THE TIME has now come for high school graduates in Dubbo to start a new chapter in their lives, which may include applying for a TAFE or university course.
But which is the better option for students - TAFE or university?
This of course depends on the student, but there are many beneficial reasons why a school leaver should study at one or the other.
The Daily Liberal underwent an investigation into what educational institutions like Charles Sturt University (CSU) and TAFE Western have to offer students not only in Dubbo but in NSW as a whole.
Dr Beverley Moriarty, head of CSU Dubbo and the school of teacher education, said the university was dedicated to excellence in the delivery of higher education.
"Our students have the best of both worlds in more ways than one and have a range of options available," she said.
"Students can gain a cutting-edge degree and practical experiences to help ensure that they are industry ready in their field without leaving the region.
"Many students come straight to university but there are also many who study at TAFE first and then come to university."
She said people were fortunate in this region to have options that enabled students to choose the higher education pathway most appropriate for them.
"Our region needs university and TAFE graduates to sustain our workforce," she said.
TAFE Western's director of learning and engagement Jo Sedgers believed there should not be an "either/or", just as long as a student got the qualifications necessary for the job they want.
"Traditionally, students pick TAFE for a more hands-on experience, particularly for trades," Ms Sedgers said.
"People often forget that TAFE isn't just for further education, it's also second chance education. Students can prepare for university education, as well as work on their language, literacy and numeracy skills... an important thing to remember is pathway planning to university."
She said both university and TAFE worked together to help students gain the highest qualification possible, as long as it helped them get the job they wanted.
"TAFE targets different industries but we're not interested in competing with universities. Students from any background could struggle going from school straight to university...TAFE can be a pathway into university, depending on what a student wants," she said.
TAFE Western is renowned for its mining courses, mobile delivery and TAFE Connect initiative - which has helped them win Innovation and Excellence awards.