Doncaster Secondary College Careers

Career Education at DSC

Career Education at DSC

Careers Team & Careers Centre

Doncaster Secondary College has qualified and dedicated Careers staff who work with students, parents and the community to build a comprehensive careers education and development program.

Students are able to make individual appointments at any time with a careers counsellor to discuss their aspirations, pathways and future plans. The Careers team also coordinate regular events to assist parents and students research information and make decisions about future options. Parents are also welcome to make appointments to discuss their child’s aspirations and progress at the College at any time.

The Career Centre is a dedicated space in the VCE Centre where careers and course information is displayed. The Careers Coordinator and Counsellor are both nearby and available to students for questions, information and counselling. Students have access to computers to research courses and careers online. Material from institutions is regularly updated and displayed on designated Noticeboards in the Senior Centre. Students are welcome to visit the Centre during recess, lunchtime, after school and during study periods. Normally there is an open-door policy for students however, occasionally appointments are required, particularly during peak periods (eg VTAC applications, course counselling).

In addition to material kept on site for students, there are resources and information disseminated to students and parents that is worth looking out for.

These include:

What Does A Careers Counsellor Do?

Originally the term “career” referred to paid employment. Today it covers a broader range of activities associated with learning, education, working and lifestyle. So in a way, your career is your life. Put into perspective, what you do in paid employment takes up a smaller role in this whole journey. It is therefore important to consider all of these aspects of life when thinking about ‘career’.

Careers Counsellors work with people to empower them to explore their understanding of themselves and the world of work and to make meaningful connections between the two. Like all forms of counselling, the purpose of careers counselling is not to provide answers, but to provoke new thought by asking the right questions. Some may feel that they do not know where to start thinking about their career. Some people get ‘stuck’ with certain ideas or thoughts and need help in moving ahead and learning how to make decisions.

We are assisted by assessments and tools that outline dominant interest areas, personality types or skills and abilities to facilitate the thinking process. However the key is for the student to use this information to research and evaluate options in their own life. No teacher, counsellor or test will ever be able to give the full picture in isolation. Only the student has the self-knowledge to make the right decisions. Career Development is all about facilitating self-understanding and the desire and enthusiasm to seek out choices. Students (and parents) should be wary of products and tests that offer occupation results on a silver platter.

By encouraging and strengthening students’ ability to investigate and evaluate choices for their own lives, we are building skills that they will use all their lives. Research has suggested that Generation Y will change aspects of their career up to ten times in their life. It is imperative, therefore, that we build in the skills for students to be able to make these changes confidently and knowledgeably.

The Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework

Rapid changes to learning and work in today’s world make it essential that young people take a more active role in their career development. Career development is most effective when it is seen as an essential part of the educational experience a school or organisation provides for its young people.

Career development programs have several components, for example: career education programs; career counselling; information and resource management; pathways planning; mentoring; work experience programs; careers advice and guidance services. The Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework will help all Victorian young people to prepare for their future through the acquisition of skills, knowledge and competencies required to self-manage their own careers.

Career education provides young people with the tools they need to make informed career decisions and transitions from secondary school and throughout their lives. An effective career education program demonstrates for young people the relevance of learning to their future aspirations in life.

Career counselling provides personal support to help young people to focus on their own choices and to use the skills and knowledge they develop to make decisions about learning and work that may be right for them.

The preparation of young Victorians for the diverse pathway choices they face in senior secondary qualifications and for their future success in education, training and employment, is a significant responsibility of all schools and training providers.

Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework

Lasting Gifts – Parents Guide to Careers

The Lasting Gifts Program is designed to help parents build skills to help their child through high school and on to their future career path. The program follows five key principles which the College also uses in the classroom:

At the College this program is embedded into all the key presentations and events run at the College for parents from Year 7. While this may seem an early time to begin career development, the fact is that many parents have already considered the future for their child at this time, and children are forming their self identity from an early age.

Morrisby Online

The Morrisby Online Profile is a comprehensive psychometric test that not only assesses students’ interests, but also their key skills and abilities. The Report is available at the conclusion of testing and can be referred to and customised over future years. There is a cost associated with completing the test which will be made available to students at various times during the year.
Information and sample reports are available from the Careers Office.

