There’s a lot of pressure on young people to choose a tertiary training option that will get them a degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. It’s thought that having a degree qualification is a pre-requisite for a high-paying or satisfying job. However in the modern working world, experience and aptitude are often considered more important, and there are many jobs that may suit you that require no degree at all. Therefore it’s best not to rush in, but to consider the different options that might work for you better.
Pre-Trade Training. For many trade jobs such as construction, pre-trade training options allow you to get a taste of the industry without committing to it right away. If you think you might be interested in a certain area but want to try multiple options to make sure, pre-trade training is a good idea. It provides the groundwork for a certain job, and often a chance to gain some practical experience as well.
Apprenticeships. The next step from pre-trade training is an apprenticeship, though if you have sufficient knowledge and experience, you may be able to skip straight to an apprentice position. An apprentice works alongside an experienced company, allowing them to pick up all the practical experience needed to become a fully fledged member of that industry. Therefore apprenticeships tend to apply to practical careers such as builders, tattoo artists, certain kinds of therapists, or jewellers.
Industry Training Organisations. If you want to go into a particular industry, an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) can offer a comprehensive course in that particular area. There are a number of different ITOs in New Zealand, mostly covering a range of roles such as emergency response or infrastructure, with more specific courses within the curriculum. Undertaking a course from an ITO ensures you receive the practical experience necessary to handle the jobs you’ll be applying for once you graduate, so it ensures that you get a useful education.
Workplace Training. If you’re already working, a degree program might be difficult to undertake in addition to work hours. Inquire to your employer about the possibility of workplace training – courses designed to work in conjunction with your job to improve your skills. This has added benefits for your employer also, as they get a more competent employee.
If a degree course doesn’t seem to be for you, there are plenty of other options to consider that take less time and give you the specific skills needed to enter your desired industry.