A Question...

Hello readers :)

I have a question for you all...
Did you do any form of tertiary education?
What was it and what type of job do you have now?

The reason I ask is because I'm seriously considering going to Uni, simply because I feel as though I need to have a 'proper' degree to get anywhere in my working life.
My diploma of Visual Merchandising hasn't really got me anywhere.

I'm contemplating a bachelor of business majoring in marketing but I'm so scared I wont like it.


Any words of wisdom would be great!

(warning, essay!!!)

All your advice has been very helpful guys! I definitely would rather find full time work and make my way up from the bottom than anything else!

Unfortunately the store I currently work in is a department store and they dont employ anyone full time, and to get into management you have to do a full on traineeship, which is a pain! I have friends that work in smaller retail stores who have made their way up and are now managers, one is even a store manager.

I guess I'd like to get out of the customer service area of retail because jobs are few and far between. And living where I live, people are really funny about hiring me down in Sydney, even though thousands of people commute from where I live every day! Every time I go to an interview for a position in Sydney theyre like 'are you going to move down here soon?', and yes, I probably will eventually but I'm quite happy to catch a train, I did it to go to TAFE in Ultimo for 18 months. 5:30am get up every day. I know I can do it but I feel like they think its too much hassle to even give me a go.

ANOTHER thing, is that because I work in a department store, sales assistants dont have to personally meet 'sales targets'. The merch just sells itself. And of course when I go to interviews I'm always asked if I have had experience meeting sales targets, but I havent... I dont really know what to do about this?


I really want to go to TAFE and do retail management, but I want to do it online... I think I'll have to seriously look into it when I get back from the USA, because atm I cant afford to study. I guess thats why I liked the idea of uni, cuz it's all done through HECS. But, in the end, I've gotta do something I'm interested in.


  1. I went to uni and did an undergrad degree in Marketing and the Media and now I am halfway through doing my Masters in Business.

    I am not sure what you would like to do career wise so not sure if you really need a degree or not but for me I would not have got even a foot in the door without it and now I have a great job which I love.

    If its marketing you want to do then there is plenty of competition so I would really recommend tertiary education.

    Also I wouldnt feel too trapped so many people switch around courses in the first year of uni that you can always change to something else if you prefer.

    Good luck!

  2. In all honestly I'm only looking at this degree because its the only one I think I could stand. I cant believe how dull all of the different degrees sound to me. I would prefer to go to TAFE but I feel like a diploma from TAFE is never going to get me as far as a degree from uni, even if its more angled towards what I want to do, which is something in retail/fashion whether it be buying, VM, management etc. or even the marketing side of it I suppose. Gosh I just have no clue.

  3. I have a Communications degree, but it's pretty useless. I say just work your way up from the bottom. Study is awful. The workforce is the place to be.

  4. Most of my friends went to uni because that was the thing to do.Some of them had a hard time finding work in their field and some became teachers because they could not because they really wanted to teach.A few friends left in year 10 and 12 and went on to tafe or either jobs that they could work there way up to. My most successful friend left in year 12 worked hard, studied part time and started her own buisness a few years ago.She never went to uni and only tafe at night and is far happier than those who went to uni and did a job because they could.

    10 years down the track the question of did you go to uni disspears and how hard you worked and if your happy is a bigger question. Life is too short to study something you have not much interest in. I hope this doesn't sound rude but this is experience. By the way most managers such as myself would much prefer to see some one who shows strong work experinece in any field rather than someone who is just really good at studying. Don't get me wrong uni is great if it will benefit your work but a waste of time if you don't really need it.

  5. What is it you really want to do at Tafe? I say do what makes you happy rather than what you think you "should" do.
    love Sian.

  6. I'm a nurse! HA! That has nothing to do with marketing. When I finished school I worked in a pharmacy started a social science degree, ditched it. Started a fine arts degree majoring in glass sculpture, ditched it. Worked in the pharmacy more. Then went and did nursing. I love nursing!!!!!

    I know my answer wasn't helpful AT ALL.


