My situation is slightly different to yours but thought I would respond as it might be helpful. I am currently studying a Diploma of Human Resources on campus at Tafe.
I currently work as a Human Resources Advisor and have worked in HR/Recruitment for 4-5 years. I was weighing up Tafe vs Uni and similarly to you, I was reluctant to start a full degree as I currently work full-time and it seemed like a big (and long) commitment.
I don't regret starting this course as once I have completed it, I will essentially have a year taken off a university degree - so no time has been wasted (it is a 1 yr part-time course). However, one constructive thing I will say about the course is that is better suited for someone who has limited/no HR exposure/experience. Given that I have been in HR/Recruitment, I cannot say that I have learnt a hell of a lot. Fortunately, the work/assignments have not been a complete waste of time because they are relevant to my current position. I do alot of HR project work and I have been able to base my assignments around my work. However I am not being stretched or challenged. I do find it a bit strange that my tafe listed x amount of years in HR required as a pre-requisite to completing this course as I am one of only a couple who has worked/works in HR.
Long story short, I think it is a good introduction into HR however there is a big difference between Tafe and University and from my perspective I will need to go to uni (which I plan to do next year) to further my career. As example some of the industrial relations legislation and practises I was taught was old/outdated. I learnt more from speaking to my HR colleagues about industrial relations than I did from my industrial relations lecturer.
Without a degree I feel limited in advancing my career unless I stay with the same company for x amount of years and work my way up. I have noticed, when applying for HR roles in the past, that a degree is necessary or strongly regarded. This is just my experience though and it would depend on the level of the role though.
Edited by elco, 18 December 2012 - 04:24 PM.