers with only basic qualifications to educate their children. In the UK, you’d need a degree and more to score a job like this, but abroad, so long as you complete a basic teacher training course, this really isn’t necessary.

Engineering

Let’s face facts. The US and the UK produce some of the best engineers in the world, and so it’s unsurprising most other countries consider qualified individuals to be endlessly desirable. Sure, you’ll need to head off to university to get the certificates first, but this won’t take that long. You only need to look at Akhtaboot’s list of jobs in Dubai to see how many opportunities are out there. So, becoming an engineer could well see you living abroad indefinitely, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Doctor / Medical

Why do you think so many families from around the world send their children to study medicine in the west? Well, I can tell you. It’s because our health systems are allowed far more funding than those in other countries, which means we inevitably have better equipment, more opportunities and a more accurate understanding of common conditions. This is just one of the reasons why British and American doctors are much sought after in impoverished areas, and why you should consider re-educating yourself to take full advantage of this.

Plumbing

Lastly, if the other suggestions sounded a little too ambitious for you, then becoming a plumber might make things easier. While it’s not the most skilled job in the world, many African and Asian nations consider trained professionals to be in demand, and so you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere hot and pleasant to work.

As you can see, there are lots of different ways you can work abroad, and so you just need to pick the one you feel is most suited to your current abilities and skills. I wish you the best of luck with this, and remember, deciding to live and work abroad could seriously change your life forever!

Sam Gatt, a UK-based contributor who writes on all things business and career related

Photograph credit

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5 Careers English Students Might Enjoy After Graduation

librarianOnce you’ve completed your English course at school, college or university, it will be time to start thinking about what kind of career path would be most suitable given your skills and personal interests. Luckily, a lot of different companies require their staff to have excellent spelling and grammar abilities, so the possibilities really are endless. Still, sometimes it’s a good idea to hear suggestions from other people, which is precisely why I’ve written the article you’re reading today. You obviously want to aim for the best paid position possible, and so the ideas featured before could serve to give you the inspiration needed.

1. Librarian

You might think that working in a library would be a bit boring, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Librarians are responsible for categorizing titles, dealing with loans and placing orders for new publications they know will go down well with their clientele. On top of this, you might be surprised to learn the salary is usually very attractive.

2. Primary School Teacher

If you enjoy spending time with children and helping them to increase their knowledge, becoming a primary school teacher could provide you with all the job satisfaction you’ll ever need. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll need more than a basic English qualification from ECOT to score a job like this, but that’s still a brilliant place to start on this career path. In most circumstances, you’ll need to complete a full three year degree course in a relevant subject, and then enroll on a 12 month teacher training course to hone your skills.

3. Writer / Author

As you’ve spent so long learning how to spell and use grammar properly, it might make sense to capitalise on these skills by becoming a full time writer or author. Selling books is tough, so you’ll need to spend a lot of time researching the markers before settling on the subject of your first title. However, these days you can find well paid work with many of the internet’s top marketing agencies, who are always on the look out for new talent.

4. Professional Editor

You could turn that last idea around on its head and start a career as a professional proofreader and editor. Obviously, you’ll need an impeccable understanding of language to make a success of this, but as many top publishers pay in excess of £30,000 to editors for their most anticipated titles, this role could leave you with enough money to retire early and enjoy the good life.

5. Journalist

Okay, so, every English graduate probably dreams of working at a top fleet street newspaper, right? Well, this goal may not be too far beyond your reach. While there are often thousands of candidates for vacancies in this industry, you stand just as much chance as the next person, so start contacting your favourite companies now to find out about the next round of interviews.

Just remember, your destiny is now in your own hands, so you must to everything you can to make it a fruitful one. And anyway, If all else fails, at least you’ll know how to fill the forms in properly at the jobcentre.

Cheers for reading guys!

Sam Gatt, a UK-based contributor who writes on all things business and career related.

