Are vocational courses a good option?

young feminist


Vocational courses: Vocational courses are ones based on creativity rather than academia. Both are marvellous, but a vocational course choice will always be questioned. Muinat looks at the inherent snobbery involved in career choices…

People always question my vocational course choice at university. Take, for instance, a chat with my careers advisor…

CA: So Muinat, what is it that you’d like to do in University?
M: Er… Well, journalism, I guess.
CA: Oh… That’s interesting… Any specific type of journalism? Like finance or current affairs?
M: (mumbles) fashion journalism…
CA: Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that?
CA: (stifles a laugh) really? I mean that’s so… Vocational. Why don’t you do English, you’re really good at that? (smiles)
M: (sigh) Okay… Thank you [for nothing].

Being in year 13 is hard enough, as choices and decisions have to be made, and everyone is shoving a prospectus down your throat. I find it so disappointing that whenever I discuss my choice subject with any teacher, careers advisor, or friend, they get quite… Shifty. I know why. It’s because I’m a ‘smart’ girl, who’s getting good grades and yet applying to a course which focuses on who you are rather than what you got or get academically.

I’ve always considered myself creative, despite my lack of drawing ability and fear of cameras. I thought science was fascinating and maths was challenging. But music opened up a new part of me, performing. Drama unleashed my big personality, and English allowed me to write whatever I felt I wanted to or needed to.

I just don’t think that the snobbery that accompanies academic subjects is just and fair. I’m not saying everyone has a bad view of us creative types, but most do have some ‘constructive’ criticism towards arty types tucked up their sleeves.

Case study one: my friend, let’s call him J. Well, J is a self-proclaimed science geek, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – far from it. When he decided he was going to go into the world of film, there was quiet outrage among fellow students and teachers. Responses to his decision to go for a vocational course ranged from ‘why don’t you do something solid, and do film on the side, just so you have something to fall back on’ to ‘he’s definitely going to regret this’.

Not everyone takes this hardline attitude though. In a survey I conducted (at school, in my free time) I found that most people taking academic subjects thought vocational courses (that is, creative courses) were definitely more interesting and took much more thought as it isn’t just reading out of a textbook, it uses your creativity.

I guess it’s fair to say that vocational subjects rock. And I’m all for academics. Us rock stars are gonna need doctors for our stage dives, right?

Useful links for vocational courses: