Worried About ATAR Cut Offs? These Courses Are Your Way In

words by Year13 | photo by @_mishep

Your final years of high school are stressful as all hell. There’s so much pressure for you to succeed in all your subjects plus keep a social life, pick up shifts at work, train with your team twice a week and get enough sleep so that you’re not dozing off during Maths.

It’s even worse if you’ve got ambitions to study a degree in a competitive field. Subjects like law, finance and even some sport-based qualifications have super high cut offs that can intimidate us into throwing our entire lives into studying.

What’s worse is that even after committing all that time into prepping for exams, we could potentially get a great mark and still come short by just a few points.

Luckily, there are other ways into your dream job. Studying a diploma is one of those ways, and it’s especially great because you can get into these courses even if you didn’t get a great ATAR (or no ATAR at all).

Why a Diploma?

Diplomas are a nationally recognised vocational education training (VET) qualification offered by private colleges, TAFEs, and even some universities. They’re a higher qualification level than Certificates I-IV and are specialised to give you the practical skills to succeed in a particular industry.

They generally take a year to complete, which means you’ll be qualified quick and be job ready sooner than your mates who have gone to uni.

Training organisations that offer diplomas also emphasise learning real skills that make you highly employable and often combine teaching theory with work placements built into their courses.

Teachers of VET courses are also required to have extensive industry experience in the field they teach to ensure they know what they’re talking about.  Classes and campuses are generally smaller, giving students a more personalised education. In 2017, 87.8% of students who completed a diploma or higher were employed or in further study.

Diplomas will have different requirements depending on the course or training provider, but they don’t take into consideration your ATAR. They’re a useful pathway for students who might have had troubles during their final exams, or simply unable to achieve a high enough mark to get in, despite being super determined to succeed in their chosen field.

Pathways to university

You can finish a diploma fully qualified to enter your industry, but another common thing to do is use that certification to get accepted to study a related uni degree. There’s also the potential that you’ll get credited towards said degree, so you’ll end up finishing quicker and you won’t have to do as many subjects.

The Australian Careers Business College (ACBC) is a training organisation that offers diplomas in heaps of different areas, such as Accounting, Business Administration, Legal Services, Early Childhood, Sport Development, IT and Counselling.

They are credit course partners with a range of different uni’s, which means their diplomas give students guaranteed credit points towards respective university degrees. ACBC graduates have also leveraged their diplomas towards degrees at loads of other universities in NSW.

ACBC is also one of only a handful of places that offer a Diploma of Legal Services.

Plus, there’s a tonne of other courses that’ll ease your mind when it comes to ATAR cut offs. A Diploma of Accounting can get you some clerical work straight away, or it can a stepping stone to studying a degree and becoming a fully accredited accountant.

One option for studying Psychology could be to start with a Diploma in Counselling. ACBC’s Diplomas also offer students heaps of different pathways into degrees like Business, Health Science, Early Childhood Education & Care and Engineering.

These diplomas are pretty perfect because we all know your ATAR might not always represent how passionate you are, or how keen you are to work in the industry. If this is something you’re interested in, you can head here to find out some more info.