What To Do After High School
Advice from successful women in the workforce
As the end of the year begins to creep up on us, so does the flurry of University Open Days Australia wide. That’s right, the end of August will see this year’s Year 12 students pondering their next move, what to do after high school? Once you’ve completed the High School Certificate, what’s next?
It’s tempting to ignore everything and anything that happens after your last exam, but this is a vital time in your life. While the High School Certificate may seem to be the most important thing that will ever happen to your life right now, it’s not the end of time. There are more opportunities, more room to grow, and more chances to discover what career to pursue.
I spoke to a few successful women in the workforce who have their say on how to approach the University Open Days as well as how to choose the right course for you!
Melinda, Vertical Lead for Facebook:
“My advice to those finishing their high school certificate and considering going to university is to make the time to visit campus’s to learn about the courses you are considering, get a feel for the campus and meet other students. University is going to be at least a 3 year commitment of your time, its a chance to make new friends and associates for life, have a lot of fun and its an opportunity to learn about an area that interests you. Play to your strengths, aim for a course that excites you, the most successful people are passionate about what they do and spend 80% of their time doing things they are good at.”
Jess, a People & Culture Advisor:
“Do your research. Speak to industry professionals in areas you think you could be interested in pursing. What does a day in their role look like? Could you see yourself doing that? What are the challenges of their role? Do you think that sounds right for you? I think one of the most challenging concepts to grasp is the reality that studying something does not translate to a role that is exactly the same in the workforce. The educational experience you have at uni in an Economics degree does not depict the journey you will have working as an Economist. Find out what it is like to actually work in that role and make sure you like the sound of it”
“Always keep in mind that there are so many different types of jobs that can be matched to your interests and that it is just a matter of identifying them."
Steph, Account Executive for Click PR
"While it can be tempting to give them a miss when you're too busy studying, Open days are a really valuable way to get a glimpse of uni life and a better idea of what kind of courses you might be interested in. The key is making the day more about picking up a few pamphlets at faculty booths. A lot of universities offer great mini lectures and experts to chat to about everything from which course might be the right choice for you next year, to opportunities for studying abroad.
There is often the chance to talk to current students as well and this can be a great way to hear about some of the reasons why a course might suit you, and more importantly, why it might not! Remember to ask questions. Will there be an opportunity for work placements as credit? Will this course be theory based or have a strong practical side too? These things are important to consider when choosing courses so come prepared."
Not sure what to do after high school?
If you are coming to the end of your high school certificate and are feeling lost in a sea of university courses and left with no idea what direction to head – there are other options.
I am a huge advocate for travel. Many of my friends leapt into a university degree having little idea of what they hoped to use it for – 99% have since changed courses dramatically. What’s the point? It can often be a waste of money and a waste of time. Consider taking the time to take a gap year or alternatively, to enter the workforce and consider your options. For instance, There are loads of jobs available on OneShift! Here's what these women had to say on the subject...
Mel from Facebook says:
“I highly recommend that every student has a goal of traveling, seeing new countries and learning about cultures provides so many lessons in life and travelling in those first 5 years out of school is a perfect time to venture far for extended periods of time.”
Jess takes a different spin:
“University degrees are a financial and time investment, and I don't see the value in doing a degree 'just because'. If you have absolutely no idea what you want to do, your focus should be working this out with careers testing and personal skills analysis. Travel or join the workforce and then from those experiences, you are better placed to identify what your interests are in life or what elements you have enjoyed about your job that you might want to pursue.”
Key Points To Remember
Keep an open mind when entering into this period of university open days
If you don't know what to do after high school, stop to consider other options such as travel
There are numerous career paths available that you may not even know about, do your research
Got any other advice? Let us know in the comments below!