When most people think about studying at a tertiary
level, they think about specific courses that will lead them to professions.
Things like medicine, law or architecture. But this doesn’t have to be the
route towards employment or a great career. There are lots of other ways that
will end up with you earning well, but which take you on more of a journey to
get there. The problem with going for a specific profession is that once you
have that qualification it is quite hard to change things and move into another
field. And while that is great if you know for certain that you want to be a
doctor, it is hard when you are young to make the types of decisions that will
impact on the rest of your life, because often you are simply not sure enough
of what it is that you want to do. If this describes you, here are a few
alternatives you might want to consider.
Without a doubt, there is a level of prestige associated with going to university and if that is where you want to study, and you have qualified to attend, then by all means enrol. But look to do something that is broad-based, and which doesn’t send you down a road that is too specialised. Look at reading for a Bachelor of Arts or a Social Sciences degree. Far from being limiting these can act as gateways to any number of careers, and once you have the initial undergraduate degree you can then look to specialise. You could either continue at university and do honours or master’s degrees or you could look to narrow your focus by enrolling for something like a diploma in business management. These can all make for powerful degree combinations and see you rapidly climb up the corporate ladder.
Sometimes there is a lot of merit in not going on to study at tertiary level straight after school. The concept of the gap year is one that has become increasingly popular in recent times and it is a wonderful option for many reasons. Firstly, it gives a person a break from studying and book learning. Secondly, if there is travel involved it gives you a chance to see the world, to experience the independence and freedom of living away from home and to broaden your horizons. Finally, it also acts as the gift of time – another year before having to decide on exactly what you are going to study could make all the difference in picking the right option – especially if you actively investigate the different option during the gap year.
Work for free
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and to work
for free for a bit. Come up with a broad list of things that you find
interesting and which you see as a potential career option. Then set
about researching these options from the inside out. Get your hands dirty and
volunteer for work experience. Find mentors and ask questions. You might find
your calling, or, even in a worst-case scenario, you might at least discover
that some of your options are simply never going to work!