Finding the right course for You

You know you should study Something

We all know that we have to study something… but deciding exactly what you should study is not that easy. Let me give you some guideline to help you figure out what course is right for you to study.

Where do I start?

To decide what you should study try the following steps:

1.     Think about Why you want to study

2.     Think about what (job) you want to do for the rest of your life, and

a.     Find out what training you need to be able to do the job you want

3.     Determine if you will be accepted on the course you want to do

4.     Make sure your friends and family will support you

5.     Go for it!

Why do you want to study?

Do you actually understand why you want to study? Most people want to study for one of the following reasons:

  • You want to get better at your job, and for that you have to learn new skills
  • You want to get a new job, and the new job requires skills and training you don’t yet have
  • Your boss have told you to study
  • You like to learn new things, and you want to learn something new and interesting
  • You want to start your own business, but you don’t feel that you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do that
  • You don’t have a job, and you need specific training which will improve your chances of getting a job

Getting better at my job

Now, if you are in a job, and you want to get better at it, or you want to improve your chances of getting promoted, you should start by asking your manager what training would help you become better at the job, or prepare you for a promotion.

Make sure that the training will be accepted as relevant and useful by your employer before you start! Of course, if your boss told you to get some training, make sure that you know exactly what training he or she has in mind… and remember to ask whether the company will pay for your training!

Getting a new job

If you want to train so that you can get a new job, make sure you understand what training is required by the new job… before you start with a course! If you are aiming at a job in another country, make sure you know what the requirements are in that country. Sometimes another country will accept your qualifications, and sometimes they will not. And the only way to be sure, is to get the correct information from that country, and from the new employer.

Learning interesting new things

If you have a hobby or an interest and you want to learn more about it, then studying is a very good way to increase you knowledge and understanding. Sometimes people study something they would like to do as a hobby, and then it turns into a job! There is nothing better than making your living out of something you enjoy. A good example of this is studying Interior Decorating. You might study it to decorate your own home, but at the same time, your friends will soon be asking you to help them decorate their homes… and soon you are running a decorating business.

Starting your own business

Running your own business is not easy. You need to do all the things that are done by many different people in bigger businesses. You must do advertising, marketing, finance, bookkeeping, stock management and much more! So if you are looking for a course to help prepare you for running your own business, think about what skills you will need and make sure the course will help you learn those skills.

Getting your first job

Getting your first job in South Africa is not easy. We have many unemployed people, so you must be determined and committed in finding a job. Of course a qualification will help you get that interview, but it is up to you to get the job! For your first job you should consider basic business skills that any employer will find useful. These would be things like typing, using software like MS Office, Excel, Word and Outlook and project management.

You can also get help with writing a professional CV from people like They also give good advice on how to prepare for your interview, and even where to look for employment.

Other reasons to study?

There are many, many reasons why people study. The better you understand why you want to study, the better decision you will make in selecting what course to study. Take the time to really think about where you want to be in future, and make sure that any training you do today, helps you get to where you want to be tomorrow.

Get some help! Do a Career Test

If you need some help in deciding what direction your career should take, you could also take a career test. Career tests use a set of questions to determine what your interests are; and then they can recommend the kind of job you should consider. Career tests are often quite expensive, but there are some free tests available.

Currently you can do a career test free of charge.


What Job do you want to do for the rest of your life?

If you know what job you want to do for the rest of your life, it is easy to make sure all your training and studying is in line with your career plan. If you are not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life, you should really make the time to think about what job you are really passionate about. Taking a career test can help you with this. You should also talk to family, friends and co-workers. You deserve to do a job which you are interested in, and which you enjoy.

Will I be accepted on the course I want to study?

Once you are sure you know what course you want to study, you must find out what the entrance criteria are. This means you find out what qualification is needed before you can start the course you want to do.

Many courses, especially University courses, require that you must first pass grade 12. Also, you might need specific results and subjects at grade 12 level, to be accepted onto university courses.

You can also choose FET courses, where you don’t need grade 12 to start the course. Many FET courses have entrance criteria of Grade 9 or Grade 10.

Some training institutions will also consider your age and your work experience when you apply. Sometimes, if you don’t have grade 12, but you are older than 23, the institution will still accept you.

Support from friends and family

It is much easier to study if your friends and family support you. So take the time to explain to them why you are going to study, and how it will also help them. Then get a commitment from them that they will allow you the space and time to study. They must promise not to disturb you when it is your study time!

What next?

In the next article we shall look specifically at College SA, and discuss what makes them different from other distance learning colleges.

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