As hundreds of thousands of prospective students attempt to secure a place at public universities, with only a fraction of them likely to be accommodated due to limited capacity, education experts have highlighted the need for school-leavers to consider the many exciting careers that are accessible without degree study.
Elbie Liebenberg, Principal at Oxbridge Academy, a brand of ADvTECH, says there is stil “too much of a fixation”on degree study as the only solid path towards a sustainable career, when the reality is quite the opposite.
“Apart from the options available to these young people in the private higher education sector, there are also a myriad of options in the broader tertiary sector, where they can study towards workplace-geared qualifications that are in high demand,” says Liebenberg
“Our economy has many sectors, and businesses across all these sectors are desperate for young people who are technically qualified and experienced to fill a host of positions.
“Many of these positions don’t require someone who studied towards a degree, but rather someone who studied towards a qualification that gave them the technical expertise and the workplace readiness to be an asset from day one,” she adds.
Deon Roets, Academic Head at Capsicum Culinary School says the tourism and hospitality industries, for instance, are growing apace, and constantly require new recruits.
Roets says there are a number of programmes that young people can pursue to access the industry, even if they do not hold a matric certificate yet.
“For instance, you only need to be 18-years-old with Grade 10 to pursue an Occupational Certificate as Chef, or an International City and Guilds IVQ Level 2 in Patisserie,” he says.
“However it must be noted that while a Matric certificate isn’t always a necessity, this competitive industry requires a high level of commitment to excellence and training, particularly when culinary professionals intend to pursue high-level positions.”
Erika Theron, Academic Dean at The Private Hotel School, says Matriculants who are interested in the hospitality field have choices including a Diploma in Event Management and a Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management, among others.
Other fields of study include a wide spectrum of vocations, from Business Management, Educare, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, and Tourism Management, to Public Management and Engineering courses.
Liebenberg says it is imperative to understand that getting a degree is only one of the paths to career success.
“Not only our country, but countries across the world, are filled with opportunities for those who are qualified in specific vocations,”says Liebenberg.
“The opportunity for success really is out there for those who identify their passions and interests, and pursue them, even if their route doesn’t include degree study.”