Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is this website for?


This integrated website provides a directory for vocational courses available in Penang and in the Northern Region, in order to help students, teachers/counsellors and lifelong learners to find vocational courses suited to their needs. The vocational courses include certificate courses and micro-credentials (short courses). You can also find some of the popular massive online open courses (MOOCs) under ‘MOOC platforms’.

Is there a maximum/minimum age for the courses?


Yes, most of the courses do. Technical Schools (SMT) and Vocational Colleges start from 16 years old (after PT3). For others, please refer to the ‘Courses’ for the general information. For online courses, it may depend on your skills level.


What vocational courses can I take if I only have a Form 3 qualification?


Please refer to the ‘Courses’ for the list of courses from Technical Schools (SMT) or Vocational Colleges.


What are the minimum academic qualifications for the courses?


A minimum of PT3 (Form 3) is required for Technical Schools (SMT) or Vocational Colleges.
A minimum of SPM (Form 5) for tertiary level (e.g. Certificate, Diploma and above), but some may accept APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning).

What courses are available in Penang?


Please refer to the ‘Courses’ for available certificate courses, micro-credentials (short courses) or online courses.

How much are the tuition fees of the courses?


It depends on the institution and course that you select.

How long do vocational courses take?


It depends on the course that you select. Please refer to the ‘Courses’ for more information.


What if I want to learn a skill at my own pace?


You may explore the online courses available in the ‘MOOC Platforms’. You could also try the micro-credentials (short courses) available in Penang.

Are the courses shown in the ‘Courses’ overseas or local?


All courses listed (certificate and micro-credentials) are available in Penang and in the Northern Region. ‘MOOC Platforms’ (Massive Open Online Courses) provides different online courses provided by both local and foreign institutions.

Are the courses listed here conducted virtually or physically?


Both physically/virtually depending on the institutions and courses offered.


Where can I find resources for online courses?


Refer to the ‘MOOC Platforms’ in the ‘Courses’.

What kind of partnerships are available?


We are open to partner with all institutions offering vocational courses in Penang. If you wish to list your courses on our website or have any collaboration suggestions, go to ‘Contact’ and submit the Contact Form.

Why should I take vocational courses?


Vocational courses allow you to gain practical experience even before you graduate.
Graduate Tracer Study 2021 shows that 68% of graduates were employed within 6 months after graduating from vocational institutions compared to 60% from non-vocational institutions.

Should I continue studying or start working with my qualification?


If you are unsure about what to do, you could talk to your school counsellors, parents or seniors. You can also visit the education/career fairs for more information.


What course should I take?


It depends on your interest. You can also talk to your school counsellors, parents, friends or seniors for more information. Education/career fairs may help too.

What are the possible education pathways for vocational track?


You may refer to the information available in


Can you link me to local employers?


Sorry, we do not provide such services.

Exploring a Fulfilling TVET Career Path


You may have come across these questions when you were small and in your adolescent years,


What do you wish to be when you grow up?

Do you have a dream job?

How are you going to get your dream job?

Will you continue your studies once you completed your higher secondary education or begin working after high school?

What do you like to learn? Have you found out what are the careers that suits to your personality and needs?


If you have not have given it much thought, perhaps you might want to revisit the question again and start planning your future.


What Is Your Dream Job?


Some of you may already have, or somewhat have an idea of your dream job. If you feel that you are more academically inclined perhaps conventional careers like an accountant, engineer, teacher, doctor, or lawyer might suit you best. But if you feel you are more practical in nature and hope to someday work as a craftsman, musician, film maker, visual effect artist, stuntman, professional athlete, or entrepreneur, you may want to consider a vocational course or degree.


To give you some ideas, we explain what a vocational course is, why pursue a vocational degree, and what the benefits of pursuing a vocational degree are.


Vocational courses


A vocational course emphasises hands-on learning to prepare students for a skilled profession or trade. It differs from academic courses which are more theoretical like History, Geography, and Mathematics that lead to various professions.  Vocational courses are designed to provide students with the skills required to enter the working world. It’s ideal for those who have some idea about their future plans and want to learn how to get there.


Some people believe that vocational degrees and qualifications are less prestigious or valuable than other academic courses. This is not correct because it is determined by the level of vocational courses taken. In fact, there is a variety of vocational courses available equivalent to an undergraduate degree as well as a postgraduate programme.


Why pursue a vocational degree?


Vocational education allows you to learn in a practical environment, gaining skills in your chosen field before you graduate. You can start immediately on the career path of your choice with the qualifications and training you receive after completing the rigorous program.


What are the benefits of pursuing a vocational degree?


Gain work-relevant skills


You may be eager to work, but you must first acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. This is where a vocational course can help. Learn in real-world settings and gain work experience while studying.


Less Time


Vocational education offers short courses like certificate courses of 6 months, for instance, Professional Certificate in Interior Architecture Design and Basic Care Course for healthcare Assistants for three months, where you can find a job easily upon graduation. Academic degrees take a longer time to complete. Vocational education and training are valuable if you want to start working quickly to get into a trade.


Landing a job is just the beginning. To advance at work and become an expert, you can consider taking a vocational course at a higher level of certification (degree levels) for a more specialized level of knowledge. If you wish to switch careers or upgrade new skills to stay marketable in the job market, vocational degrees are more suitable due to the shorter timeframe.


Study while working


Some vocational courses, such as the Professional Degree in Interior Design offered by Blue Pillar Academy, are offered part-time, allowing you to work and study. Because the classes are held after office hours, you can improve yourself without having to give up your job.


Prepare for university


If you want to go to university but don’t have the necessary qualifications right now, a vocational degree could be the perfect stepping stone. It is best to always check with the university first to ensure that your course is accepted and that you have received the required grades.


Pique your interest


Once you’ve piqued your interest, you can expand your skill set through vocational education and training. You can practise your craft hands-on first, and then transition into higher education if you want to have a successful career in the long run.


VET Job Opportunities is always there


Given the rapid advancements in technology, it is time to upgrade your skills to stay relevant in the job market. Malaysia’s expanding economy necessitates skilled workers at all levels. You may have to start as a low-medium skilled worker, and then advance your skill and experience by undergoing training to become a highly-skilled worker.


Vocational education training has shown to have high employability rates compared to traditional academic pathways. There are more than 1,000 TVET institutions like vocational colleges community colleges, polytechnics, and higher learning institutions to choose from.  So seize the opportunity now with a vocational degree to help you in your career and life!