Careers & Pathways

NCAT has close relationships with industry, and with many tertiary education providers in our areas of specialisation. Students form clearly developed career pathways into further study, apprenticeships or employment. We place particular importance on careers and pathways planning through the development of a personalised Career Action Plan (CAP); work experience and structured workplace learning programs; individual careers counselling sessions and parent/guardian involvement in career conversations.

Careers & Pathways Planning

At the Northern College of the Arts and Technology we believe that it is important for students to develop an understanding of the range of career, vocational and education options and pathways available to them in order to reach their desired career goals.

Parents are encouraged to take an active interest in their child’s career development. The college offers opportunities for parental interaction with the Careers Adviser and other relevant staff at Parent Teacher Days, Open Nights, the VCE and VCAL Information Night and through the subject selection process each year. Students and parents are also encouraged to make individual appointments with our Careers Adviser to discuss potential career directions and particular course and career requirements.

Career Action Plans (CAPs)

The Career Action Plan is a planning document that is completed by students at each year level and is intended to reflect their increased career development learning. The Career Action Plan helps young people to develop their awareness and understanding of education, training and employment options, and to develop the skills, knowledge and capabilities to effectively manage their educational transitions and careers.

The development of a Career Action Plan is designed to assist young people to set their goals, to clarify the actions needed to achieve these goals, and to commit to participating in planned career-related activities.

Work Experience & Structured Workplace Learning Programs

NCAT actively fosters strong industry relationships and industry bodies regularly advise on relevant technology and content for learning. The college views Work Experience and Structured Workplace Learning as an important and integral part of this connectedness to industry and the workplace as a whole.

Throughout the course of the year all students in Year 10 are required to undertake a Work Experience placement, while students in the General VCAL Program at Years 11 and 12 are required to do a Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) placement as part of their studies. Year 10 and VCAL Work Experience / SWL placements are scheduled to take place during the third and fourth weeks of Term 3. In addition to participating in this two-week block of Work Experience the 10T (Technology) form group also undertake two further blocks of Work Experience at the end of both Terms 2 and 3.

NCAT views Work Experience / SWL as an important part of both the Year 10 and VCAL Programs as it offers students a valuable learning experience through an insight into actual work situations. Students are strongly advised to find a placement in an industry or job in which they have a genuine interest, as this will provide a much more enjoyable and worthwhile on-the-job learning experience. Students are placed with employers at the employer’s premises primarily to observe and learn.

Structured Workplace Learning is also a central feature of NCAT’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program across Years 11 and 12. As part of this program, students undertake two two-week blocks of SWL each year in industry areas related to their specific studies. Participation is crucial to fulfilling the requirements for the VET and VCAL certificates that form the core of each student’s study program.

Careers Advice & Assistance

Students are offered advice and assistance with subject selection, course information, vocational pathway planning, goal setting, resume writing, job applications, employment information, and VTAC processes and applications.

Parent/Guardian Involvement in Career Conversations

Parents and guardians have the capacity to play a pivotal role in influencing, supporting and assisting with regards to making career choices and decisions. For this reason it is important that parents / guardians actively engage with students in discussions regarding career and learning pathways.

It is always important that young people have someone with whom they can discuss their ideas, thoughts and questions about the pros and cons of career and learning options and it is here that parents/guardians, as well as teachers and counsellors, can play an important role by listening, guiding and offering up their own experiences and knowledge. When engaging in such conversations however, it is important to be open-minded and encouraging in discussing the range of options possible and to remember that it is the student’s career journey.

Successful careers conversations are ones that are conducted in a spirit of respect and valuing diverse ideas and points of view. When talking about career development with students, it is paramount that the focus not only be about finding a job, but on the skills, knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and competencies that the student will need to lead a productive and fulfilling life.

Arts Careers & Pathways

The Arts is a significant employment area in the Australian economy. The College takes great pride in having assisted hundreds of alumni to establish successful careers in the Arts industries. These alumni also provide an invaluable resource, together with dedicated specialist careers advisors, in guiding current students into appropriate and viable employment pathways.

