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Close to 80 per cent of VET graduates were employed within the first six months of completing their training

Some of the most successful and well-known Australians have made their fortune bypassing university altogether. Big names like fashion designer Alex Perry, AFL super star Adam Goodes, and even former Prime Minister Paul Keating chose TAFE rather than university to get their start.

TAFE NSW offered them, and many other high achievers, a chance to practice their craft, gain job-ready skills and grow in confidence. These people have not only excelled but they’ve shaped Australia.

It’s important to remember this. Especially today when about 75,168 young people across NSW receive their Higher School Certificate (HSC) results. If you’re one of those people figuring out what you can do with your HSC scores today, it’s worth bearing in mind that success is more than a school report card. It’s a lifelong journey.

Each year, for thousands of people in NSW, that journey outside-of-school doesnt begin in university. They’ll head down one of hundreds of different career paths. Many will pick up a traditional trade like carpentry, electrical, plumbing, automotive or hairdressing.

Others will opt to study for a career in the growing services sector.

There’s a world of opportunity now opening up to people who take up study in fields such as nursing, aged care, business, design, IT, childcare or sport and recreation. In the Health and Social Assistance sector, for example, the Department of Employment predicts there will be an additional 178,087 jobs by November 2017.

As Australia’s population ages, many of these employment opportunities will be found in the aged care or health-related industries.

The same government department suggests that the country is also on the verge of a boom in the arts and recreation sector, with the nation’s growing appetite for trim and healthy bodies driving demand for more personal health and fitness trainers.

Opportunities for traditional tradespeople are likely to remain strong too, as we build and maintain more homes for a population in NSW that is expected to reach 9.2 million by 2031, according to the NSW Department of Planning.

These are but a few examples of the options available to people through TAFE NSW.

While these job opportunities of today are, in some cases, different from those of the past, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of gaining skills that will help you to secure a good job.

That’s one of the other big reasons people pick TAFE over other study options. People who graduate with a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification consistently perform well in the jobs market.

Figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show that in recent years, close to 80 per cent of VET graduates were employed within the first six months of completing their training. Graduates from VET institutions like TAFE can also expect to earn a decent wage. In 2013, the average salary for VET graduates employed full-time was $56,700 a year.

Some are likely to go on to earn a great deal more, with an estimated 18,880 graduates in 2014 intending to develop an existing business or start their own.

So, if you’re weighing up your future today just remember – university isn’t the only place to find success.

Check-out TAFE NSW’s extensive course range here.

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