What to study next and why college isn’t your only option

Education expert Eloise Nolte (MD of College SA) explained how learners can navigate the NQF system and hone their skills for in-demand jobs by smartly opting for short-term accredited courses in areas ranging from accounting to computer science and engineering.

“Many registrants may be wondering what their next steps will be in 2022. They will also enter the most difficult job markets of our time as the impact of Covid-19 on the economy has seen the unemployment rate South Africa’s official reach 34.4%.

Now more than ever, the decision learners make after completing their education is crucial to their career prospects. While many still opt for college, there is an ever-growing list of exciting and quality alternatives for learners who want to take a different path.

“There are also options for those who failed to complete registration. Now is not the time to be discouraged for the future, it is the time for adaptation, innovation and hope.

Understanding the CNC

With a grade 10, 11 or 12 qualification, learners can progress through the levels of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

In South Africa, the NQF is the system used to measure learning levels. There are 10 NQF levels and they fall into three categories: the General and Complementary Education and Training Qualifications sub-framework, the Higher Education Qualifications sub-framework and the Professional Qualifications sub-framework.

The 10 levels are:

Source: https://www.saqa.org.za/sites/default/files/2019-11/Fact%20Sheet%20SAQA-FPI.pdf

Understanding these levels and how they work can help learners find vacancies for which they are qualified. Reaching the next NQF level doesn’t necessarily mean going to college, either. Many of these qualifications can be obtained through distance education (which today’s learners are familiar with), adult education and training institutions, or education and training institutions. technical and professional.

Learners can start by looking at the areas most in demand today and assess whether their interests match those areas of study before exploring how they might go about completing the next NQF level.

Move through the ranks

According to recent reports, applicants with skills, for example, in accounting, engineering and technology continued to be among the most in demand in 2021.

Bachelors who wish to enter the field of accounting might be interested in courses accredited by the highly regarded Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The CIMA Business Accounting course does not require a matrix, but it can provide learners with a level 5 NQF qualification.

When it comes to technology, IT Academy, a well-respected course provider that is part of Optimi College, also offers a valuable software development course that covers fundamentals like HTML5, C #, Microsoft Azure, and more. This course is certified by Microsoft and provides an NQF Level 5 qualification upon completion.

For many years there has also been a severe shortage of artisans in South Africa and there are several options in this space that learners might wish to consider. National trade courses in essential career paths such as sheet metal work, welding, fitting and turning, electrical and automotive trades – all essential for fields related to engineering – can help learners gain a foothold in today’s market. These qualifications are known as the N1, N2, and N3 qualifications, and allow learners to apply to college and then earn a higher national diploma.

It is important for learners to know that there are alternatives to college. In a constantly changing world, traditional educational paths are not the only answer.

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