There are many misconceptions around technical and vocational education and training (TVET) which have resulted in students looking to university instead of TVET when thinking about which tertiary institution to attend after finishing secondary school.
Students are under the impression that attending university is the only way to get a well-paying job after graduation, but that isn’t always true.
In fact, those who graduated from TVET institutions have just as much of a good chance as university graduates when it comes to earning a high salary, in most cases due to the practical (and sometimes risky) nature of their jobs.
Figures change depending on which profession you choose, but there are always options and pathways available to earn decent wages.
There is also the misconception that TVET graduates are less employable. In Malaysia, 98.7% of TVET graduates are employed soon after training as of 2019. This figure is actually higher than university graduates.
Pursuing TVET gives you sufficient industry experience needed by employers, which means that you have applied your understanding and skills in an actual work environment by the time you finish your studies.
This is quite an advantage over university graduates who still often need to do internships or have intensive on-the-job training which they don’t get during their studies.
Many also assume that TVET is strictly for trade skills like carpentry or welding. Today, TVET offers a wide range of courses for potential students in fields such as oil and gas, construction, electrical, plantation, business, graphic design, tourism, culinary, fashion and even digital technology.
TVET continues to suffers from the belief that it is only for low academic scorers. In truth, TVET is simply an educational option regardless of your academic scores.
For those who are stronger in their creative work and applied learning, TVET is a better fit instead of university, which emphasises on research, analytical thinking and higher academic intelligence.
All types of learning are valid; it’s just a matter of different schools emphasising different forms of learning. In the case of TVET, courses often focus on practical learning more than universities, which is a good pathway to take if academics aren’t your strong suit.
The perception that jobs of the future need more than a TVET education isn’t true. In today’s world, many jobs require specific skills and training that can only be learned through TVET programmes.
Historically, university qualifications are placed above TVET qualifications but this is changing as employers begin to see the value in hiring TVET graduates.
With the misconceptions about TVET debunked, it is important for students to make informed decisions about their career choices.
Photo by Nina Mercado from Unsplash.