Exploring university pathways from early childhood education

Monday, August 15, 2022

Sometimes it feels like going to university is the only pathway to success, but that’s just not true. You might already know that going to uni doesn’t feel right for you, or maybe you want to get into uni but don’t have a high enough ATAR score.

Whatever it is, don’t worry – there are many pathways to a rewarding career through vocational training.

If university is still the goal at the end of your learning journey, you’ll be pleased to know that gaining a tertiary qualification isn’t off limits. There are ways to fast-track your progress to a Bachelor degree.

Study pathways to university

Alternative pathways to university

Going to uni isn’t for everyone and may not be achievable straight after high school. If you fit into this category for whatever reason, it’s a good idea to think of the alternatives.

Vocational education and training (VET) is designed to get you job-ready sooner and provide pathways to success. This will look different for everyone depending on your goals and interests. Gaining a qualification in early childhood education and care can open up a number of desirable outcomes and pathways, including:

  • Becoming qualified
  • Getting your dream job
  • Obtaining secure work
  • The first step toward leadership roles
  • Pathway to Bachelor degree in teaching

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to progress your career. Vocational education and training might just be the right starting point for you.

Now let’s have a look at specific pathways – from Certificate III to Diploma and beyond.

Gaining your Certificate III

A Certificate III is the starting point for meaningful work in early childhood education. Kicking off your career in this dynamic sector means beginning with a CHC30121 Certificate III in Early childhood Education and Care.

This qualification will take around 12 months to complete and can be done online or within a workplace training mode. At the end of it, you’ll be qualified to work in an entry-level role anywhere in Australia.

The best thing about starting with a Certificate III is gaining a broad understanding of your chosen sector. This qualification is designed to provide core skills and set you up for future learning, employment and opportunities to enhance your skillset.

Distinct advantages of gaining a Certificate III include:

  • Foundational knowledge
  • Understanding your sector and job responsibilities
  • Real workplace experience through practical placement
  • Gaining the adaptive skills to take you far
  • Ticking off the pre-requisite qualification to commence work in the sector (ECEC)

Create your individual goals

Once you’ve started, the next step is to set some goals. Think about where you want your training to take you and what outcomes you’re looking to achieve.

Where do you see yourself working or studying in the future? Are there any specific roles – like a management or leadership role – you’d like to work your way toward?

The next step on your journey

Once you’ve completed your Certificate III and maybe worked a little in the sector, it’s time to take the next step. A Diploma will enable you to move up with a higher-level qualification.

The CHC50121 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is a well-regarded qualification which provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to become a leader in this dynamic sector. If university is your goal, this Diploma is the link between vocational training and tertiary education, and upon completion you’ll be offered a direct pathway to studying a Bachelor degree at Swinburne University.

With a Diploma behind you there will be opportunities to work as an educator, assistant or centre director in various early childhood settings.

Developing skills for success

Moving up with a Diploma is a great way to make the most of all the rewarding opportunities these sectors have to offer. Advantages to undertaking a higher-level qualification include:

  • Gain leadership skills
  • Enhance your knowledge and practical skill level
  • Improve your understanding of the sector
  • Gain credit toward further study
  • Hone the adaptive/transferrable skills needed for success in your field

Making your own way to university

If university is still your ultimate goal you’ll be pleased to know it’s absolutely achievable. Education is a journey, and you just have to think a little outside the box.

Certificate III to a Diploma to a Degree (fast track into second year)

A clear advantage of graduating from the Diploma of Early Childhood Education is that you’ll be eligible to fast-track your learning to a Bachelor of Education at Swinburne Online, in either Early Childhood Education or Early Childhood and Primary Teaching.

The best thing is, your credit will allow you to enter the second year of the degree, meaning you’ll be saving money as well as speeding up the process of becoming a qualified teacher. Once you’ve completed your degree you’ll be able to teach in a range of settings, from kindergartens to primary schools across the country.

The power of pathways

Education is a journey for everyone, no matter what course you take. If you’re having trouble finding your way into university, don’t underestimate the power of pathways.

The team at Practical Outcomes can set you on the road to success.


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