Tuesday 19 February 2013

I can’t get into university – what now?

It’s pretty simple – once you get past the psychological disappointment, you can do anything, really. Countless numbers of people have gone on to have successful careers despite not being accepted into university, and all that you need to do is take a deep breath and weigh up your options carefully.

There are a number of ways that you can still follow your dreams:

FET colleges
If you weren’t accepted into university, the next obvious choice would be to get a diploma at an FET (Further Education and Training) college. And if you think that diplomas aren’t as “good” as degrees, think again. The main advantage of getting a diploma at an FET college is the hands-on training that you get in the subject you decide to study. A degree will give you theoretical knowledge of the subjects and teaches you to think for yourself, but university students often graduate from university with little to no practical experience and often struggle to find jobs, depending on the type of degree they have obtained.

Diplomas, on the other hand, are there to address the skills shortages in South Africa, and focus on practical training rather than the theory of the subject. If you study towards a diploma, you can be assured that you will develop the skills you need to perform a specific job. University graduates might get paid better initially, but that’s only if they can find employment.

Another added benefit of studying for a diploma is that you can choose to upgrade your diploma to a degree at a later stage. Universities will give you credits towards your degree based on existing qualifications, so if you’re determined to get that degree, it might not be that far away after all.

Scarce skills
Here is South Africa’s current list of skills which are in short supply:

Engineering professionals
Natural & physical science professionals
School teachers
Higher education lecturers
Health diagnostic & promotion professionals
Business & systems analysts and programmers
ICT network & support professionals
Agricultural, medical and science technicians
Fabrication engineering trades workers
Bricklayers, carpenters and joiners
Food trades workers
Health and welfare support workers
Call or contact centre information clerks

Finding yourself a study field on this list in which you can qualify will mean that the chances of finding employment after you qualify will greatly increase.

Matric repeat
There are a number of reputable institutions (like Intec or Abbot’s College) that will assist you to repeat your Grade 12, this time with a university exemption. Repeating your Matric year may seem embarrassing if all your friends have gone on to tertiary education, but it will be well worth it in the end. This time, if you work really hard, you are almost certain to get better marks because you are already familiar with the subject matter.

Work experience
If you have a good work ethic and the will to succeed, get out there and start working. You may find that as you work your way up, the opportunity to study again will present itself to you. If you’re a student over a certain age with a solid history of work experience, institutions are likely to accept you as a “mature student”.

Whatever path you choose to take, remember that as long as you believe in yourself and work hard, you are bound to succeed, even if it takes longer than you expected. Whatever you do, don’t give up. And remember that Eduloan is here to support and assist you in making those dreams a reality wherever we can – call our customer service centre on 0860 55 44 44 to find out more about getting a study loan.

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