How to Perfect Your Job Interview Techniques

If you’ve just received a phone call from one of the companies you’ve sent your CV/resume off to recently offering you a face to face interview, it’s time to start thinking about what you can do to give yourself a fighting chance of winning that all important full time contract. Spending an hour or two online reading guides like this could be the perfect way to brush up on your skills and work out exactly what you should, and shouldn’t say to this potential empInterview photoloyer. Remember, as much as we all hate to admit it, first impressions really do count, and people are generally very quick to judge, so you need to ensure you appear confident, hard working, and knowledgeable. Any failure to do this could result in a negative outcome.

Considering all that, the post you’ve found today will aim to highlight a number of points you may wish to consider. So long as you follow all my advice, the chances of you winning the employer over and obtaining the job of your dreams will be greatly increased. No matter which industry you’re looking to join, the advice beneath this paragraph is guaranteed to help you achieve your goal.

Learn About The Role For Which You Are Applying

Firstly, you’re going to look pretty stupid if you sit down and you haven’t done any research into the job on offer. Whoever is sat in front of you could well ask what you know about the role straightaway, and while you won’t completely mess up your chances if you admit you know very little, it’s much better to impress them with your knowledge and show that you’ve been doing your homework.

Learn About The Company Offering The Job

Secondly, in almost all circumstances, those people running the interview will likely ask you about your knowledge of their company’s operations as a whole. To find out all the information you need, just visit their website for an hour or two before leaving home for the interview, so all the interesting facts about their business are fresh in your mind. Again, this will make you look smart and incredibly keen.

Think About Your Appearance

While it might be suitable to attend an interview at a manual company like Access Platforms Online wearing smart jeans and a shirt, if the role advertised will be more focused towards the office environment, you’ll almost always create a better impression by wearing a full suit. Of course, this is something you should work out on an individual basis considering all the details you’ve learned about the business. For instance, some modern thinking young companies might encourage their staff to come in wearing casual clothes, even in an office environment.

Think About Your General Attitude

No matter what you say and whom you see, it’s vital you display a positive and motivated attitude towards the prospect of working for the company. Even if you turn up and see things are much less exciting than you imagined, it’s important not to let this show. At the end of the day, you want to earn a good wage don’t you?

Well jobseekers, that’s about all we’ve got time for today. Just make sure you also take a pen and paper along for any interviews you may have in the near future, as this also makes people think you’re 100% committed to winning the role.

Good luck!

Sam Gatt, a UK-based contributor who writes on all things business and career related

Photograph credit

Not Sure What Path To Take? Check Out These 7 Career Ideas To Give You Food for Thought

ConstructionUpon leaving full time education, you’re going to have a potentially life changing decision to make. Your choice of career path could determine the path of your life for the next ten years or even longer, so it’s vitally important you perform a significant amount of research and get things right. Nobody wants to waste two or three years in a role only to discover they hold no enjoyment for the job, which is one of the main reasons this article has been created.

Hopefully, after reading through the 7 top suggestions listed below, you’ll have enough inspiration to find something you’ll truly excel at.

Here they are:

1. Construction

Whether you decide to become an architect or a builder, working in the construction industry is ideal for people who enjoy spending time outdoors. You’ll need to be strong and fit to succeed, but the potential earnings in this career are pretty favourable. You could even try to enter a niche market by working for a company that specialises in a particular product like Leominster Farm Buildings or something similar.

2. Recruitment Consultant

Have you noticed the lack of good jobs available at the moment? Well then, it might be sensible to join one of the only industries known to grow at times like this. As a recruitment consultant, your job will be finding unemployed people work and making a commission from their earnings. You’ll need excellent social skills and a good telephone manner to succeed at this.

3. School Teacher

If you like the idea of having lots of holidays and actually making a difference in the lives of young people, becoming a teacher could provide you will all the fulfillment you’ll ever need. Obviously, you’ll need to specialise in a subject at university before taking the teaching course, but there’s nothing stopping you from choosing something simple like geography or history. Earnings are also very reasonable for this job.

4. Police Man / Woman

Do you watch the news and spend hours thinking about all those criminals who take advantage of people? Would you like to really have an impact on society? Then joining the police force is the perfect career move. You’ll have to work hard at remembering certain parts of the law, and you might get in a slightly dangerous situation from time to time, but it will be worth it.

