This report is part of a wider three-year program of research, Vocations: the link between post-compulsory education and the labour market, which is investigating the educational and occupational paths that people take and determining how their study relates to their work. Previously the authors theorised that vocational streams, whereby people study for a field of practice rather than a specific job, could support occupational progression; for example, a ‘care’ vocation could include workers within aged care, mental health, child care and disability care.
This report looks specifically at mid-level qualifications, such as diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degrees, and how they assist entry to and progression in the labour market. In order to explore these issues, the authors analyse data from the Student Outcomes Survey and the Survey of Education and Work. In addition, they undertake case studies of mid-level qualifications in engineering and finance and also examine the roles of physician assistants in health, and veterinary technologists in agriculture, to see how mid-level qualifications can be strengthened.