4 Study options for matriculants

So, you’ve finished matric, but you’re unsure where you should study and what you should be studying? Well, if you’re confused, don’t worry, you’re not alone, thousands of people have to make the same choice at least once in their lives. Great news is that I’m here to make your lives easier by featuring 4 study options for matriculants today.

According to the Skills Portal website, study options are based on whether you have completed matric or not, funding available, family expectations, personal interests, skills and admission to tertiary institutions. I fully agree with this assessment. You really have to think things through before you decide where you are going to study and what you will be studying.

Study Options

Making the wrong choice could leave you with a lot of debt that could take you years to pay off or you could find yourself in a field that you don’t like or are not passionate about. So, make sure that the field of study you are registering for is really the field you want to go into.

In South Africa there are four basic kinds of tertiary institutions where you can go and study after you’ve finished school: Universities, Further Education, and Training Institutions, Public Further Education and Training Colleges (FET Colleges) and Private FET Colleges. It’s important that you know the differences between them, so here’s a quick explanation for each one.

Universities: Almost every major city in South Africa has at least one university. There’s Wits and UJ in Johannesburg, UP in the capital city, NMMU in Port Elizabeth, Rhodes in Grahamstown, UZKN in Durban, NWU in Potchefstroom, UCT and US in the Western Cape, UNISA and various others.

Should you decide to attend one of these institutions you should take note that universities place the emphasis of learning on the academic and formal side. You will be spending a lot of time behind your books and less time doing practical tasks while you’re studying. You need matric exemption to study at a university in South Africa. Your matric marks will also be taken into account if you apply (depending on the field of study you select).

Further Education and Training Institutions: Over the years Higher Education and Further Education Technikons have been introduced in South Africa. A great example of an institution that falls into this category is the Tshwane University of Technology (or TUT) in Pretoria. There are also Technikons in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and other major cities in South Africa.

Requirements to study at these institutions are more relaxed that universities. You need matric or an N3 technical qualification and two languages at grade 12 level to enroll at one of them. Take note that some courses in technical, science and paramedical fields require mathematics and a science subject.

Once you’ve finished studying you’ll have a National Diploma or B.Tech degree. It’s the perfect way to combine work and study. In some instances you can have a contract of employment and be encouraged to or required to study in order to gain the practical experience that you need to further yourself in your career.

Public Further Education and Training Colleges (FET colleges): Formerly referred to as technical colleges, the emphasis at these institutions are on trade skills and craft skills. You can qualify as an artisan, to work with your hands or qualify for a specific job in the workplace. You need a minimum of grade 9 and you have to be 16 years old to study at one of them.

Students receive theoretical training at the college and practical/work-related training is done on the job. Once you’ve completed your studies you’ll have a National Certificate. There are various FET colleges where you can enroll all over South Africa, like Pretoria Technical College.

Private FET Colleges: These tertiary institutions offer tuition in various fields. These colleges have smaller classes and the emphasis is on individualized tuition. Great examples are CTU Training Solutions and Open Window School of Visual Communication. Courses that are available vary from college to college and are often adapted to cater for the needs of specialized candidates in the particular field of industry or commerce it applies to.

Take note that Private FET Colleges are required to be registered at the Department of Education. Check if the college is registered and that the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) has accredited the courses on offer before you enroll at one of them.

Take note that many of the above mentioned institutions require that you attend classes on a full-time or part time basis. Some of them, like UNISA, Damelin and Intec offer courses that you do via correspondence, enabling you to work part or full time while you’re busy doing them.

Well, there you have it, 4 study options for matriculants. I trust that you have found this information useful. Feel free to comment if you have any questions or suggestions for your fellow job seekers. Also feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is caring.

Watch this space for regular updates for Job Seekers on the Job Mail blog.

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21 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    When I click on the read more hyper link on the four study options it doesn’t open up the continuation of the article

  2. nkosinathi says:

    I was completed matric 2009 year ago

  3. Rachel says:

    Yes I’m browsing with a phone

  4. Rachel says:

    I was finally able to read the whole article thank you very much

  5. Skosana Xolile says:

    Thnks 4 the useful info. I completed my matric 2006, stil wish 2 study.

    • shepstone says:

      I have grade,N2,N3+semi skilled certificate from Ekuruleni artisans skills and training centre I am looking for job and leanership I want to complete N6 and have trade test in 4 yrs please help

      • Henno Kruger says:

        Have you registered your CV on Job Mail? That would be the first step. Then look for jobs that you are capable of doing and apply. Keep applying, do not give up.

  6. Lungisani says:

    Henno Kruger! I was completed matric in 2009 I have NSC, so I wish to go foward with my studies. I don’t have money and I’m alone. I need help or get job maybe I can push myself. Please advise!

  7. alpheus says:

    Im looking for a job I have finish my matric last year

  8. Nosipho says:

    I finish matric 2003 i to study

  9. zodumo says:

    I completed matric this year 2014 and my dream was to become a doctor but now I’m not sure and I need help on what to study it got to be something that has to do with helping people and I don’t have financial aid please help for more info contact:061 6964 745

  10. joy says:

    Hello does FET college need matric,and if it does hm many subject is needed to enrol.

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Joy – You’ll have to check with the colleges themselves, e-mail them or phone them 🙂

  11. cebo says:

    I’ve passed matric in 2010 with bachelor so iw’d like to further my studies but,i dnt hve money


    I’ve been applying for every post i qualified on your website since last year. Even today i’ve never been called called on go for any interview. Please help.

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Mokgadi. Have a look at your CV, change the format, ensure the spelling is correct and the quality is good. If you can, have a professional CV writer look at your CV and make suggestions.

  13. marcia says:

    Hi I finished my matric and I than other course like office admin and call centre l was busy Programming in human resource manager I passed two subject,I need a job sow that I can pay my other two subject.

    • Angelique Robbertse says:

      Have you registered your CV on Job Mail? That would be the first step. Then look for jobs that you are capable of doing and apply. Keep applying, do not give up.

  14. Thulani says:

    Hi I wanna know if I can be credited at any university of my choice ? I hold N1-N3 electronics engineering

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