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Top expert advice for high school leavers

By Katie Tran


It can be daunting leaving high school and facing the "real world". When you complete your final assessments and end up graduating before sitting your final exams, the reality sets in that you are almost at the finish line.

You have to decide what your next steps will be. The pressure is high at around this time because you may be tying loose ends at high school or tossing between the idea of pursuing higher education or embarking on a different path.

While the number of degree holders has considerably increased over the last few years, research indicates that over 270,000 students did not intend to pursue further education after high school to land their job. Leaving school can be a stressful experience, let alone jumping into the real working world and making big decisions about your career choice.

At Upskilled, we are here to take that stress away and make that easier for you! Below we have some expert advice on how you can acquire the job you want and move towards building a successful career and life for yourself - with or without a university degree. 

1. Talk to professionals 

Sometimes having a variety of opportunities can often make you question which path is the right one for you to take. As you think about your educational and career options, it can be helpful to talk with people who know a lot about the field you are considering. They might help you figure out what kinds of jobs or careers would be good matches for your skills and interests.

It's OK if you're not totally sure what career path you want to follow. The important thing is to keep an open mind, do your research, and talk to people who can help you learn more about the different options available.


2. Develop new skills 

You may not want to commit to a university degree and prefer to do a course that provides you with relevant industry knowledge and skills that will make you work-ready in a short amount of time. Due to the recent and ongoing digital transformation of businesses, working processes, the notion of education has also changed.

Nowadays, online education is highy accessible and the way people engage in education has changed. These days, immersive online programs or certifications that are skills-led are gaining popularity. This is because it particularly focuses on developing in-demand and industry relevant knowledge and skills that most employers look for when hiring employees.

Upskilled offers plenty of courses at a diploma and certificate level. Due to their flexible mode of study, they are designed to be completed within 12 months or less depending on the progression of the student. There are plenty of benefits in studying online including saving commute costs and having the flexibility of studying anywhere at anytime. 

3. Network 


Networking is an avenue for learning, exchanging ideas and most importantly, can be an opportunity for a job. 
Networking is a crucial aspect of to being successful in your career. Attending regular events and socials will help you to get your face known, and then use this time to build a reputation as reliable, knowledgeable and supportive. This can help you to be recognised by others, making them more likely to seek you out for advice or opportunities.
 

4. Explore your options 


It is advised that you spend time on self-reflection and consider which work responsibilties you feel enthusiastic about along with your capabilities. Once you have made efforts to understand yourself better, you can start exploring the various career options and recommended pathways to get there. Here are some ways you can implement self-reflection into your job search process: 

While each of these undoubtedly play a crucial role in job satisfaction, research shows that personality fit is a leading factor (HubSpot). The better your character traits mesh with your career – the more productive and positive your job performance will be. reviewing your personalityTo start exploring what careers and pathways are available to you, you may want to start

Transitioning from school to the working world can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Gaining a education qualification in a field can help set you up for a stable and rewarding career, however it is not the only path available. 

a. List down your top industries 
b. Research specific job roles 
c. Check job descriptions to discover the skills and minimum experience needed 
d. Investigate the average salaries for these roles 
e. Take a look at the job requirements - does it require a degree, or particular set of experience? 

 

5. Grades do not define your future 

In anticipation of your final exams, it’s important to check in with yourself and just do your best. No matter the outcome, you should believe that once you get over this hurdle, you can celebrate and rejoice in the freedom. 
Whether you’re from NSW sitting the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or QLD sitting the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), it’s important to understand that just because your results may not be the greatest, it does not mean you have failed.

While most high schools encourage students to take on further study at university, many forget that there are students who prefer the “hands-on” approach that comes with studying a VET course. 

In fact, Upskilled offers many popular online courses across the fields of marketing, business, information technology and more. So, if you didn’t perform well in your final exams in Year 12, you still have the option to pursue VET courses that still can help you achieve your desired career outcomes. 

For instance, you may not have the marks for a Bachelor of Computer Science at your dream university but you decide to study a specialised online course in information technology and do exceptionally well while also gaining relevant work experience, making you eligible for the degree. 

While your final exams feel like the end all be all, this is not the case so just do your best in your exams and try not to burn the candle on both ends when it comes to study. Your marks do not determine the outcome of your future - it’s what you do afterwards that counts.
 

Looking to embark on your dream career or looking for more career advice? 

You may be finishing high school this year but have decided that you want to study with Upskilled because it’s the best option when it comes to your desired career outcomes. 

With a variety of courses to choose from, a dedicated team of trainers and the flexibility of being able to study anywhere at any time, Upskilled can help you reach your career goals in no time. If you need further career advice, check out the Skillstalk blog for more helpful tips on study, developing your career and more.

 Editor's note: This article was originally published in July 2019. Content has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 

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