The expectation for anyone coming out of a matric class is to further their studies through a university. This route would allow one to pursue traditional career options either wished for by their families, or themselves.
Other children choose differently and either want to pursue their passions for the arts, figure out what it is that they want to do, or even explore the world a little bit before committing themselves to a career. Some want to continue their studies, but not through a university.
What options are there for these groups of individuals that would like to explore other alternatives except university?
Take a gap year
Many parents may equate a gap year with “I don’t want to get up to anything” but this could not be further from the truth. Even after finishing matric, many students are still figuring out who they are and what they want to do.
Psychologist Benedict Mhlongo considers this stage a rite of passage for a lot of young people. It is a stage of asserting one’s individuality by making decisions and bearing the consequences. And some children do not want to commit themselves to a career path they are not sure is aligned to who they are.
A gap year used efficiently allows one the time and space to make a more sensible decision.
Find a learnership
Learnerships are structured learning programmes that cover both theoretical and practical knowledge. With a minimum requirement of a matric certificate, a learner gets classroom time and a real-world experience that helps them apply the knowledge they acquire.
It’s viable for those looking for a shorter studying commitment, affordability and a supplementary studying option that includes more than classroom time.
Apply for internships
An on-the-job-training option is available for those looking at gaining some real-world experience and exploring their work passions. An internship programme emphasises individual learning as they work.
Most internship programmes are for 12 months and are a good learning opportunity. You get exposed to a field that you could explore academically upon completion.
There are numerous websites that have listings of available learnerships and internships.
Attend a college instead
Based on the career route you want to explore, a college education offering a certificate or diploma could suffice. You qualify after a shorter time period compared to a university qualification. Colleges also offer the flexibility to study on a part-time basis. So, you could also work part time if there is a need to do so.