Students weighing up their education options should keep in mind whether they want to pursue further study or get an immediate position in the workforce, a report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has suggested.
The ‘Associate Degree or Advanced Diploma? A Case Study’ outlined the different options available to those considering a career in engineering – including adult apprenticeships – comparing the benefits of an associate degree and advanced diplomas.
The study found that for students who want to complete their training in the fastest time possible, a vocational education and training (VED) advanced diploma is the more cost effective option.
In comparison, an associate degree is more suitable for those who want to pursue more education pathways because credits from the qualification can be used towards further study.
While study will be pricier for those pursuing further study in their chosen field, the government offers more attractive funding opportunities for those enrolled in associated degrees compared with students completing VET advanced diplomas.
“The differences in credit arrangements and funding regimes are likely to impact on how advanced diplomas fare relative to associate degrees, especially in a labour market in which the trend is toward longer qualifications,” NCVER managing director Tom Karmel explained.