  7. hahahahaha Mez my mums a nurse and i often wish SO MUCH that I just wanted to be a nurse. Or teacher. Or something straightforward like that!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I've added more to the original post to answer what i want to do at tafe and other issues, thanks so much for your comments Sian, Anon and Ginny :) theyve been very helpful xxx

  10. hi, i did a traineeship when i left school, i had ni idea what i wanted to be when i grew up. So i did a retail traineeship working 4 days in a department store and 1 day studying reatil at the reatil college.Then i moved into a fashion store when my traineeship ended and when they offered any courses i jumped at them.A year later i was offered 2ic and 3 months later store manager and then offered jobs in head office etc.
    Department stores are hard to work your way up but if they offer training its something to write on your resume and they usually supply a certificate.
    Being in sydney is a hard place to work your way up too, have you thought about looking for work on the coast? I worked at store where i hated the clothes but they did like to promote with in the ranks.
    This go me higher faster and because they had heaps of stores the turnover was quite high.

  11. Sorry but i'm not finished yet,
    Sales budgets are easy.Most stores will train you.They may have a 7 steps of selling.Step 1 greet the customer etc it's basically helping the customer out and suggesting alternatives and at the end closing the sale and this goes to your budget.Otherwise i suggest you say i havent done that however i would be keen to learn, let them know you have often helped many customers but never actually had a budget to meet.
    Working in a smaller store such as on the coast where there isn't as much staff also may be a better way to get into a company as you can always try get a transfer to sydney later.
    sorry to rave on, goodluck!

  12. I'm only in uni myself, and don't have a career yet or anything, but I think that sometimes uni degrees are overrated.
    In some fields of work, experience is definitely more important than studying for a few years. Obviously this doesn't apply to everything - e.g. doctor's, lawyers etc, and then a degree is actually necessary.

    Just from experience - my boyfriend is almost finished his degree in entertainment management. Although he has some experience, a job he recently went to an interview for was filled by a girl he works with who has no degree, but plenty of experience in retail and within the entertainment industry.
    My mum never finished high school, let alone attempt a uni degree, but worked her way up in marketing and was marketing manager of News Ltd, and worked with for the herald, and worked for PANPA - the base of all newspapers within the pacific asia area and australia.
    She has now moved on, but I think that while having a degree may help, in some fields of work it really isn't necessary and experience is always more highly valued by prospective employers.

    These days most people go to uni straight out of high school, not even sure what they want, and when they all graduate at the end of the year, that's x number of people all looking for jobs within the same industry, most with the same qualifications. Obviously having more experience will definitely set you above the rest, especially in a city like Sydney which can be quite competitive in the job market.

    This isn't to say that I am discouraging you from attending university though! I personally love it. I've met some awesome people there, I love the lifestyle, and whatever industry you go in to there's always something to learn which a degree has over just getting experience. If you think it will benefit you then go for it!

    Sorry for this being such an essay!

  13. Oh wow. I could not be more thankful for all this wonderful advice. The store I work for does offer traineeships however they haven't offered any for about 18 months. I think I'll drill my manager about this as she did a traineeship there herself and is now in a great position.

    Anon, what u said about jobs on the coast is true, but the problem is there aren't any jobs here I can even apply for! My friend is the store manager of a smaller retail store that's just opened up here and she told me to go for the asm position, but of course for that you need management exp. I always make sure I say I'm very keen to learn about budgets and sales targets (which is definitely the truth, I find that stuff so interesting and always want to know whatnot budget is for the day and whether we reached it etc) but they would prefer someone with experience I suppose!

    I think I'll talk to my manager and go from there. I think in way there's no point in me going to uni because my hearts not in it. I know I'm happiest when in a fashion or retail environment so I'll just have to do what I can to get myself some full-time employment.

    At least if I'm doing some study I won't feel like such a failure when people say to me "what do you do with yourself?" and I have to reply that I "just work part time at blah blah". I know I shldnt be ashamed but I am :(

    Thanks again so much for your help lovelies. It's really been an eye opener!

  14. I was never a big fan of uni. I by passed it and built my own business. I went to TAFE (on a traineeship) and got my qualifications. I definitely think you need to choose uni for the right reasons and not just to do something at uni. I believe its totally over-rated. Sit yourself down and found out what you are great at and what you are passionate about. So many successful people state that being passionate about what they do helped them get to where they are today. Don't forget you've got your whole life to decide but make sure you LOVE it x


Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and leave a comment, it really makes my day! x