Students lean towards practical industries

A NEED for practical skills and the rising cost of university courses are causing Gladstone students to re-evaluate their pathways.

Deputy principal Raelene Fysh, who recorded the pathways taken by Toolooa High students, found the number of students completing practical and trade based courses doubled since last year, reflecting a demand for practical courses.

Toolooa High year 12 student Alexander Bletchly said his desired career in engineering required a university degree and he decided on Central Queensland University (CQU).

'A lot of work places credit you with having done that hands-on work,' Alex said.

'CQU offers a double internship.

'Because of its theory and practical nature, I can get paid for it, stay at home and I can keep my part time job.'

One third of the school's students who go on to complete a degree study at CQU.

Classmate Thomas Murray said the value of work experience was irreplaceable.

All through school he thought he would be a policeman or a lawyer when he finished, but after doing work experience he found he was more interested in the hospitality industry.

'Work experience is good and you get an idea of the job,' Thomas said.

'If you don't like it, instead of paying off your course before you realise, you can decide if you actually want to do it ? it's the most valuable thing.'

Shaelah Ariotti's focus was definitely on practical skills. When Shaelah wasn't taking photographs she spent her school afternoons doing extra-curricular activities.

'I thought I was going to be burnt out ... so I didn't want to go to uni straight away,' Shaelah said.

'I'm going to concentrate on my photography business, save up and after a year I'll probably go to uni.'

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