Uni vs. non-uni pathways – how do they compare?


Choosing between a uni or non-uni pathway is a big decision to make. Both paths can lead to great careers, and the right choice will depend on what your goals and interests are.

You might even opt for a combination of both, starting with vocational training and later doing further VET or uni to advance you career in construction management or engineering.

But what should you do first? We’ve put together a comparison to help make your choice easier:

Uni pathway

  1. Education: a degree in a construction field will provide you with significant theoretical knowledge and a broader understanding of the industry in areas such as design, engineering, or project management.
  2. Specialisation: uni allows you to specialise in particular areas of construction, like sustainable construction, urban planning, or building information modelling (BIM). This specialisation can give you a competitive advantage when pursuing certain roles or aiming for advanced positions.
  3. Professional networking: uni helps build professional networks. You can connect with professors, industry experts, and fellow students who may become valuable contacts or mentors. Uni also has opportunities for Cadetships and Graduate Programs, giving you practical work experience and connections with potential employers.
  4. Higher-level positions: a uni degree can open doors to higher-level positions in the construction industry. With a degree, you may be eligible for roles like project manager, construction manager, project engineer, or architect. These positions often involve strategic planning, decision-making, and leadership.

Non-uni pathway

  1. Vocational training: non-uni pathways in construction usually include vocational training, apprenticeships, or trade certifications. These programs involve more hands-on skills development and practical training. You can get specific trade-related skills such as carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, or masonry.
  2. Early entry to workforce: non-uni pathways allow early entry into the construction workforce. Instead of spending years getting a uni degree, you can start getting practical experience and earning income through apprenticeships or entry-level construction jobs, letting you earn while you learn, rather than paying to study.
  3. Trade specialisation: non-uni pathways can let you specialise in a particular trade or skill. By mastering specific skills, such as becoming a certified electrician or welder, you can develop expertise in a niche area. This specialisation can lead to job opportunities with high demand and competitive salaries.
  4. Entrepreneurship opportunities: non-uni pathways can provide a foundation for entrepreneurial ventures. With the skills and knowledge acquired through vocational training, you may have the option to start your own construction business.


Ultimately, both uni and non-uni pathways can give you tools and qualifications for a brilliant career in the construction industry. Your choice will depend on your personal preferences, career goals, and the specific roles you want to pursue.