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Jobs related to studying design:
Communication Designer
Graphic Designer
Art Director
Interior Designer
Interior Decorator
Interior Architect
Web Designer
FX Designer
Experiential Designer
App Designer
Multimedia Developer
Concept Artist
Set Designer
Costume Designer
Fashion Designer
Fashion Merchandising
Textile Designer
Landscape Architect
Industrial designer
Digital Games Designer
Jewellery Designer
Urban Designer
Exhibition/Display Designer
Furniture Designer
Visual Merchandiser
Industrial Designer
Product Designer
Book Designer

Where a design qualification may be useful:
Web Content Manager
Copy Writer
Sign writer
Food Stylist
Commercial Photographer
Food Photographer
Food Stylist
Fashion Stylist
Museum Conservator
Art Gallery Conservator
Art Curator
Gallery Curator
Exhibition Journalist


Jobs related to studying Visual Arts:
Visual Artist
Fine Artist
Concept Artist
Site Specific Artist
Portrait Painter
Art Critic/Writer
Art Lecturer
Art Technician
Art Curator
Gallery Manager
Art Historian
Art Appraiser
Art Conservator
Museum Conservator
Art Gallery Conservator
Gallery Director
Gallery Assistant
Fine Art Photographer
Art Historian
Art Teacher

Where a Visual Arts qualification may be useful:
Arts Administrator
Community Arts Administrator
Exhibitions Curator
Art Historian
Events Manager
Set Painter
Community Arts Project Officer
Local Arts Administrator
Art Supply Salesperson
Artists Model
Art Buyer
Copy Writer
Fashion Designer
Art Teacher
Art Therapist
Tattoo Artist
Makeup Artist
Hair Stylist
Glass Blower
Mosaic Artist
Art Hanger
Furniture Conservator
Conservation Framer
Canvas Stretcher
Sign writer
Cake Decorator


Jobs related to studying Photography:
Natural History / Wildlife Photographer
Editorial Photographer
Food Photographer
Still Life Photographer
Wedding Photographer
Portraiture / Glamor / Fashion
Studio Owner / Studio Manager
Studio Assistant
Digital Technician
Lighting Technician
Artwork Administration
Curatorial Work
Photgraphy Teacher

Where a Photography qualification may be useful:
Colour Management
Post Production
Printing / Book
File Input / Output
Mapping / Geographical
Museum / Art Gallery Archiving
Digital Imaging
Image Manipulation
Online Media
File Organisation
Media Management / Archiving


Jobs related to studying Music:
Music Performer
Session Musician
Sound Producer
Creative Performer
Music Composer
Music Therapist
TVC (TV Ads)
Radio Voiceover
Song Writer
Screen Composer
Sound FX Producer
Foley Artist
Voice Over Artist
Web Sites
Video Games
Sound Designer (Electronic Products, Public Spaces, etc)
Music Education
– Classroom Music teacher
– Instrumental Music teacher
– Music teacher TAFE
– Music Lecturer at University
Sound Engineering/Technical Production
– Audio Engineer
– Producer
– Stage Producer

Where a Music qualification may be useful:
Music Management
Venue Managemnet
Events Management
Permorming Arts
Visual Arts
Music Media
Radio DJ
Voice Over Recorder
Voice Over Artist
Music Journalist
Music Photographer
Music Video Producer
Web Content Manager
Copy Writer
Music Publishing


Jobs related to studying Media:
Production Assistants
Production Runners
Arts Administrator
Media Teacher
Camera/Sound Operators
– Weddings
– Realestate
– Sport Broadcasting
– Web
Television Production Assistant
Radio presenter
Copy Writer
Copy Editor

Where a Media qualification may be useful:
Arts Administration
Research & Statistical work
Electronic Games Industry
Marketing Manager
Charities Administrator
Public Relations
Film Director
Film Producer


Jobs related to studying Dance:
Professional Dancer
Dance Teacher
Dance Choreographer
Assistant Choreographer
Dance Administrator
Sessional Dancer
Play Therapist

Where a Dance qualification may be useful:
Dance Management
Venue Management
Event Management
Dance Media
Radio DJ
Voice Over Recording
Voice Over Artist
Dance Journalist
Dance Photographer
Dance Video Producer
Television Production
Web Production
Web Content Manager
Copy Writer


Jobs related to studying Drama:
Arts Administrator
Stage Manager
Drama Teacher
Drama Therapist
Stage Director
Stage Producer
Film Director
Film Producer
Performance Company Director
Television Production Assistant
Radio Presenter
Television Presenter
Web Presenter
Play Therapist

Where a Drama qualification may be useful:
Community Worker
Personnel Manager
Social Worker
Marketing Manager
Charities Administrator
Youth Worker
Mental Health Worker

Trades & Technologies Careers & Pathways

The Trades and Technologies area offers many employment opportunities. Whether as a skilled trades person, through apprenticeships, or through qualifications at tertiary and TAFE level there is a broad range of careers available. Together with, significant Industry partnerships, and specialist careers advice, the College is well placed to offer students a range of future careers in this area.

