A social media influencer is fast becoming a popular career option among millennials and generation X. Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels.
A social media influencer is fast becoming a popular career option among millennials and generation X. Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels.

6 Career options if tertiary studies isn’t for you

By MaryAnne Isaac Time of article published Feb 25, 2021

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Durban - Going to university fresh out of high school is a wonderful experience and is an opportunity to meet new friends who share your career interests and passion. However, it's not for everyone and that’s perfectly fine as there are plenty of alternatives available.

Whether you are gifted with your hands and can fix almost anything in a car or skilled in writing and journalling or a quick thinker brimming with creative ideas for social media – there are opportunities for you without a university degree.

Here are alternative options to take into consideration.

1. Learnerships

This works perfectly for those who want a NQF qualification in a specific trade or field, while also gaining workplace skills and experience. Learnerships combine the academic study of a university degree with the hands-on, practical experience of an apprenticeship. There are many sectors that offer learnerships with some promising employment while others offering skills development.

2. Entry-level jobs

This is best for those who want to go straight into the world of work. Entry-level jobs are designed for school leavers without the need for higher education qualifications.

Some may require work experience, while others will require enthusiasm and a good work ethic. Some roles may be full-time and permanent or part-time and temporary.

There's no set way of going about obtaining an entry-level job but once you've got your foot in the door, it's all about working your way up and building a reputation.

3. Gain work experience

This is perfect for those struggling to get an entry-level job or who are interested in a career-field but would like to do some soul-searching before committing. Work experience is more informally organised and is usually not more than three months with no guarantee of a stipend or salary.

4. Gap year

This is suitable for those unsure about what to pursue in the future, or who may just want a year out from study or work. A gap year also helps you save up for when you do intend to study or gain insight into what you want out of life. It’s a time of soul-searching and planning your goals in life. Most young people tend to volunteer abroad or teach English as a foreign language.

5. Start your own business

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to be your own boss compared to working for one and who is a creative go-getter, then setting up your own business could be an exciting new venture.

There are many business opportunities for young budding entrepreneurs, such as freelance photography, blogging, Uber, t-shirt printing or even setting up a custom-made confectionery online store.

It takes a lot of commitment to set up a business, but as long as you have a drive and the ability to see the glass as half full at times, you can make it work.

6. Social media influencer

A decade ago, who would have thought that social media could be a career or work networking platform. A social media influencer is a user who has established credibility as a personal brand, and who has access to a huge audience.

An influencer engages in topics of interest and can persuade others to act based on their recommendations. They are active on almost every popular social network site, and top brands and companies sign them up for product promotions or launches.

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