Alternative career pathways other than going to university
University isn’t the only viable option after Year 12. There are lots of alternative pathways for school-leavers to ensure they find a rewarding career.
There’s a lot of pressure on teenagers to decide what they’ll do after school. If the stress of exams wasn’t enough, they’ve also got to decide on what career they’ll enter.
Often going to university is regarded as the apex option - the one that every student should aspire to. But that’s just not true says James Whiting, Career Projects Innovation Lead at youth mental health organisation, Orygen.
“In every industry you can get in on either a qualification, or a university education. And often you can get in, on entry level, with no qualifications,” says Whiting.
Career trajectories also aren’t as regimented as they once were. Many people have several careers across separate industries during their lifetime, reskilling or transferring their skills across jobs.
If you’re unsure about what industry you might want to enter, Whiting has one word for you: “Research, research, research,” he says. “There's a lot of information out there online that young people can access themselves.”
Whiting further recommends seeking the advice of someone in the industry or industries that you’re interested in entering as well, as this can provide the extra support needed to make a decision. It’s also important to remember that everyone is on their own timeline, and to look for a career and career pathway that works for you.
“It's really important for young people to think about what they are going to enjoy and what they're going to really love to do in the future.”