Career Analysts


The DiSCovery Program is an intensive program for all year levels. Each week students and their DiSCovery Teacher participate in group activities that help them develop their communication, self-awareness and teamwork skills in a supportive and nurturing environment.

At Years 9-12 the focus of DiSCovery is on pathways and transitions, personal growth and academic preparation. This program enables students to identify their key strengths, develop some goal setting skills and self-awareness. These form part of the key foundation for careers education in the later years.

Programs by Year Level

Years 7 and 8

Lots of career development activities occur within the classroom and during our DiSCovery program. At this stage the focus of careers is exploration of core values and beliefs and self-understanding. Developing a strong sense of identity allows students to explore career options without the need for decision making.

Year 9

The MYSELF Program is a cluster of authentic and integrated learning units that Year 9 students can complete as part of their curriculum program. My Future is a careers focussed unit that students participate in. Students go through a process of investigating a career, applying for a job, attending a job interview and gaining feedback.

Year 10

Year 10 is a very important year for students in terms of preparing for the future. Students in year 10 will be involved in a range of activities to empower them to make key decisions about their senior schooling, further education and potential areas of work.  Students will be introduced to all aspects of what will happen during the year as part of the Careers Program. Activities in careers build on each other and provide students with a comprehensive guide to investigate and evaluating career options.

Students explore tertiary education on an excursion to ACU and RMIT Universities. Through DiSCovery classes and individual interviews, we gain a picture of where your child is at and develop a range of future possibilities to investigate. Because Year 10 is often a prepatory year for VCE there are lots of activities associated with investigating senior school options and the impact of choices made at Year 10.

Careers Experience is an integral part of the Year 10 program. This introduction to the World of Work is a valuable learning opportunity to both gain experience and develop personal Employability Skills.


The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning is also available to students who wish to pursue a more ‘hands on’ style of learning. AtEast, a consortium of local schools, facilitates the administration of the School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT) program. Prior to commencing VCAL, students must undertake two weeks of Work Experience in the related field that they are planning for their SBAT.


In Year 11 students are further investigating specific options about tertiary education and employment. Students will have the opportunity to visit a Tertiary Institution to explore further education options. Students will also be encouraged to visit the Information Sessions, Open Days and Expos to talk directly with institutions and industries.

Students who feel unsure about their progress or who would like an individual interview are more than welcome to come and see a careers counsellor.

In Year 12 students are introduced to the tertiary application process for the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC). Students will have a careers counselling session in Term 1 to discuss what options need further research. In Term 3 an information session for parents will be presented to explain the tertiary application process in depth. Students will have access to the careers team for further interviews regarding course choices and are encouraged to visit with any questions they may have.

In Term 4 students will be focussing on their exams and in mid December they will receive their results. Students are able to make an interview with the Careers team when they receive their results to discuss their course selections and make any necessary changes. This is referred to as the Change of Preference period.

Senior School Curriculum Page

Further Education & Training


University courses allow students to gain in depth theoretical knowledge about a particular subject area. Courses are categorised into two areas: Undergraduate and Postgraduate. Undergraduate courses are also known as Bachelor Degrees. It is the first degree that a university student will complete. Students seeking to specialise in a certain topic may continue onto postgraduate study.

Universities split into sub school areas known as faculties. These differ from institute to institute depending on how many courses the university offers. Bachelor Degrees are normally 3-4 years in length. Students study four subjects a semester. Each subject will run a lecture in a large auditorium whereby students listen and take notes. Information from lectures is then studied in more depth in tutorials, laboratory sessions or seminars. In a degree students are expected to focus on at least one study area. This is known as a “Major”. Common majors in business degrees for example are marketing, accounting, law or management. Students may also choose another focus area but with less depth. This is known as a “Minor”. Students often have opportunity to select electives from other faculties, to study something not necessarily relevant, but enjoyable.

