Combining passion and practicality
Should you 'follow your passion' or just get the best job you can? This is where tertiary/adult education comes in handy.
Firstly, it's a big assumption that everyone has a passion, and that passion does not change. Sure, there are the Picassos of this world who have an outstanding talent and burning desire to fulfil it, but that doesn't work for everybody. Not all passions are discovered in youth, and some passions change over the years, so it's a big call for some people to set their life goals early on.
Tertiary education gives you the chance to explore what could be your goals and find new passions. It employs advisers to help you find your way into practical study methods and to consider the best career choices. There is also the opportunity to study at your own pace and not feel like you're a hamster caught up on a wheel.
In his recent book So Good They Can't Ignore You, Cal Newport takes a shot at what he calls 'the passion trap'. The call from the 1970s to 'follow your passion' might not be the best advice.
Sometimes stepping back from an ultimate goal may yield a different objective when you concentrate on the study (and work) in front of you. You may find a new excitement in learning something you never thought was 'about you'. That's the kind of unexpected pathway tertiary education can reveal.
Where will the jobs be in the future?
For school leavers and mature age students, the pressure is always on to guess where the next line of work will be developing in Australia.
For students and job seekers in the northern rivers, education and training, along with with hospitals, aged care, retail, and transport, seem to hold the most prospects for employment.
And education is Australia’s fourth largest export industry, earning $15.7 billion during 2011, according to Regional Development Australia (rdanorthernrivers.org.au).
‘This is largely driven by the higher education sector, representing 65.6 per cent of total revenue during this period,' says the organisation.
‘In NSW, international education and training is the second top export earner after coal, earning $5.82 billion in 2010/11.’
The Australian Workforce and Productivity Authority – now subsumed into the Department of Industry – also looked at the challenges which face our workforce now and over the years to 2025 in a 2012 report. AWPA concluded, 'The role of the tertiary education sector is critical in meeting these challenges.
'How do we build generic skills and theoretical knowledge into our education system while also producing employees who have the practical skills that enable them to quickly function effectively in the workplace?'
AWPA's study saw 'a significant increase' in enrolments in both higher education and vocational education and training (VET).
In NSW the education minister Adrian Piccoli released last year the TAFE Statement of Owner Expectations, emphasising that in an age of greater competition from private and community training providers, TAFE NSW 'must be free to evolve and change the way it works so it can continue to provide high-quality and cost-effective education and training to support NSW industries'.
The emphasis in tertiary education is on supporting industry, so one assumes the VET curricula offered will be more about finding jobs than just following a passion.
As the economic impact of the Australian resources industry lessens, some of the uptake in jobs is expected to be in the so-called 'smart' industries, the digital and renewables sectors.
RDA Northern Rivers has studied the promise of green industries and concluded 'The focus on green growth and ramping up the "green economy" is at an important stage, although much of what is currently being termed "greening" involves reducing the resource intensity of activities, while simultaneously growing those activities. To avoid the worst predictions for climate change there is a need to move rapidly from "greening" current activities to building frameworks to support resilient, low‐carbon economies that will sustainably meet our long term needs.'
And part of the prospects for employment in the new green industries depend on the settings of the political climate as well.
So for the moment, those looking to study with employment in mind might best look to the education and aged care sectors. Hospitality also continues to be a major employment area, with some growth possible in new tech such as the IT industry and niche markets such as alternative medicines.
Education is about learning for learning's sake and practicality, so students and jobseekers need to take into account both the opportunities and their individual passion.
Community Training Australia
Do you want to fast track your Career in the Community Services sector? Take advantage of this opportunity to complete your Diploma within 8 months, studying locally and gaining a Diploma in one of the following:-
Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) (CHC 52008) and become a real asset to your community. Case Managers work with Youth, Disabled People, Unemployed, the Elderly, Families and Children. The training for this Diploma will commence in Ballina on 3 November, 2014 and will be conducted over 4 Stages.
Diploma of Youth Work (CHC51408), which includes Modules on Youth Culture, Working with Groups, Crisis Management and Safety and Networking and Referral Support.
Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health) CHC50412, which includes Modules on Mental Health Work, AOD and Mental Health and Behaviour Support and Relapse Prevention.
Diploma of Counselling (CHC5172), which builds great communication, confidence and counselling skills.
All Courses are currently being programmed to be conducted at Byron Bay, commencing in early 2015. Nationally Recognised and provide eighteen months credit towards a Bachelor Social Science (Social Welfare) at Charles Sturt University. Enrolments are open now.
The Diplomas offer mixed mode study including face to face training. VET FEE-HELP (study now, pay later) is available to all Australian Residents for these Courses. Contact the Northern Rivers Campus – Community Training Australia on Ph 0266243804 or click here for more information.
The Federal Government is set to rip $60 million in funding from Southern Cross University, resulting in job losses and course cuts. But both the Greens and Labor have vowed to oppose the cuts.
The former ALP member for Page, has been made an honorary fellow of Southern Cross University after some 16 years as a member of the university council. In her acceptance speech she encouraged students 'one can never be too busy to do good'.
SCU vice chancellor Professor Peter Lee has thrown his support behind a government review that has backed the continuation of so-called ‘demand-driven’ university funding.