This ‘Tick/Flick’ metaphor is indicative of the way many people view further education these days. Students are getting certificates (a piece of paper), but not the proper training to possess the complete and correct set of skills for their chosen workplace.
How can you make sure that you don’t end up with a dud qualification?
There are some PRACTICAL things you can do, and I provide a checklist below. It is by no means a fool-safe list, but it is a starting point.
- Does the course sound too good to be true? Follow your instincts, you are probably right! Don’t sign up.
- Before signing up to anything, talk to people! Check with your Careers Advisor, they (may) know if the course is a ‘cheap’ deal or has ‘solid’ foundations.
- When comparing courses, don’t be lulled into the ‘easy’ or ‘faster’ way – there is no such thing as an ‘easy’ qualification – if it is, then you are not stretching yourself or your learning.
- Does your local, larger TAFE provide the same kind of qualification? You should look at their options. Employers may be more likely to look at qualifications from a respected larger TAFE than from an obscure (online) provider.
- There are some great private tertiary institutions who provide some amazing courses, but how can you tell if they are legitimate? That is not easy! Try my ACHPER article.
- Work backwards. If you know what field you to work in (eg Child Care), call some employers (eg Child Care Centres) and ask them what qualifications they recommend, and who you should study with.
- The website – My Skills | Australia’s Directory of Training – should point you to Government approved and properly registered tertiary organisations. Comforting!
- Don’t be content to be mediocre in class, students at the top are the ones that employers want
- If you ‘fudge’ or ‘fib’ in your work, to achieve a ‘tick’ (competency), then you are only cheating yourself. Do your work honestly!