Five reasons to study a certificate or diploma at RMIT

Considering upskilling or reskilling? Here are five reasons why a TAFE course (also known as vocational education) could be perfect for you.

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As one of just six dual-sector universities in Australia, RMIT offers Technical and Further Education (TAFE) courses that can lead to your dream career or degree.

TAFE courses come under the broader term ‘vocational study’, which includes certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, apprenticeships and traineeships. You might have also heard it referred to as vocational education (VE) or vocational education and training (VET). 

Whether you're aiming to launch your career or reskill for the future of work, here are some reasons why a TAFE course might be perfect for you.

RMIT students “RMIT has a strong and proud history of learning through doing,” – Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Vocational Education Mish Eastman

#1: You'll learn by gaining hands-on experience

TAFE courses are designed to give students the practical knowledge they need to find employment, start a business or change careers. At RMIT, you won’t just be learning in the classroom: you’ll be learning by building resumé-worthy experience in workshops, projects, internships and more. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Vocational Education Mish Eastman said that while industries might be shifting and changing, RMIT’s focus on graduate outcomes helps students build knowledge for what’s next. 

“Vocational education at RMIT University is hands on and proud of it. Our qualifications and training meet tomorrow’s demand today, with key skills for the real world,” she said. 

#2: You can get job-ready in as little as six months (or three if you’re learning a trade)

Looking to land a job as soon as possible? At RMIT, upskilling doesn’t have to take years. Some TAFE qualifications can be taken in just six months of full-time study, and if you’re looking to learn a trade, you could even do a Certificate II in just three months.  

Making the leap into a new field might feel like a risk at first, but Eastman said it starts with knowing what you bring to the table, and aligning those skills to the ones employers will be demanding in the future.  

“Ask people what you’re good at, what you should keep doing and maybe what you should stop doing – this can really help you work out what might be right for you next,” she said. 

“And don’t be afraid to give things a go when opportunities arise. The future of work is full of possibilities, and education and training are just the first steps to finding your place in it.” 

With part-time and online-enabled study options available for many TAFE courses too, it’s easier than ever to balance work, life and study. 

RMIT student, Brayden. “Nowadays with lifelong learning you’re not stuck in the one career path.” – Mechanical engineering student Brayden Henderson

#3: You might be eligible for free or discounted tuition fees

RMIT proudly offers certificates and diplomas that are part of both the Free TAFE and JobTrainer government initiatives, giving more Victorians the chance to gain the skills employers are looking for.

Free TAFE means students pay no tuition fees at all, while JobTrainer is a low-fee option. You might be eligible for one of the initiatives if you lost your job or experienced reduced hours due to COVID-19, if you’re looking to upskill to a higher qualification than one you’ve previously received, or if you’re a young person seeking employment.  

After Craig Bruty’s business was impacted by COVID-19 and he became a full-time dad, he decided to obtain the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping as part of the Free TAFE initiative.

“Free TAFE provided me with a quick and smooth transition back into further education," he said. 

“I am now empowered with the knowledge to establish, operate and maintain an accounting system for any small business.”

#4: You could use your certificate or diploma to transfer into a degree

RMIT’s pathways and Guaranteed Pathways mean your TAFE course can unlock opportunities in further study. Both options recognise completed and partly completed vocational studies, and could save you time and money by allowing you to skip parts of the degree you already covered in your certificate or diploma.  

Upon learning that RMIT was ranked seventh in Australia for mechanical engineering1, Brayden Henderson chose to study the Advanced Diploma of Engineering (Mechanical). His TAFE course opened a pathway into the Associate Degree in Engineering Technology

“RMIT was the only uni I knew of that had that pathway up from vocational education to higher education,” he said. 

After completing the associate degree, Brayden found another pathway to the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours), which he completed in 2020.  

“Nowadays with lifelong learning you’re not stuck in the one career path. You can always go back to uni and do a different degree or a different diploma.” 

RMIT nursing students
RMIT students

#5: You’ll learn from practitioners with years of experience in the industry

In your certificate or diploma, you’ll learn in workshops and real-world scenarios alongside your future employers.  

"By embedding students in the Epworth Healthcare environment, we give an in-depth introduction to the workplace," said Director of Clinical Services at the Epworth Richmond, Kate Steen.  

You'll also be led by industry practitioners with years of specialised expertise in the field.  

“[Vocational study] as a whole plays a critical role in providing foundational training, and as a dual-sector university, RMIT has the infrastructure, resources and industry relationships to provide the skilled training being demanded by employers,” Eastman said. 

Story: Pallavi Daniel

 

1 QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.