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Did you know that in-depth research into further education courses helps students feel confident with their choices*?

If you’re thinking of doing some sort of study after Year 12, then it’s time to see what your options are. It’s better do it sooner rather than later. This way, you’ll be more confident about your choices. When you apply for courses, you’ll have a limited number that you can apply for (usually between 5 and 8 in total). So it’s important to make sure the courses you apply for are the courses you’d love to study. If they’re not, then you may need to ask yourself why you’re applying.

Broad research: Surf some websites

Start your research by looking into a broad range of courses. This will assist you to work out the ones that will help you to reach your career goals. A good starting point is to checkout the following websites:

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Click on ‘Courses’. This is for courses offered by education and training institutions throughout Australia.  

Click on ‘Occupations’. Find jobs that interest you.

You can select the Pathways tab and find courses related to these occupations.


Use the search box to find VET courses in Australia.

Course Seeker

Search Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree, and Bachelor Degree courses.

If you’re planning to study in Tasmania, you’ll find there’s plenty of options. You can read about courses and watch some videos on these websites:

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In depth research: Go deep diving

Once you’ve done the broad research, see if you can drill down even further. Find out as much as you can about the courses that got your attention. This will help build a picture of what you would love to do so that you can then create a shortlist. And guess what? You’ll find some amazing courses out there.

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Here’s some ideas about what to look for:

  • Gather general information and watch any videos about your courses of interest
  • Find out about the course structure. Look at the major and minor areas of study, as well as units of study in the course
  • Take a squiz at the course unit descriptions for at least the first year of the course

If you can’t find a unit description for a VET course, copy the unit code (i.e. BSB30115). Paste it into the search box on the National Register of VET website.

Now, after all that deep diving, you might need to take a deep breath yourself.

Now it’s time to reflect

  • For each unit, try and imagine attending classes, workshops, lectures or tutorials
  • Are you still interested in the course?
  • Has it gone off on a tangent you hadn’t expected?
  • Or is it starting to sound a bit ho-hum? (Only you will know this)
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Other research stuff you can do

You might also like to:

  • Attend virtual or face-to-face career expos and open days
  • Career information events, online or face-to-face application information sessions
  • Explore career taster events
  • Chat to someone who is studying a course that interests you
  • Read course information in your school career resource centre
  • Visit your school Career Advisor for support in researching your course options
  • Browse the ComparED website
  • Here you can compare up to 6 higher education courses at a time, which gives you the low-down on all sorts of stuff:
    • Recent graduates’ perceptions of teaching quality
    • Learner engagement
    • Learning resources
    • Student support
    • Skills development
    • Graduate employment outcomes 4 months after completing the course
    • Plus the average salary for different study areas
Key Takeaway

Key takeaway

You’ll get a better idea on what to study after Year 12 by putting in some time now. Use the suggestions above to guide you in the right direction.

*Parkes, A., Mills, J., Westwell, M., Weber, D., & Barovich, J., (2018, January). What should I study, Project outcomes & recommendations. Adelaide: University of South Australia.

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