Although there are career workshops and, universities and colleges open days aimed at exposing career choices to prospective learner, choosing a career can still be overwhelming to some matric learners in South Africa. This is mostly the case when learners are not well clued up in terms of what is the gap in the market versus what career learners wish to pursue.
Learners' career choices are mostly influenced by their existing social networks or social circles. In these networks, parents play a big role in influencing the ultimate career choice due to them being the primary funders for children's education. Parents are also mostly the role models to their kids. Nevertheless, child's personal career choice can still deviate from the parents wishes.
Due to the social dynamics of being in matric in South Africa, a learner can be living in a family where both biological parents are not even educated and (apart from Teaching and Medical Doctor famous careers) know nothing about what to study for. A learner can also be living in a single parent household where poverty is predominant. In this case, social networks can also be highly uneducated or jobless, therefore becoming irrelevant in terms of offering valuable career insights to a learner.
In the process of choosing a career choice, the following are mostly critical for a learner:
- knowing a learner's strong inborn talents and physical abilities;
- having some knowledge of what skills are and will be in demand after completing studies;
- what career choices are there within the category of learner's career preferences;
- where to actually enroll for a qualification a student likes;
- how much is the course;
In the digital age we live in, information on the above critical items can easily be found on the internet by a learner or parent. But what if a learner doesn't even have reasonable internet connection (because of: high cost of data, no smart phone, no computer, and no sound knowledge of searching for information online) ? These are the issues which need to be addressed holistically in the high school levels.
Even though a matric learner might have sound internet access and a rich social network which is well informed in terms of career choices, a learner may still be faced with a challenge of identifying a perfect course to study for. It is rather overwhelming to go through so many Institutions' websites to identify which specific course is ideal. Many Universities and Colleges course content is not neatly and easily presented online. Students find themselves going through Pdf brochures to Word Documents in search of courses to enroll for. Some of the universities don't even bother to delete previous outdated brochures.
In terms of addressing some of these challenges, there is a website: mycourses.co.za which help student to find what courses they can apply to. The website neatly organises courses from various universities and colleges in relevant career categories (from Property Agent to flight Attendant Careers). The website also let prospective learners to submit their courses preferences through an online form. Based on what the learner wishes to study, relevant institutions will therefore respond with relevant course information.