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Jobs related to studying Technologies:
Electro Technology
Information Communication Technology
Electrical Engineer
Electronic Design
Electronics Repairer
Broadband & Fibre Technician
Security Technology

Where a Technologies qualification may be useful:
C.A.D Computer Aided Design
Pattern Maker
CCTV installer & Access Controller
Theatre Systems Technician
Network installer


Jobs related to studying Trades:
Building & Construction
Building Design
Plumbing Inspector
Furniture Designer
Furniture restoration
Cabinet Maker
Automotive Repair
Automotive Servicing
Automotive Design
Diesel Mechanic
Panel Beater
Spray Painter
Foundry worker
Pattern Maker
Fitter & Turner
Brick & Block Masons
Hydraulics Consultant
Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Technician

Where a Trades qualification may be useful:
Instrument Making
Instrument Repairs
Elevator Installers & Repairers
Construction & Building Inspectors
Sheet Metal Workers
Council Inspector
Site Manager
Interior Decorator

Useful Websites

Finishing Year 12 – What Next?
Year12 – What next? Is a portal for Year 12 students who are thinking about their post-school options. The portal has tips and ideas on the wide range of options after Year 12 including: future work opportunities, Post-school education and training, working while you learn, and the benefits of education and training.

Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)
The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) is the central office that administers the application and offer process for places in tertiary courses at university, TAFE and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria (and a few outside Victoria). VTAC receives and forwards application information and supporting documentation to the course selection authorities at institutions.

Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority (VCAA)
VCAA is responsible for the administration of the VCE & VET. Subject information, exam timetables and past exams are available from this site.

ATAR Calculator
This is a useful resource for VCE students as it allows them to estimate what their VCE ATAR score will be.

Study Assistance
A one-stop-shop for all questions about Australian Government assistance available to help finance tertiary studies.

Good Uni Guide
The Good Uni Guide provides information about tertiary education pathways, including postgraduate courses and career options in Australia.

This website provides students with a broad range of information about Australian universities and other higher education providers.

Victorian Skills Gateway
The Victorian Skills Gateway (developed by the Victorian Department of Education and Training) is a one-stop-shop of Victorian vocational education and training (through Tafe and other providers) to help find students to find their best training option. Searches can be performed on occupations, courses, training providers, videos and written case studies.

TAFE Course Directory
The Tafe Course Directory provides a comprehensive list of current courses on offer at TAFE, from pre-apprenticeships through to Advanced Diplomas.

My Future
This site provides information on career planning and exploration information, occupation profiles, courses, job-search tips and information for parents.

Job Guide
Useful information about work and occupations to best suit you, based on your interests/abilities. Links to courses Australia-wide.

Hobsons Course Finder
A comprehensive database of courses, careers and education institutions as well as ranking that may help students choose between them.

My Skills
A government initiative website to assist individuals and employers to choose the training provider that best suits their needs, featuring all publicly available, nationally recognized vocational education and training in Australia.

Ace Day Jobs
Ace day jobs is a series of five minute video episodes about Australians who really love their work and explains how they got into their jobs. Often there are a few twists and turns on the way. Students can find out how to write a ripper resume, or what to do if you don’t know what to do, and other frequently asked questions. Students can also check out the job match to see which featured careers match their ideal work environment.

The Young Worker Toolkit
This site helps students to find information about their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

Australian Apprenticeships
Helps students to find out information on applying for an apprenticeship, wages and training. This site provides information and resources about Apprenticeships and Traineeships. This includes over 3,000 job and training descriptions and in excess of 60 job pathway charts. /

Group Training Australia
Group Training Australia is the national association for the group training network, Australia’s largest employer of apprentices and trainees. Provides information about Group Training Organizations that take on Australian Apprentices, loaning them to ‘host’ employers.

A joint enterprise by employer associations and unions in the building and construction industry. Covers a wide range of Apprentice related issues and information.