The Big Choice - College vs University

One of the most common questions that I get asked when I attend a careers expo is what advantage does a college provide that a university does not In short “I’m going to uni, why should I go to a college instead?” There are several reasons and the impact of these can have major consequences upon the rest of your life.

Firstly, the major advantage is that no ATAR is required. And that means a load of pressure can be lifted off you at this critical time. This has the added bonus that many people operate better under exams conditions when the pressure is off, therefore a superior result will most likely occur.

This leads me to the 2nd reason and that is that many HSC graduates do not want to enter another bout of 3-4 years of study, which on the surface can be a bit of a grind. College has the advantage of allowing the student to do just 12 months’ study after which they can enter into the workforce, much earlier than their university friends and start to earn a wage.

Another reason is how often do you hear stories about university students changing their majors or saying “I really don’t know what I want, so I guess I’ll just do Arts!” This is a major mistake. College gives you time to find out what you really want and at the end you have a qualification that will get you into the workforce or even into the second year of the degree you want. It will also give you skills that you will have for the rest of your life. This is not to say that university is without purpose. Everything has a place. However, for those who are still deciding on a career path, it is ill advised to rush into a $30,000+ course. 

The big advantage for is that if after completing your college qualification, through recognition of your credits, you can go onto university if you want and generally they will exempt your first year of university. This means by that by this time you will have a higher chance of understanding what you want for your major, and an additional college qualification to boot. Now that is really good!

Look… college is not for everyone but it does provides a realistic option for the candidate and does not waste their time or more importantly money in the process. Ultimately, it gives you genuine training and skills that you will use for the rest of your life!

- Kel Gleeson