04 Sep Differences between vocational and academic study
It is hard to compare and declare whether vocational or academic is the best, it all depends on the interests and personality of the prospective student. It is also important to identify what vocation they are intending to study towards and the level they wish to attain in a career. Each vocation or job role requires specialised qualifications and credentials for you to progress.
One of the significant differences between vocational and academic study is that study for an academic degree involves study across various and broad subjects, for example, Calculus is required for many engineering directions. Economics for any business direction, whereas vocational study is directed towards focused topics like repairing computers or cutting hair. Vocational learning will include classwork that is based on authentic workplace requirements. In Techtorium as a Level 6 student on the Diploma in System Administration, you would be learning to understand Microsoft Active Directory implementation. This will create “real” world understanding to ensure you are capable of working with Active Directory in an employment situation. This is part of the skills required by an employer for this nature of job role.
If you are participating in vocational study, you will be assessed continuously. This ongoing assessment will test your skill level on a constant basis. The reason for this is to ensure you are acquiring the skills you will need in your chosen career direction. It also validates you are developing skill set for the workplace.
Academic study also requires an assessment of every course or paper, this is to ascertain the level of understanding each student has attained, this also ensures the validity of the course or paper.
Traditional academic studies are designed to provide a wide-based theoretical education in the direction of your chosen field of study and generally feature little or no work experience. The intention of academic studies is to provide a broad spectrum of learning.
Many universities and other academic institutes are trying to move away from a purely academic mode of teaching by introducing work experience. This is a positive start towards a vocational style to improve outcomes for the student.
When you talk about work experience, vocational training offers subjects that are already a blend of both practical work and theory; vocational training institutes build relevant practical skills based courses, to guide their students and to provide skills that are fit for the real world.
Vocational students are immersed in specialised training focused around their future job role. This is recognised by employers. These employers offer job opportunities to vocational students as they realise vocational trained students are job ready. In this part, Techtorium invests a large amount of time and effort linking students to prospective employers, via Employment Pathways.
Over time, university graduates and degree holders have had a wide influence over the Tertiary Education system.
The New Zealand Government and many industry sectors have prioritised academic learning over technical, vocational and other professional qualifications. This has created an adverse effect on the boundary line that exists between academic and vocational.
There is a long-standing attitude that believes academic professions like, law, and medicine and other science based are careers of a significant level while vocational occupations such as building, hairdressing, automotive engineering, computer support and the like are somewhat lower jobs.
A widespread view held by many, seems to support the belief that vocational study is a preference for the less able i.e. the non-academic students, while academic study is meant for the students who are more capable of achieving results in an academic environment i.e. studying at university.
Choosing a future occupation is a complex challenge for a prospective student. Anyone can choose to pursue a career in any career direction depending on their personal motives and capabilities, especially in New Zealand.
An academic institute provides a broad-based education designed to deliver a wider education in the direction of the student’s path.
A vocational institute teaches highly focused job and workplace skills that will put the student into an entry level job role with enough expertise to start their career. Here at Techtorium, our courses provide core, entry level skills as a computer engineer (computer engineering courses) or software developer (software development courses)