Why University May Not Be Your Best Option

Many students consider university the best pathway to employment or a permanent work visas in Australia. They think that you if you don’t attend a university you have no chance of gaining the skills required to become eligible for skilled migration.

However there are many Vocational courses that will qualify graduates in a role that is on the Skilled Occupation List. These vocational courses are usually cheaper and shorter than university degrees. Many vocational courses will provide graduates with the skills necessary to receive a permanent work visa to Australia.

More over, many university degrees that will not qualify graduates for a position that is on the SOL (EG – Business, Economics, Marketing…) do not set you up for a pathway to permanent residency. Instead many graduates find that they will need an employer that is willing to sponsor their visa to remain in Australia.

Some of the most in demand jobs are those that you do not need a university degree to fill. Instead these qualifications are delivered through vocational education providers. Example of these professions are: Auto Mechanic, Electricians, Metal Fabricators, Carpenters, Air Conditioning plumbers, boat builders etc….

These jobs may not be identified as high paying jobs in your home country, but in Australia these jobs pay quite well. These are not only, relatively high paying jobs, but they are very in demand. Meaning that once you have graduated it will be a lot easier to find an employer. If you are skilled in a trade you could stand to earn a great salary working in regional Australia.

The Benefits of Vocational Courses:

  • They are cheaper than a university degree

Most university courses will cost international students from $60,000 – $120000 (depending on the course, institution and length)

However most vocational courses will cost from $12,000 – $30,000 (depending on the course, institution and length)

  • They are shorter than a university degree

Generally speaking most vocational courses will take around 2 years to complete

Most university bachelor degrees will take 3 – 5 years to finish

  • Once you graduate (if you study the right course) it is generally easier to find an employer

Depending on what you study, the right vocational course will provide graduates with great employment opportunities.

  • You will receive practical on-the-job experience

Most vocational courses require that you perform actual on-the-job experience as part of the course.

  • If you study a trade qualification for at least 2 years you may be eligible for the Temporary Graduate Visa

The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485 visa) is a work visa allows graduates from certain university and vocational course in Australia to remain in Australia for 18 months after their graduation. Many students use this time to build up the skills and experience required for general skilled migration. For more info on the Temporary Graduate Visa click here

An example of one of our past clients who have successfully received permanent residency after studying a vocational course include:

  1. Student Visa (After studying a cert 3 and 4 in automotive technology) (Subclass 572) – Throughout their studies, students will likely perform on-the-job training as part of the course. They will build up the skills necessary to work in the field and will graduate with an Australian Recognised Trade Qualification.
  2. Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) – Provided that the student has graduated with a Recognised Australian Trade Qualification and has studied in Australia for at least 2 years, they may be eligible for a temporary graduate visa. On this visa students can also enroll in the Job Ready Program. That will allow you to have your skills tested for general skilled migration visa. For more information on the Job Ready Program click here
  3. Independent Skills Migration (Subclass 189) - After completing the Job Ready Program on the 485 visa the client was then eligible for the Permanent Independent Skilled Migration Visa. For more information on this visa click here.


If you are interested in finding our more information on vocational courses offered in Australia feel free to contact Pathway to Aus for a free consultation. We can find the course that is right for you to set you on your pathway.

Enquiry online

P: 07 55 327 000

E: info@pathwaytoaus.com

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