As a lifelong learner, you can use Adult and Community Education (ACE) to help you:
- expand your skills and knowledge
- prepare for possible career change
- gain a sense of personal achievement.
You may have some questions about ACE courses.
Why would you take an ACE course?
ACE courses offer an informal and welcoming learning environment. Formal qualifications are very important and employers particularly value them, but there may be times when you prefer to do an ACE course, particularly if you don't like tests or overly structured courses.
The advantages of ACE courses are that they are:
- available in a wide range of subjects
- not as expensive as formal courses.
Many courses deal with employment and business related subjects. Many are introductory level. ACE courses can be used as bridges to further education and training, and some are accredited - that is, they can count towards formal qualifications.
All courses present organised activities with a learning goal; these may include classes, small group activities, one-to-one learning and interaction with technology.
Mostly, there are no specific entry requirements for ACE courses, although some vocational or advanced courses assume that you have certain knowledge and skills. Age requirements vary from state to state, particularly if a course is offered in conjunction with a provider that offers programs for younger ages.
Concessions and discounts are available to eligible people for many of the courses.
How can ACE help your career?
Return to study
If you don't feel confident of your ability to return to study, you can make the transition into education and training gently through short ACE courses in a learner-centred, part-time, non-competitive environment. Use ACE to explore new learning areas, too, or to supplement your current or planned study.
English and literacy
If you need to improve your English and literacy skills, ACE has courses for all levels of English users, from beginners right through to advanced. These can help you open up further study and work options.
If you're interested in professional development for promotion purposes at work, you can gain advanced skills quickly through ACE short courses in, for example, management, supervising people or computing. Some of these courses can count towards more substantial accredited programs at other education and training institutions.
All ACE courses help you develop useful skills for personal growth, work and life in the community - communication skills, interpersonal skills, time management and problem solving are just some of them. Life skills are highly valued by employers.
To start and grow an enterprise, business people need to be skilled, capable and experienced in many areas. When their business expands, they must respond quickly to market movements.
Business owners can't always bring in staff with the necessary skills and knowledge. Short ACE evening courses, a few hours a week, offer a useful way to become multi-skilled. ACE providers train a lot of people, mainly self-employed people, to run small businesses.
As a career changer, what careers are open to you? With ACE courses, you can explore skills and knowledge in career fields similar to your present one, or experiment with courses relating to very different careers.
For example, an administrator considering a career in accountancy can start exploring the field by taking a MYOB course. Or a homemaker can check out the finance industry by going to a seminar about the stock market and investments.
Re-entering the workforce
An ACE course can be your stepping stone back into the workforce. If you've been away from the workforce for a while, you might want to practise your communication and team skills in the relaxed environment offered by ACE providers. Some courses can help you build your vocational skills and demonstrate to potential employers your self-motivation and ability to commit to activities.
Re-entering the workforce as a mature age worker
The Experience + Career Guide for Mature Australians [opens in new window] can greatly assist you with making informed decisions to help you achieve your new career goals
A career is more than a job; it includes the skills, knowledge and experience you gain in the various life roles you undertake. Taking ACE leisure courses, programs about community issues, or workshops about non-work-related topics that interest you allows you to cultivate aspects of yourself that may not find expression in your regular work.
List any ACE courses you've attended in your Career Portfolio. Using this form of education shows that you can:
- be committed to completing tasks
- acquire skills and knowledge
- follow your interest in a field of study
- direct your own ongoing learning
- willingly grow as a person.