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Finishing Year 12 and figuring out what's next

By Rosa Ritchie | 01 November 2018

It's not long now until exam results start rolling out! Once you've submitted all your assessments and you've sat through all your exams, your grades are out of your hands – so don’t waste your time worrying on the weeks leading up to their release.It’s time to enjoy a well-earned break! Once you get your marks, you can then deal with what to do next.

While not knowing what’s in store can cause anxiety, this uncertainty is part of adult life, and all you can do is take things one day at a time. And if you don’t get the results you’re looking for? Believe it or not, it’s actually all going to be okay. While some may have their heart set on one specific course at university, others may have no idea what to do next. Whichever boat you’re in, there are so many options out there for school leavers, so let’s chat about a few of them here.

Starting work

Although it may seem like it, not everybody goes straight to university. Some may argue the best way to find out if you’re suited to a particular career path is by finding out what’s involved in the day-to-day of the job.

young woman employee daydreaming

This curiosity can be satisfied by starting out in that industry. An entry-level position is great way to get the lay of the land, learn about different roles, responsibilities and positions. This way you’ll come in contact with people who are doing the work you’d like to end up doing. One important thing to keep in mind is that some industries require vocational training to get you started, like a certificate or diploma that provides you with the skills that make you job ready. After high school you may have thought your studies were over, but I promise, doing a little bit more can take you a long way further.

According to a study conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2017, 1.1 million people between the ages of 15 and 74 years had recently finished a non-school qualification. Approximately 79% (four in five) of these recently graduated students were employed.

Testing the waters

There might be a career that you’re interested in, but you never got the chance to learn about it at school. Following your passions and curiosities is the best way to find a job you love doing.

There are heaps of jobs and industries that aren’t introduced to students during high school. If you’re interested in studying business, for example, you don’t have to commit to a course that takes three years to complete. A Certificate IV in Business (BSB40215) would give you a taste of the basics of a career in business and qualify you for entry-level positions in the industry. From that point, you will be able to determine if you need further training.

Pathways to University

If you had your sights set on a degree and you didn’t get the marks, don’t panic; you can still get there.

university lecture

One option is to wait a few years, and commence study as a mature age student. As discussed above, working in or alongside the industry in the meantime is really useful.

Another option would be to undertake vocational training here with us at Upskilled. This can be used as a stepping stone to university. In some circumstances, it can even be counted towards a tertiary qualification. Most Australian students have to perform paid work alongside their studies, as Youth Allowance and other Government subsidies aren’t really enough to meet the costs of living.  An advantage of completing a vocational qualification before you go to university is that it increases your earning potential, so that you can work less and study more. Did you know, you can turn an Upskilled Diploma into a Bachelor Degree? Click here to learn more. We’re here to help!

Not sure about University? You’ve got options!

It’s natural to have some uncertainty about what degree might suit you, or whether you want one at all. There’s a lot of pressure to obtain a degree at university, but why is that?

Thousands of Australians build hugely successful careers without ever getting a degree. Maybe you don’t know what to study, or maybe you didn’t get the marks for it.  Pursuing a degree just for the sake of it is a big, expensive impulse decision to make on a whim – don’t rush into anything! If you’re uncertain whether going to university is the right choice for you, consider starting work, going travelling or undertaking some vocational training first.  Vocational training, delivered by a Registered Training Organisation like Upskilled, is a sound alternative to tertiary study. It can give you the practical skills needed to start work in an industry, and is often faster to complete, especially if you’re studying online.

young man daydreaming

Still got questions? Here at Upskilled we developed a handy guide, How to Ace High School and What to Do After,  which is a one-stop-shop for all your concerns as you reach the end of your high school career.

Finishing school is exciting!

This is a precious window of time in your life to really reflect on what drives you. There are plenty of opportunities out there that are yours for the taking; you've just got to know where to look.

Here at Upskilled, we’re committed to helping you identify those opportunities, and assisting you to develop the skills and knowledge to get you where you’re going. You might start an apprenticeship, go travelling or study online. Have a read of our article about making decisions for the future. After that, take a look at our extensive range of courses, and take your future into your own hands.

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