Home After School Three Cheers for Vocational Training

Three Cheers for Vocational Training

by Robyn Tichauer

Not too keen on the idea of a four year varsity degree but still want to study? Here are some of the plus sides to vocational training.

I clearly remember my pre-primary graduation. They asked every child what they wanted to be one day. We each had our turn to walk to the front, get our certificate and say what we wanted to be when we grow up. Pretty much every child said that they wanted to be a doctor or a vet. I remember being very upset because everyone ‘stole’ my doctor idea. In hindsight, I think every parent has a dream for their child and becoming a doctor is the Grammy of all careers. Luckily not everyone is cut out to be doctors or scientists. The world would be a rather dull place if everyone was that similar.

As you grow up, you start to discover your identity and start thinking about what you would like to do with your future. You’ll probably end up scouring the internet, going to open days  or asking your parents tons of questions. Most parents want their children to attend university  to get a degree. Generally, they would steer you in that direction. While many scholars are happy with the courses universities offer, others shudder at the thought of being stuck in class for another four years, going through textbooks and spending hours studying in the library.

Vocational Training

While university is a dream of many and they end up truly loving their university experience and the outcomes it awarded them, there is a handful of people who avoid traditional education at all costs. Traditional education refers to the old-school way of doing things, the classroom setting with subjects like mathematics, science and languages. Some people aren’t cut out for this and struggle to learn this way, which is why places like university scare them so much. According to study.com “Vocational training is education only in the type of trade a person wants to pursue, forgoing traditional academics.”

There are some vocational careers, such as medicine, that are considered vocational, but as most medical students would tell you, it requires high marks, A LOT of studying and many years of education to qualify as a doctor. The type of vocational training I’m referring to are the careers which you can pursue by completing a short course or a course that spans over a year or two. A course that is a lot more practical than academic.

One of the most important things when choosing a career path or course, is making sure you’ll be happy with your choice in 20 years time. If you end up unhappy in your career, it’ll start seeping into your personal life. No one wants that. So for those of you who shudder at the thought of university, there are many vocational training institutes.

The benefits of Vocational Training Institutes

Some people may think that vocational training is more suited to the non-academics and for those who wouldn’t be able to cope with traditional education. It might have been that way once upon a time, but now vocational training is for anyone who has a love for a specific trade and wants to follow their dreams. It allows you to get practical training that helps you when looking for a job after your course. In some fields, vocational training is actually preferred – like plumbing.

If I still haven’t set your mind at ease about vocational training, here are some benefits:

  • You will learn direct skills that will be a huge benefit to your career.
  • If you didn’t achieve top results, you can still apply and gain access to a vocational college
  • You can do it part-time or full-time, or even do a short course and still be able to get a job reasonably quickly.
  • You could get a qualification in less time than traditional education
  • You get hands-on experience which future employers will regard highly
  • The institution will provide you with the skills and knowledge to pursue an entrepreneurial career.

Some things to look out for:

  • If you decide midway through your course that some other skill would suit you more, you would have to complete that course or drop out to begin another. It can become pricey. Whereas most university degrees provide some flexibility when it comes to majors.
  • Some employers may require a degree for a position, even if you can perform the job just as well.

Basically, you need to decide what career you want to pursue and how you can get there. If you would like to do Interior Design, a university degree isn’t necessary. Do your research first regarding your goals and dreams. All in all, a vocational qualification is nothing to frown upon and if you love what you do, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. Vocational training is becoming more popular and more accepted, now there’s no need for you to feel put-off by the idea.

Where’s the College at?

Potch Academy is a vocational training institute. Their aim is to equip their students with the necessary skills to be the best in their field, to acquire their dream job and to become a successful entrepreneur. They’re based in Potchefstroom in the North West. They’re in the same town as Potchefstroom University which means that it’s a vibrant, student town with many adventures awaiting you.

Some of the courses offered are South African Academy for Hair and Skincare Technology (SAAHST) approved. SAAHST was created to provide career focused short courses targeted at updating and extending your skills. Some courses are SAAHST while the rest are Potch Academy courses. Students benefit from both of these institutions being taught at the same college by the expertise of the lecturers.

Potch Academy

The courses that they offer full-time are:

  • Therapeutic Reflexology
  • Therapeutic Aromatherapy
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Interior Design and Decorating
  • Photography
  • Hairdressing
  • Cosmetology
  • Interior Decorating – Part time

SAAHST (South African Academy for Hair and Skincare Technology) short courses:

  • Nail Technology
  • Massage
  • Make-up Artistry
  • Hairdressing
  • Photography
  • Hairdressing
  • SETA Trade Set

If any of these courses grab your interest, contact Potch Academy or visit their website to get more information about your course of interest. Take a look at this article to get more insight into what a future as a beauty therapist could hold for you.

EduConnect 2cents

Going to university and studying for three plus years may be perfect for some but terrible for others. While vocational training is also perfect for some but not great for others. It all depends on your personality, ambitions and goals. No one can tell you what is good for you. You need to do your research and decide for yourself. Don’t disregard any option. Vocational training has increased in its standards and worth in the eyes of employers. Make your own choice and do what’s best for your future.

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