5. PR Consultant

Presuming you find the world of advertising to be interesting but you don’t want to me a full-blown marketer, opting to either set up your own business, or join an established PR consultancy firm could satisfy all your urges. This is perfect for people who have an interest in human psychology, and those who don’t mind spending all day sat in front of a computer.

6. Stock Broker

With the recent success of Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf of Wall Street”, many people are considering a career in the stock market. While you might think it’s a difficult job to find, once you’re in, you stand to make millions. You’ll need a number of skills relating to persuasion, and a conscience you’re able to ignore.

7. Diving Instructor

Finally, this is out wildcard today. So long as you have adequate swimming skills, and you like spending time with other people, becoming a diving instructor could seriously change your life. There are many companies all over the world who provide instructors to popular holiday destinations by the sea, so you could end up spending your summers in somewhere like Morocco. Not bad eh?

After reading through those suggestions, you should be much closer to finding the ideal career path and starting your adult life in the real world. Good luck with the decision, I’m certain you’ll make the right choice when the time comes.

See you soon!

Uk-based contributor Sam Gatt, a blogger on all things business and career related.

Does Going to a Trade School Make More Sense than Going to a 4-year College?

trade schoolHave you spent hours looking for the perfect college for you or your son or daughter to attend?

Look at official brochures and websites and you will see descriptions of beautiful campuses, accommodations including game rooms and lounges, pools available for use throughout the semester, exciting experiments possible in a hi-tech laboratory etc., etc.

Do you really want to pay for amenities that you may never use? Is the amount of choice provided overwhelming? Perhaps it would be best to scrap the idea entirely.

Yes, for a moment, put aside your thoughts of which 4-year college to attend and focus instead on the prospect of streamlining your options by considering a technical or trade school.

A trade school may provide you with the skills you need to make a living doing what you love. Trade schools have numerous benefits that differ from those associated with going to a regular 4-year university, and sometimes they lead to careers with better job security.

Have you always had an interest in gardening? You can make a living as a gardener/landscaper going to a gardening and landscaping school.

Trade schools allow you to skip the general education that 4-year universities require. Rather than take general education classes needed to accrue the required number of credits for a 4-year degree, you can dedicate more time to getting hands on experience in your chosen field.

Go to a trade school, and you will get a highly focused curriculum that allows you to develop specific knowledge and skills, from the very general and basic to highly specified and professional. Educational programs are intensive and focused, so students are guaranteed in-depth knowledge that is delivered by professionals with extensive experience in the same field. Trade school students also are encouraged to develop their problem solving skills in ways related to issues that may arise during employment.

Trade school saves time

Most trade school degrees and certificate programs can be completed in less than two years; a much shorter time than the typical four to five years spent at university.

Trade school saves money

Because going to a Trade School saves time, it also saves money. Families in the United States spend on average $32,000 dollars a year on one child’s college education. Multiply that by four and you may emerge as a graduate with years of debt on your shoulders. In contrast, the amount you pay for a trade education is significantly less, ranging from $4,000 to around $30,000 for the entire certificate or degree.

Trade school may provide a greater chance of employment

Getting a four-year college degree will not guarantee you a job upon graduation. Most employers require candidates with education and some experience and established skills that will enable them to hit the ground running within the working community. Depending upon your desired career path, a trade school degree may help you hit the ground running more effectively, more quickly and more economically than will a four-year degree.

Yes, it is true: If you attend a trade school, you will miss out on the “college experience.” But, trade school will provide you with a very intense and focused education in a positive learning environment and can considerably increase your chances of getting a good job upon graduation, all while potentially saving you up to 50% of the money you would have spent on a traditional college education.

“Make today’s efforts pay off tomorrow. That’s what my two-year degree from Porter and Chester did for me. It opened the door to an awesome career and a great future.”

Tony G. (quoted above) got a trade school degree from the Porter and Chester Institute.  He didn’t have much, but that didn’t stop him from doing what he wanted to do – and he thanks his trade school education for much of his success. Trade schools provide a complete and well-rounded education for much less money than and time than what is required to complete a four-year college degree.

