3rd article for school leavers

By dessquire, 23 January, 2017


So what options are available to you? What are you going to do now that you have left school? The options depend on a number of factors including your results. Have you passed matric? What are the financial considerations? What are your personal interests and abilities?  

Assuming you have considered all the options we mentioned in the previous article you should have now arrived at a decision. Firstly, let us have a look at the study options assuming that this is the direction in life that you have chosen 

If this is your choice then you need to consider a variety of options open to you. Bear in mind that tertiary or higher educational institutions have their own entry requirements. In addition Universities, Technikons and Technical Colleges are all very different and offer a very different rang of study choices. Your choice of institution will depend on your  individual needs and ability.

  •           University
  1. The emphasis at university is on the academic and more formal side of learning. In whatever your chosen field of study, you will gain a very broad base of skills and knowledge.
  2. You will need to achieve or to have achieved a matric exemption in order to be accepted. For some specific faculties of study, there may be additional requirements. These requirements you can establish by contacting the university directly. 
  3. You will have a wide choice of study fields that include the Arts, Science, Humanities, Education, Law, Medicine, Engineering, Commerce and Theology.


  •         Further Education and Training Institutions


Recent changes in the education system have seen the introduction of new institutions of both “Higher Education” and “Further Education”

Technikons have been included at the same level as universities and learners can now study for a technically inclined degree. An example would be Pretoria Technikon, which is now called “Pretoria University of Technology”.  

  • You will have a combination of theoretical and practical subjects to choose from. The choice you make will be based on the specific career you wish to pursue.
  • The minimum entry requirement is a Senior Certificate or an N3 plus two languages at grade 12 level. For some of the courses such as the technical courses, paramedical and science you will require a minimum of mathematics and a science subject.
  • These colleges could be an ideal choice if you decide to combine work and study. In many instances you can have a contract of employment and be encouraged or required to study in order to gain the practical experience.
  • On satisfactory completion of your studies, you will receive a Diploma or a BTech degree.
  • There are a variety of study options including Art, Design, Performing Arts, Hotel and Catering, Commerce, Business Management, Computer studies, Science, Engineering and Secretarial.


  •          Tertiary Vocational Education Training Colleges (TVET)


Public TVET colleges now replace what historically were called technical colleges.


  1. If your choice is to pursue a specific trade then the TVET College is the choice for you. Here the emphasis is on trade skills and craft skills. You would qualify as an artisan, to work with your hands, or alternatively qualify for a specific job in the workplace.
  2. The minimum entrance requirement is a grade nine. You would have to be at least 16 years old.
  3. The FET College offers a more theoretical type training and your more practical or work related training would be done on-the-job.
  4. On satisfactory completion of your studies you would be awarded a National Certificate.
  5. The study options available to you would include Travel and Tourism, Health, Community Care, Hairdressing, Business studies, Engineering, Mechanics and Mining.


  •          Distance Learning


  • This is another way of describing home study or correspondence courses.
  • You can study at your own pace and would be required to submit assignments from time to time.
  • This is another option available to you should you decide to work and study at the same time.The subject range is wide and varies from one institution to the next.
  • The advantages are that you can study at your own pace, you can earn while you learn, distance to and from college is not a problem, and you can form your own study group with some friends.
  • The disadvantages are that you have no regular teacher, you are on your own and must motivate yourself to study, it can be lonely, you can be tired after a day's work. 

The choice as you can see is very wide and varied so you need to consider your options very carefully. I suggest that you make contact with and preferably go and visit the various institutions and have a chat with the student recruitment officer regarding your particular interests. Many of the tertiary institutions offer aptitude tests and career counseling to prospective students.


© Des Squire (Managing Member)


[email protected]




Copyright: Portal Publishing (Pty)Ltd | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
Skills Portal | Careers Portal | Jobs Portal | Bursaries Portal | Skills Universe
About us | Contact us
Portal PublishingPress Council