Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More Education?

So it's coming up to exam times for those in their last year of highschool and therefore, time to decide what to do next.

For many, it is so appealing to go straight into working with horses after highschool... or possibly even instead of the last couple of years of highschool, but I believe the education is worth it.

With the main outcome being working with horses and earning money from your passion, the last thing I wanted to do was consider a two or more year course after highschool that would 'stop' me from doing exactly that! But when I finally settled on a course to do at the start of year twelve, it became evident I would have to see the year out to be able to get into the course. It was either that or gain some experience with horses before hand, and fast!

Anyone with a desire to work with horses and the revelation that they need to work hard, be interested and show initiative can get a job with horses... and then you do your learning, while working. This is a little more daunting than learning the ins and outs of the industry while under the education of those who have been through it all and are now teaching in a horse course.

The VTAC guide shows a few possibilities for working with horses, but it is possible to do so much with them, so for the horse obsessed but discipline confused, look around. Consider a general course (equine management for example) rather than specific (dressage instructor) so you're at least getting hands on training in a field that offers many jobs and can later lead to a specified area.

If your main reason for getting education is employment, check out courses that have a high employment percentage rate (GOTAFE Diploma has a 98% employment rate for students that finish their two year course). If earning money while studying is appealing, apprenticeships may be the way to go. The pay isn't brilliant, but it is a bit of support while also learning.

TAFE can be more appealing than Uni price wise, but there are more expensive courses that offer scholarships, and it may be worth looking into these too. Another possbility is working on a horse property while studying, for example working at a riding school while gaining your Level 1 instructor's certificate. Some riding schools will fund this as your education will benefit their business once the course is finished.

There are many possibilities and it's well worth the research - you're talking about your passion and career, not just a job.

"All I need to know in life, I learnt from my horse: New shoes are an absolute necessity every 6 weeks."

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