Is a trade school right for you?  That depends upon your career goals.  So, be smart.  Do your homework when researching college options.  You just might find that a trade school is the best choice for you. The choice is yours, make it smart.

About the Author

Ray Holder is a career coach. After completing his education from Porter and Chester Institute and working for 15 years in other fields, he now helps people from high school age to those in their thirties and beyond make sound career decisions.

A guide to forging a career as a solicitor

UK-based guest blogger Sam Gatt shares his thought on pursuing a career in law as a solicitor (in U.S. terms …  a lawyer!)

law courtsIf you are based in the United Kingdom, and becoming an astronaut is something that is a little too “out of this world” for you, then you might want to come back down to Earth and consider a career as a solicitor instead.

Whilst these two occupations are seemingly as different as can be, they actually have a number of similarities.

For example, you have to do years of training and pass many exams to be fully qualified in both jobs, and both of these jobs are quite high-level and are aimed at people who are willing to put the time and the work in to achieve a successful end result.

You probably won’t ever get the chance to fly into space if you become a solicitor (well, not unless you’re aboard a Virgin Galactic flight perhaps), but you will certainly have the skill and experience to help people get justice through the legal system! Here is a guide to forging a career as a solicitor.

Why become a solicitor?

OK, so you might have an interest in the legal system but you might be wondering why you should consider becoming a solicitor. Here are a few reasons:

  • Earning potential – whilst it is true that the starting salary of a trainee solicitor can be anything from minimum wage to around £16k a year, fully-qualified solicitors can expect to earn between £25,000 and £70,000 a year working for firms such as Poole Solicitors, whilst partners in law firms could earn a minimum of £100,000 a year;
  • Impressive job title – you can be proud of the fact that you have a prestigious job title, and people will hold you in high regard as you work in such a professional industry;
  • You get to help people – millions of people around the world need the assistance of solicitors to help them fight any legal problems through the courts, and you will be the person that can help many people by helping them fight their cases on their behalf;
  • You get to use your brain – some jobs like data entry clerks are really boring and monotonous as you would often have to type the same sorts of things into a computer on a daily basis. Solicitors, on the other have, are often involved in interesting and diverse cases which requires them to use their intellect in order to seek out the truth.

How do I become a solicitor?

In the United Kingdom, there are three paths that you can take to become a solicitor. The first involves completing a law degree and then a Legal Practice Course and the second involves completing a non-law degree and taking a law diploma

The third involves becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives – although you have to be working in the legal profession in order to be considered.

For those considering the law degree path, you will need to have a foundation course such as criminal and contract law, or property law as part of your degree.

You will also need to have five GCSEs between grades A and C, and three A-levels. The Law Society website will provide further information on the specifics of each path.

Moving to the UK from the United States?

For those of you considering a move to the UK from the USA, and you are already a successful lawyer in the state you currently reside in, it might be worth your while speaking with The Law Society in the UK to determine what is involved in getting a job as a solicitor in Britain.

Are Cosmetic Surgery Careers Really A Good Idea?

Cosmetic Surgery

UK-based guest blogger Sam Gatt shares the following advice:

There appears to be a huge influx of talent in the cosmetic surgery industry at the moment, and this is mainly due to the high levels of pay and mostly simply procedures involved. Over the last couple of years, shocking quantities of science and medical graduates have turned to this form of body modification when deciding on the best way to progress their education and career. Still, with so many people getting involved in the industry, could there come a time when it’s impossible to make a good wage from this endeavour?

I mean; the same thing happened with hairdressers a few years ago when colleges around the world started training thousands of students in the role. Unfortunately, this created the situation we face today, where the high streets of our hometowns are filled with hairdressing and beauty businesses unable to make a decent profit because of the sheer amount of competition. Presuming this could happen to body modification specialists, it begs the question; are cosmetic surgery careers really a good idea?

So, over the next few paragraphs, I’ll attempt to reach a conclusion by looking at all the pros and cons of working in this field today.

