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Choose your own adventure

Sometimes you know exactly what you want to do after school, but the path to get there isn't clear. Whether you want to go to uni, get a job, become your own boss or have no idea, here are some options to help you pave your own path.


Boost your ATAR

This is Jane. Jane wants to go to university but isn't sure if her Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) will make the cut for her dream course in the health industry. 

Jane knows she has to successfully complete an English subject and five General subjects OR four General subjects plus either an applied subject, certificate III, or higher VET course. She's also discovered that VET qualification scaled scores can contribute to her ATAR — and sometimes can even be used in a university admissions process. 

Looking into her options, Jane decides to do a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) (CHC33015) through a school-based traineeship. She's earning and learning at the same time.

By the end of Year 12 Jane is sure she's done everything she can while at school to boost her ATAR. And as an added bonus, while Jane's at university she can work in jobs that are better paid and more relevant to her future career path. 

Get into university a different way

This is Lachlan. Lachlan got distracted by a bunch of stuff while he was meant to be studying at school. He messed up and didn't get the score he needed to get into his dream course at university. He thought his life was over.

Lachlan was upset until he discovered that he could still study the uni course he wanted if he took a diploma-to-degree pathway. He enrolled in a diploma at TAFE Queensland where he got heaps of hands-on practice. Lachlan nailed his diploma and got a job based on the skills he gained during his studies.

Thanks to TAFE Queensland’s university pathway arrangements, Lachlan started his bachelor degree and went straight into the second year of study. His university recognised his diploma as being equal to the first year of an equivalent degree and gave him a whole year of credit.

After another two years of study, Lachlan will graduate from uni at the same time as the rest of his classmates from school. But Lachlan will come out with two qualifications instead of one. Plus, with the job he landed after his diploma, he will have a two-year head start in the workplace. While the rest of his peers are looking for their first job in the industry, Lachlan already has plenty of experience and is looking for his next career move.  

Go straight into the workforce

This is Ella. Ella wants to work with kids and doesn't want to be stuck studying forever. She wants to get straight into her career and make a difference in children's lives. 

Ella can do a certificate III TAFE at School course and be qualified to get a job straight out of high school with no more study needed until she wants to upgrade her career. 

Become a qualified tradesperson

This is Matt. Matt sometimes checks out at school. Classrooms and uniforms just aren't for him.  He reckons he'd be a good builder. He's already pretty handy, but needs the technical skills and qualifications to get started. 

Matt's older cousin Emily did a school-based apprenticeship and is now a fully qualified hairdresser running her own salon. Matt decides he wants to do the same thing so he approaches some local construction employers, but can't find anyone who's willing to take him on as an untested apprentice. 

Instead Matt decides to start out with a pre-apprenticeship course. During Year 11 he completes a Certificate I in Construction (CPC10111). He spends time in the classroom at TAFE Queensland, as well as getting some hands-on work experience.

Now Matt's got some skills to his name and starts applying again for apprenticeship positions. His pre-apprenticeship course helps him stand out from the crowd and an employer signs him up. Matt starts his school-based apprenticeship in Year 12 (and gets paid for his work), then transitions to a full-time apprenticeship after graduation. He's well on his way to achieving his dream. 

Not sure what to do

This is Maddy. Maddy is in Year 10 and doesn't know what she wants to do after school. She's done a few career quizzes but they're making her more confused than ever. So rather than choosing a career path she's not sure about, Maddy decides to take a gap year to travel, work and take some time to figure it all out.  

Because she's not sure what she wants to do, Maddy is also having trouble choosing her Year 11 and 12 subjects. She knows that with the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) system she can't change subjects between years so she has a chat to her school career counsellor because she wants to keep her options open. Maddy ends up choosing English, a maths, science and humanities subject, and French. But she still needs to choose a sixth subject.

Maddy decides to try out some options while she's still at school. She applies for the TAFE at School mid-year intake for a Certificate II in Health Support Services (HLT23215). She finishes this mid-Year 11 and decides it's not for her. So she again applies for a hospitality course at a certificate III level. By mid-Year 12 Maddy is finished and can concentrate on her studies for the rest of the year. 

When Maddy finishes Year 12 she's already got two qualifications; one of which helped her ATAR. She's still not ready to lock anything in so takes off for a gap year. She travels her way throughout Europe with her hospitality qualification helping her get work in restaurants, cafes, and pubs along the way. By the time Maddy comes home she's had a great time, earned some money, and has decided she wants to pursue a career in travel and tourism management.

TAFE Queensland’s approach suits students who are not afraid to be different. We will support you to study your way to get skilled and qualified. We don’t mark you down for not fitting the mould.


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