Victoria is lucky to have 9 excellent universities in the state. These are:

 Australian Catholic University

Deakin University

La Trobe University

Monash University

RMIT University

Swinburne University

Federation University

University of Melbourne

Victoria University

These universities have campii all across the state and some interstate as well. Some courses may only be offered at one particular campus of that university. It is important to make sure students looking at particular courses know which campus the course is run at. Each university has a different learning environment and student culture so it important for students to visit universities during Open Days to get a feel for the environment and what courses are offered. Sometimes the course structure may differ between universities. Further information can be gained from Hobson’s ‘The Good Universities Guide’, either online or from newsagencies. It offers lots of survey result information on such issues as teaching quality, graduate employability, student-staff ratio etc.

Applications to Victorian universities are submitted via the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC). This is an impartial body who collect all the applications and submit them to universities on behalf of students. The purpose of this is to streamline the process. Students are able to submit one application with up to 12 preferences for courses at any of the universities (or TAFEs). VTAC are also responsible for calculating the ATAR for students. VTAC will be discussed in detail with students in Term 3.

University courses do have costs associated with them, although the Federal Government subsidises these for domestic students. How much the government covers depends on the type of course. Some courses are more expensive than others and some are considered high need in the community.

Domestic students can opt to delay paying their university fees through the HECS-HELP scheme. This is a scheme whereby the student accumulates a debt with the government. After completion of their course and graduates gain employment, the government will reclaim the debt through the taxation system. There is a threshold that allows students to earn a salary before the government reclaims the fees. The threshold currently stands at about $54,000 and is increased each year to keep in line with inflation. As your salary increases the repayment percentage increases. The repayment rate is low enough that graduates will be able to use most of their salary for living expenses. International students are expected to pay the full cost of the course, usually invoiced per year.                     

Technical And Further Education (TAFE)

Traditionally TAFEs offered ‘hands on’ courses for trades. This is no longer the case. While they still offer trades courses, they also offer courses in other areas such as business, art, IT etc. TAFE tend to have small classes that do most of their work together.

Generally the approach is more practical and hands on. Theoretical concepts and practical application tend to be taught together. It has been known for employers to choose a TAFE graduate over a university graduate for this reason. Students can graduate and move into employment, or continue up the ladder of qualifications.

Applications for TAFE courses can be made either through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre, or directly to the institute. Applicants should check the course details for how to apply. Victoria has many TAFE institutes, and some universities also have a TAFE faculty:

Metropolitan Melbourne

Box Hill TAFE

Chisholm TAFE

Holmesglen TAFE

Kangan TAFE

Melbourne Polytechnic


Swinburne TAFE

Federation Uni TAFE


William Angliss TAFE


Regional Victoria

Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE

East Gippsland TAFE


Gordon TAFE

Goulburn Ovens TAFE

South West TAFE

Sunraysia TAFE

Wodonga TAFE


 The TAFE sector is funded by the Victorian Government. In 2009, the Victorian Government announced significant changes to the fee structure for TAFE courses. For all courses the fees have increased, although the fees will be less than university fees. Domestic students are still able to accumulate a debt to the government for their fees and repay them when they earn above a certain salary, by way of a VET-FEE HELP loan which is provided by the Federal Government.

 Independent Tertiary Colleges (ITCs)

Independent Tertiary Colleges are private institutes that are not funded by the government. This may be because the government does not offer funding for the sort of courses that are offered or because the institute specialises in international students. There is a plethora of institutes out there and while most of them are genuine, caution must be taken when investigating courses and fee structures. Some examples of long standing private colleges include:

Australian Academy of Design

Australian College of Sports Therapy

Australian Guild of Music Education

Carrick Institute of Education

Elly Lukas Beauty Therapy College

Endeavour College of Natural Medicine

Footscray City Film School

Grenadi School of Design

Institute for Design, Entertainment & the Arts (IDEA)

JMC Academy

Melbourne Institute of Business & Technology

Meridian International Hotel School

Monash College

Ozford College of Business

Photography Studies College

Photographic Imaging College

Pivot Point International Academy

Qantm College

SAE Institute

Southern School of Natural Therapies

All of the above institutes take applications via the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre or directly to the institute. Some institutes are affiliated with certain universities and students can often transfer easily from the college to the university.

As the government does not subsidise ITCs, the fees are considerably higher. These can be paid upfront, or sometimes there is often opportunity to apply to the government to take out a FEE-HELP loan. The government will then allow students to accumulate debt which is paid off exactly like a HECS-HELP loan. The difference is simply the amount of debt accumulated.