Life after matric - choosing a career - College SA
Career advice

Life after matric – choosing a career

4 min read -
By Elmien Ackerman - Copywriter for Optimi

Right now, if you are in matric, the final Grade 12 examinations are probably at the top of your list of worries. But what about after that? Luckily, with a bit of planning, you can be ready for the next year and will be able to enjoy a stress-free end-of-year holiday. Here’s how to choose a career and have a plan for next year:

Get to know yourself

Does your dad want you to become a doctor? Maybe your mom wants you to be an accountant? But if you faint at the sight of blood or hate working with numbers, these might not be the best career choices for you. It would be best if you decide what you are passionate about. Consider doing a career test to help you choose a career that is right for YOU.

A career test will provide you with personalised career options suited to your personality and interests. To help you make the best career choice for you, a career test will match your personality type with compatible work environments.

Identify your strengths

Now that you know what you are interested in, you will need to find out where your interests and abilities overlap. If you are particularly good at Information Technology (IT), for example, you will excel in an IT career path, but might fail miserably in a career like beauty therapy.

You must evaluate your skills to determine which career path will match them. Remember, however, that any skill can be improved upon so even if you do not have the skills yet, with hard work, you can gain the skills necessary to follow your dream career path.

Study the job requirements

You will also need to study the job requirements of your dream career. You will need to know what certifications, degree(s), training, or other credentials are required. By knowing precisely what is needed to pursue a particular career, you will be able to narrow down your list of suitable careers by eliminating the ones that are not a good fit for you. Only keep a profession on your list if you can realistically achieve the job requirements. Keep your matric results, budget, and available study time in mind.

Research the job market

Another factor to take into consideration when deciding what you want to do after matric is that the workplace is continuously changing. Do your research to see the relative demand in the South African labour market for your career of choice.

By doing your research, you will be able to choose a career that is likely to have job openings after you have matriculated and gained the necessary qualification. Also, keep an eye out for jobs that are expected to grow rapidly in the next few years.

Set your short- and long-term goals

Once you have all the information you need, set your short- and long-term goals, for example:

  • Long-term goal – complete a degree or diploma in your chosen field of study.
  • Short-term goal – register at a training institution, apply for an apprenticeship, do an internship, or find part-time or volunteer work in your chosen field of study.

Having clear goals in place will help you stay organised and motivated.

Find a mentor

As listed above, an excellent short-term goal is to apply for an internship or volunteer work in your chosen field of study. Find a person who works in your chosen career path and ask if you can help them out part-time or if you can volunteer at their workplace. In this way, you can get first-hand experience in the career of your choice, which will help you decide whether it is actually right for you. You will also gain practical, on-the-job experience to add to your CV and give it that extra boost.

Find a training institution

You might think that your matric results and geographic location could limit your choice of training institutions, but there are excellent distance-learning options. You can get an accredited qualification at a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institution like College SA and pursue a successful career.

College SA has more than 100 courses ranging from accounting and human resources to marketing and project management. You are bound to find the perfect course for your dream career. Plus, you can complete your studies from the comfort of your own home.

Try a short course

If you are still a bit unsure about your career choice, why not try a short course? Completing a short course will help you discover whether you are suited to the career in which you are interested.

College SA offers non-accredited short courses that will add value to your CV and help you decide on a career path. Not only are these courses more affordable than recognised qualifications, but they are also shorter in duration, have no examinations, and can be studied without a matric certificate.

Have a plan for next year

Once you have decided on your dream career and course of study, register online at College SA for 2021. At College SA, you can register throughout the year as their registrations are always open. So, even if you take a bit longer to decide what career path you want to follow, you can register whenever you are ready. Plus, you do not need to stand in a queue – you can register online or over the phone. Visit to learn more.

Good luck with your career choice!