The Pros Of A Career In Cosmetic Surgery

  • The PayCosmetic surgeons  can earn up to and including half a million each and every year. Although the competition is becoming stiff, this amount looks unlikely to drop to unfeasible levels anytime soon.
  • Job Satisfaction – In instances where you’re performing plastic surgery on someone who’s experienced serious burns or an accident of some kind, you’ll get immense job satisfaction at the end of the day knowing that you are responsible for making that person feel a little more normal.
  • Innovation – Once you’re qualified at a cosmetic surgeon, you’ll be free to create and test your own unique techniques. If you manage to come up with something truly innovative and useful, you could even revolutionise certain parts of the industry.

The Cons Of A Career In Cosmetic Surgery

  • Lengthy Education – Unfortunately, anyone wishing to become a registered cosmetic surgeon will have to undertake a minimum of four to five years training at university, and this can put some people off the idea. However, in a recent survey, only 4% of registered professionals regretted their career choice.
  • Higher Risks – For the obvious reasons, plastic surgeons face an increased risk of malpractice cases, which means you may find yourself defending your techniques in court on more than one occasion. That said; so long as you follow all guidelines, you’ll be covered.

So, you should clearly see that opting for a career in cosmetic surgery is still a very wise move at the current time. This could change in the near future depending on the amount of students enrolling on relevant courses, but anyone considering pursuing this path over the next couple of years shouldn’t experience any major issues. I hope this article will prove useful, and maybe it will have given some of you the inspiration needed to improve your lives.

See you next time!

Sam Gatt
UK-based guest blogger who writes on all thinks business and career-related.  

What can you do with an engineering degree?

UK EngineerHere are some great suggestions from UK-based guest blogger Sam Gatt, a writer on all things business and career related. 

In the UK it’s rather difficult to find well paid work at the moment, so when you finally graduate from university with an engineering degree, you’ll need to put extra effort into researching possible employment solutions. You might not realise it at the moment, but the skills you’ve gained over the last three years are desirable to employers in a wide range of different industries. This means your options are vast when it comes to finding a good job that you truly enjoy with ample prospects for promotion in the future. With that in mind, this article will give you a few ideas that you may wish to research before contacting relevant businesses and asking about vacancies.

So, if you’re due to finish your course this year, spend a couple of minutes reading through the suggestions I’ve made below, and hopefully you’ll be in the best position to find employment in a timely manner. At the end of the day, the quality of work you find will depend heavily on the amount of effort you’re willing to put in, but the jobs listed below will give you some new ideas that could assist you along the way.

Logistics

Most firms that deal with deliveries of any kind will have a dedicated logistics department that deals with ensuring things operate in the simplest and smoothest way possible. The skills you’ve obtained during your degree course will come in very handy in this kind of role, as you’ll be required to create methods and processes in much the same way you would when designing a machine.

Supply Chain Management

Most manufacturing companies will need to employ a professional supply chain manager to oversee production lines, the sourcing of raw materials and manufacturing processes. This means they require people with a logical mindset who are capable of drawing up plans and making sure all requirements are met. In most instances, they look towards engineering graduates because their talents are usually very similar to those needed for successful completion of the role.

Traditional Engineering Jobs

Of course, we mustn’t overlook the type of job you’re been specifically trained for, and so becoming a traditional engineer and working for companies like Fastec Engineering might be suitable. The great thing about this kind of employment is that your days will be varied, as most engineering firms specialise in custom projects for clients all over the world. So, you should never get tired of performing the same old tasks over and over again.

Teaching / Lecturing

Anyone interested in pursuing this form of employment will obviously have to also complete a basic teaching course, but so long as you can afford to stay out of work for an extra year, this could be a great way of giving something back and making a real difference in the lives of new students. The benefits of a role like this are many, but the most prominent is that you’ll spend most of your working life comfortable and warm, which is something that can’t be said for most engineers.

