Active Careers

Career Pathways

Pathways are the directions in which a job seeker can go to find the best possible direction of study for their career of choice.

There can be different ways to start a career in the fitness, sport, and recreation industry. Some jobs may require different levels of qualification, which could affect your final study decision. Certain careers will require tertiary education while most industry jobs that we promote need training through Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses.

Knowing what direction of study will best suit you and your educational needs is important. This page will outline the benefits of university education and VET courses, so you can choose for yourself.

First-hand knowledge of employment and careers will be helpful here, too. If you’re still at school, remember to talk to your teachers and career advisors about what would be the best path for you.

Vocational Education and Training (VET Courses)

VET Courses are forms of training and learning that directly relate to getting a job. The main benefit of the VET system is that it can deliver education and training packages for every stage of life. Jobseekers can start VET courses whether they’re still a student, already employed, or looking to upskill themselves. 

VET qualifications are available at different levels. Each level indicates a higher level of education. These levels are (in order of highest to lowest level of qualification): 

For many students, the prospect of beginning work-related training while still in school is very enticing. Some VET courses can offer school-based training, which allows students to complete recognised qualifications while still attending high school. These courses can count towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). 

A major positive of VET courses is that they are more practical and are often employment-based. This means a lot of courses can be done while gaining important work experience and earning money.

Training and education packages are provided by registered training organisations (RTOs), most notably TAFE Queensland. There are also private training organisations and some universities that provide VET courses. Most courses are also flexible in how they are delivered, meaning you can decide whether you undergo training in-person or online. 

Jobseekers looking for a new career or looking to upskill can choose which RTO would best suit them. For school students, it is best to check with teachers and careers councillors on which RTO would best suit your needs. Ultimately, your school may already be partnered with an RTO that offers the course you want to undertake. 

University and Tertiary Education Pathways

Universities allow people to undergo a higher and more formal level of training. The degrees that can be attained at universities tend to make some students and job seekers more employable for certain roles within our industry. Most tertiary studies cannot begin until you have received your QCE or an equivalent qualification, meaning most students cannot begin a university degree while still at school. Some universities do offer pathways for students before they finish year 12. 

University degrees, compared to VET courses, are considered more stationary and require more hours of study. Most VET courses only require 12 months of diligent work while university degrees can take multiple years to complete. 

There are still many benefits to attending university. Many degrees or courses open up the possibility of working different jobs. For example, a Bachelor of Business will allow you to work in many different roles in our industry, including as a Sports Development Officer, Sports Administrator, Sports Centre Manager, and Facilities Administrator. University attendance also allows you to establish professional connections from the industry you wish to work in.

The most common method to attend university for school leavers is to receive a QCE and ATAR score. ATARs will allow you to see what degrees you can do with the score you received. If you did not attain a score high enough to undertake your preferred course, the likelihood is there are courses with similar subjects that, if you perform well, will allow you to transfer at the end of a semester. 

Like VET courses, there are different tiers of accreditation awarded for higher levels of study. These tiers (from the highest level of education to base-level university accreditation) are:

If you are a job seeker with VET training and are looking to upskill by undertaking a university degree, your qualifications may be recognised as an input into an ATAR rank or as a standalone basis for admission (this only occurs for mature-aged students).

For more information on Vocational Educational Training and University pathways, head to