Lee Kelly is proving that a TAFE qualification ticks all the boxes

Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up or how to get there. For Lee Kelly, a chance conversation with a friend put him on a path to a future career in IT networking.

16 Mar 2017

From humble beginnings in a TAFE at School course through to a Diploma of Information Technology Networking, Lee Kelly’s experience at TAFE Queensland changed his approach to learning and has proved to be a solid stepping stone to his future university and career goals.

Testing the water

Diploma of IT Networking student Lee Kelly
Lee Kelly, Diploma of IT Networking

Like most high school students, Lee Kelly didn’t have a solid plan about what he wanted to do with his future. Luckily, his friend had been thinking about studying through the TAFE at School program.

“A friend of mine was talking about studying IT at TAFE Queensland and, having always been interested in IT, I ended up enrolling too,” Lee said.

Lee enjoyed the change of pace from high school classrooms into the more practical world of TAFE. He especially liked having the opportunity to be on a more equal wavelength with his teachers, getting out and about on his own, and making new friends outside of school.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, it was great to start something like this with a friend of mine but I really loved making new friends in the TAFE at School course too.”

“I was passing my high school subjects but coming to TAFE one day a week really opened my eyes to how different study can be when you’re focusing on something you really enjoy. The teachers were fantastic and the feeling in the classroom was excellent where you felt like you were working more with colleagues and a boss, instead of just being students and a teacher.”

Diploma of IT Networking - campus life
Life on campus

The next step

Because he enjoyed the TAFE at School program and the TAFE approach to teaching so much, Lee decided to continue his studies with TAFE Queensland into the Diploma of IT Networking.

The decision has already proven to be a smart choice, with Lee securing employment in the networking field on completion of his diploma. Lee is looking forward to getting into the workplace before continuing his IT studies at university.

“It’s nice to have a job plan in place prior to graduating later this year and I’m keen to get some experience and practice some of things I’ve learned at TAFE Queensland in a real company. I’m planning to head to uni too and I think studying the diploma first will be great preparation for that.”

The TAFE difference

Students are increasingly choosing to access university through VET. The benefits are numerous including adding a practical layer to your education, increasing your work-readiness, and getting you in front of paid employment opportunities sooner.

Choosing a TAFE at School program is a great way to test a study area before committing to a diploma qualification. If you choose to continue your studies after school it can also save you valuable time and money off a future certificate or diploma level qualification.

The best part is, depending on the course and chosen study area, you can participate in the TAFE at School program and still obtain your Queensland Certificate of Education before continuing on to study at TAFE or university.

TAFE Queensland offers a wide variety of course options through the TAFE at School program to give students pathways into traineeships, apprenticeships, diploma programs and even university. To find out more about the TAFE at School program contact us or visit our website.


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