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There are few decisions as important as deciding what course to do
after finishing school, so take your time and do your homework before
committing to anything
Universities, TAFEs and private colleges offer courses in everything
from welding to water management to Wiccan theology. So how do you
decide which is the right one for you?
Take your time
Taking a gap year after finishing school has become increasingly
common and there's a lot to be said for it, especially if you're
unsure about what it is you want to do next. It doesn't need to be a
gap year – it can be a gap three months – but you should take all the
time you need to work out what course interests you rather than
feeling pressured to study for the sake of it.
Don't be swayed by others
There's no shortage of people doing a course they aren't passionate
about because they got the marks to do it and/or because their parents
pushed them to. Those people either end up dropping out or going into
a career that never fired their imagination. Listen to others' advice
but realise that it's your life and you have to make the final
decision on what to do with it.
Work out what type of study suits you best
If you're a hands-on, practical type, you may well find doing a TAFE
NSW course more rewarding than undertaking a university course that's
Think about what the course leads to
If you're expecting to make a living on the basis of the
qualification you gain, investigate what the market demand is for that
qualification. Doing an acting course, for example, may be enjoyable,
but offers few prospects of stable, well-paid employment once you've graduated.
Contrary to what you may have been told, it's not the end of the
world if you fail to get into the course you had your heart set on.
You can always do a related or bridging course then transfer, apply
again down the track, or find a path into the industry you're
interested in that doesn't involve doing that particular course.
In stark contrast to previous generations, today's school-leavers
face a bewildering range of educational options. By making sure you
have all the necessary information at your fingertips, you can make
the right decision for your future.