After reading through my suggestions, I hope you now understand a little more about some of the most lucrative opportunities open to you on the UK job market at the moment. That wasn’t an extensive list, and there are many other routes you could take, but I’m sure the ideas presented will serve to point you in the right direction.

Good luck with your search, I’ll see you back here again soon!

Sam Gatt

How to Use a Job Performance Review to your Advantage

exceedsGuest Post by Johanna Harris

You can turn your annual performance evaluation into a valuable tool. You need to prepare for your review. You should be able to detail the positive contributions you have made. If your manager identifies areas for improvement, you need to approach the evaluation with an open mind. Whether your evaluation is written or oral or both, by the end of the critique you should have a clear road map of what needs to be done to improve your performance.

Pinning down your goals and objectives

It is your responsibility to review and understand the goals and objectives of your job. You can’t do better if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be better at. You can’t do better if you don’t know how. Your job goals need to be understandable, measurable, attainable and consistent with the objectives of your department and company.

Your evaluation may focus on your immediate past performance, but you need to look beyond that into the future. You need to stretch yourself, to set higher goals, to learn new skills that will add value to the company. This is not simply a matter of more training. You need to build a support network of people who will help you in the future. You need to network with people who will give you new opportunities.

How you will be evaluated

Before your manager begins your evaluation, he will generally look at your job description, goals, compensation history, prior evaluations and any disciplinary warnings. If you’re concerned that your manager does not have an important piece of information, such as a favorable customer satisfaction survey, you should provide this information to your manager before or during the evaluation.

Your manager will base your evaluation not just on his own experience with you. He will often seek input from clients, coworkers, your subordinates and other managers.

Your manager will look not only at the quality, accuracy and timeliness of your work, but also at your teamwork, leadership, independence, flexibility, initiative and your compliance with the company’s ethics.

Two factors can complicate the evaluation process: working at a location far from your manager; and having more than one manager. If a significant geographic distance separates you from your manager, you will need to work extra hard to make sure he knows what you’ve been doing and to convince him that your work is valuable to the company. You don’t want to be evaluated by a stranger. If you have more than one manager, you may find yourself with conflicting goals and recommendations. Before your evaluation, you need to figure out how to present your accomplishments in a way that satisfies both managers.

Traps that managers fall into

You can be guaranteed that at some point in your career, a manager will jump to incorrect conclusions about your performance based on faulty reasoning. To protect your record, you need to understand the two most common logical traps that managers fall into.

● Rather than evaluating your performance throughout the entire evaluation period, a manager may focus inappropriately on a single incident because it was negative or occurred quite recently.

● Some managers tend to reward people whom they see as clones of themselves. They tend to reward subordinates who solve problems in exactly the same way they would have, even if there are other ways to get the job done.

In situations like these, you need to work extra hard to document your accomplishments in a professional and factual way. You should present this information to your manager. If he is still unresponsive, you should retain the information for the future. When you apply for a transfer or a promotion, you can present the information as an addendum to your file at that time.

Conclusion

Your performance review is just like any other job assignment. You can’t just show up without any preparation. You should make sure that you’ve done everything possible to document your accomplishments and present them in the best possible light. You may have the opportunity to fill out a self-evaluation form, but if you don’t, you’ll need to create your own form.

A short, vague positive review is almost as bad as a negative review. If your manager indeed believes that you are a valued employee with a future at the company, you want to give him the tools to produce a positive, useful and thoughtful review.

Copyright © 2013 Johanna Harris

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

J HarrisAbout the Author: Johanna Harris has been a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor and in-house labor counsel for two multinational corporations. She is currently the CEO of Hire Fire and Retire LLC (http://hirefireandretire.com). Her new book, USE PROTECTION: An Employee’s Guide to Advancement in the Workplace (http://www.amazon.com/author/johannaharris), is intended to help you learn enough about labor law and personnel practices so that you don’t get derailed from the career track you should be on.

Vocational Education and Training (VET): Should You Do It?

vetTheories and philosophies are nice, but you need practical knowledge to get a job.

