It’s never too early to start planning your exciting future career! If you’re in Year 10, 11 or 12, we can help you decide what you want to do after school and direct you to courses that could take you to a job you’ll love.
Secondary school students
Choosing a career
If you're not sure what you want a career as, think first about what you enjoy doing right now. You’ll be happiest studying a course and working in a job that matches your interests and strengths.
- what are my favourite subjects and activities at school?
- what activities do I enjoy outside of school?
- what am I really good at?
Your answers to these kinds of questions will give you a starting point for the courses and career paths you could choose. Check out our quick guide to courses and careers if you need further help to decide what job would suit you.
You can also take the Your Career quiz to help you understand what areas of work you may enjoy.
Volunteering or applying for work experience in areas that interest you are other good ways to find out if you like them.
Find the right course
Once you have a better idea of your strengths and interests, you can search for university or TAFE courses that match those fields.
For example, if your favourite subjects at school are science and physical education, and you love playing team sports in your spare time, you might want to study a Bachelor of Sport Science. This course could help you find work as an exercise physiologist or sport scientist for a professional sport team.
TAFE or uni – what's best for you?
At VU you can choose to study a university course, or a TAFE course through our TAFE division, Victoria University Polytechnic.
There are several differences between TAFE and university study. The following comparison may help you decide which you would prefer:
- Types: certificates, diplomas and apprenticeships
- Length: 6 months - 3 years
- How courses are taught: classes, interactive workshops, practical training
- How you learn: supported learning (more hours are spent learning in the classroom)
- Types: bachelor degrees (with the option to continue studying a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, masters or PhD)
- Length: 3 - 4 years
- How courses are taught: theory-focused classes and workplace learning
- How you learn: individual learning (for each hour in the classroom, students are expected to study 3 hours on their own)
You can also choose to first study at TAFE, and then at university. We make it easy for you to transfer from TAFE courses at Victoria University Polytechnic to degrees at VU through our pathways program.
Why choose VU
Top 3% in the world
VU is ranked in the top 3% of universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023)
VU graduates earn the second highest full-time wages in Victoria (QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey).
Employers rate VU grads among top 10 unis nationally for work-readiness (QILT Employer Satisfaction Survey).
Getting into a course
Entry into your chosen course depends on whether or not you meet the admission criteria, which are different for each course. In most cases, admission criteria include the study score (raw score) you obtain in certain prerequisite VCE subjects.
Once you have chosen the courses you would like to study, be sure to check the admission criteria for prerequisite VCE subjects. By basing your VCE subject selection on the admission criteria for your desired course, you will give yourself the best chance of gaining a place.
More examples of courses and corresponding VCE subjects are available in our quick guide to courses and careers.
Some courses at VU will also use your Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) to determine your eligibility for entry. Your ATAR is based on the total of all your Year 12 subject scores and received at the completion of your VCE.
Certain courses at VU and VU Polytechnic also include an audition or interview in their entry requirements.
The specific entry requirements for each course are outlined on course pages.
Hear from our students
Through practical industry subjects, VU gave me the confidence to work as part of a team to support the delivery of large-scale projects and I gained invaluable knowledge from my course which allowed me to stand out, even as an undergrad.
Meet with us in person or online
Come to one or more of our informative events throughout the year. They're tailored to provide students in secondary schools with more info about our courses in a face-to-face setting.
Study area information sessions at VU campuses
At our study areas info sessions you'll hear about:
- studying a short or long course at TAFE or university
- our strong industry links, workplace learning opportunities and expert lecturers that help you to graduate work-ready
- our network of local and international partnerships
- our overseas exchange programs that will help you expand your global career opportunities.
Upcoming sessions will be posted here as they are scheduled.
Open Day is also a great opportunity to chat with us about your study interests so that we can help you find the right course for you.
Ease into university study
We offer many workshops and activities for secondary school students so that you can experience university life:
- engineering - hands on activities for years 9-12 students
- legal studies:
- Michael Kirby Contract Law moot competition
- Legal studies Head Start day for year 11 students
- sport & exercise science - Sport & Recreation Industry Pathway (SARIP) program for VCE students.
We encourage you to contact your school's career practitioner to find out more and register for these activities.
VU Block Model
Moving from secondary school to university can feel like stepping into a completely new world.
Not only are you expected to juggle several units and assignment deadlines all at once, but you may also want more time for work, travel and to explore everything life has to offer.
That's why we've developed our exciting VU Block Model - to help you ease into university study and the pressures of adulthood, while making sure that you graduate ready to succeed in your chosen career.
VU Block Model offers:
- more focused learning: you take only one unit at a time
- the chance to get to know your classmates better with smaller, more interactive classes
- practical, hands-on learning
- more support and guidance, with the same teacher throughout your unit
- regular and ongoing feedback, so that you know how you're doing before completing a unit
- flexible timetabling options to give you more time for work and life outside of uni.
Find out more about how our VU Block Model, formerly First Year Model, works.