If this describes how you feel, then Vocational Education and Training (VET) might be for you. In the past, some people have looked down on VET as somehow “less” than the education you get at a regular university, but is this really true? What exactly is the difference between what you would be learning in VET and the classes you’d take at a typical institution of higher learning?

Vocational Education and Training courses tend to concentrate more on developing specific skills for occupations, while university classes deal more in theory and generalized knowledge for different career paths. So rather than university students getting “better” knowledge, in reality VET is just designed differently – it provides you with different knowledge that has a different purpose.

What is this purpose? Well, while university educations are primarily just about that – educating you so that you have a large base of knowledge about the world – the goal of VET is to provide you with a certificate or degree that enables you to work within a specific profession.

What kinds of industries can you work in after completing VET? Practically any that you want! Floral services, automotive, business advertising, occupational health and safety, viticulture, music, hospitality, law, and even more.

If you’re trying to decide between studying at a university or going through a VET program, here are some things to consider:

VET programs are shorter

Vocational Education and Training programs are set up so that you can get a variety of different diplomas or certificates depending on how advanced your hopeful future profession is. For job types that don’t require as much in-depth knowledge, the time frame it takes to earn your certificate is shorter – as little as a few weeks. But even the longest VET program, the one you would take to obtain an advanced diploma, can be completed in 24 to 36 months.

Better yet, VET programs aren’t just designed with some arbitrary timeline that you have to slog through in order to “pass.” Once you can show that you have reached the skill level that the program requires, you can get your qualification. Contrast this with university studies, which take the equivalent of four years worth of work – or longer! – before you are allowed to earn your degree.

VET programs offer you up-to-date industry norms

At the speed with which things are changing in all kinds of workplaces, “career path” knowledge isn’t enough anymore – you need to be able to keep up with the latest trends and ways of doing business. That’s exactly what VET students are taught, and this knowledge has helped lots of people find gainful employment in high-paying professions.

How are these programs able to teach to up-to-date policies and procedures? Because VET courses are constantly being refined through consultation with the respective industry to which they are attached. That means that if all bankers suddenly stop using iPhones and go back to only using rotary phones, your VET program will teach you how to use a rotary phone. Obviously, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

VET programs are national

No one thinks that it will happen to them, but every year circumstances in their lives force students to transfer from one school to another. What happens if this occurs during your university studies? Will your credits transfer?

VET students don’t need to worry about this problem, because the curriculum is exactly the same from state to state. Moving in the middle of your course means that you’ll be transferring the credits you’ve earned to an identical program and can pick up right where you left off.

VET programs give you practical work experience

University education tends to put students in a sort of bubble where they are free to learn all kinds of different things about the world in an effort to provide them with a large base of knowledge that they can they take out into the world and use as they see fit. In theory, it sounds really nice, but unfortunately the world isn’t run on theory, and employers want to see clear transferable skills in their job applicants.

Vocational Education and Training programs give you these skills by educating you about the specific ways in which your chosen profession works. This includes letting you learn how your workplace operates, showing you what you’ll be doing and how to do it, and teaching you interpersonal skills so that you can handle the people at your job, too.

VET programs don’t preclude university study

The nice thing about choosing between VET programs and universities is that it doesn’t have to be an either-or decision. Nothing is stopping someone who goes through a VET program first from later attending university. The difference is that, if you do decide to do this, you can transfer your credits over to the university so that you don’t have to re-take lower level courses you’ve already completed, which not only saves you time but money as well.

Of course, none of this definitively answers whether you should choose VET over going to university, and the only person who can really answer that question is you. Are you goal-oriented with a clear idea of what you want to do, and always impatient to get on to the next part of your life? If so, enrolling in a Vocational Education Training program might be a better option for you – remember, you can always transfer those credits to a university later, and you’ll probably have saved money by doing so!

PinantoanAbout the Author: 

Andrianes Pinantoan is InformED’s editor and part of the marketing team behind Open Colleges. When not working, he can be found reading about two of his favorite subjects: education and psychology. You can find him on Google+ or @andreispsyched.  This originally appeared on Open College’s  InformED blog: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/career-tips/vocational-education-and-training-vet-should-you-do-it/