There's no doubt that after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the youth in South Africa face significant headwinds when it comes to finding jobs.
With an unemployment rate that has accelerated to 35%, we need to do everything we can to upskill our citizens, using every means possible.
And if you are in Matric this year, you may be wondering what the best options are when it comes to preparing yourself for this ever-changing world.
Fortunately enough, education and technology have come a long way — and distance learning provides a meaningful way to help South Africans, of any age, get ahead with accredited qualifications.
You don't need to go to university any more to get a good education, and an accredited qualification can help you get a job and move up the career ladder.
Here are just a few options when it comes to accredited qualifications for in-demand jobs. All of these courses can be done via Optimi College's College SA or IT Academy, which allow you complete your studies from home.
Whether you plan to be an entrepreneur or intrapreneur within a bigger company, having a solid knowledge of business management can go a long way in helping you get ahead.
In this regard, you may want to consider pursuing a National Certificate in Small Business Financial Management. This ICB accredited course will teach you how to do effective record-keeping and financial management needed for operating a small business. It will further provide you with the knowledge needed to perform key financial tasks, as well as learning the importance of effective communication and accuracy.
Furthermore, upon completion of this course, you'll have an NQF Level 4 qualification. You can go further with this route by pursuing and ICB course in Office Administration and ultimately a National Diploma in Financial Accounting, which will teach you how to apply principles of cost and management accounting, economics, human resources, and labour relations in an organisation.
IT Engineering and Network Engineering
In our fast-moving world, IT skills are regularly at the top of the list when it comes to in-demand skills. The significant size of this industry also means that you have a multitude of options to enter this space.
Among the most in-demand skills are Network Engineering and IT Engineering, which can help you earn between R170 000 a year, at a junior level, to over R300 000 a year at a more senior level, according to the likes of Payscale.
Through a provider such as IT Academy, you could pursue a Network Engineering course that would equip you with CompTIA, Cisco and Microsoft certifications.
As part of this course, you would cover areas such as Installing Hardware and Display Components, Networking, Microsoft command line tools, and critical security concepts, among dozens of other areas.
Meanwhile, IT Academy's IT Engineering course allows you to attain certifications in CompTIA and Cisco.
In completing this course, you would cover aspects such as comparing common operating systems, Server Functions and Network Essentials, disaster recovery and much more.
For many years, there has been a severe shortage of artisans in SA, and there are several options in this space that learners might wish to consider.
National trade courses in essential career paths such as boilermaking, welding, fitting and turning, electrical and motor trade — all critical for engineering-related fields — can help learners to gain a foothold in the current market.
These qualifications are known as N1, N2 and N3 qualifications, and enable learners to apply to a college to complete a Higher National Diploma afterward.
The field of human resources is becoming more important in a world where talent and skills are the driving force behind companies' growth. Hiring the correct staff and managing the relations around that are crucial in our modern world.
Studying towards a career in Human Resources is also becoming more accessible than ever. Through College SA, you can study towards a National Diploma in Human Resource Management, which is accredited by the SABPP.
This course covers aspects such as the legislation that governs HR practices, talent acquisition and skills development. As part of the requirements, you need a Grade 12 and it can take 36 months to complete.
Looking at all of these options, there's no doubt that there are more options than ever before when it comes to advancing your career and moving forward.
Providers of accredited qualifications, such as Optimi College's College SA and IT Academy, are changing the way we upskill ourselves for the better.
To find out more, visit www.collegesa.edu.za.
By Eloise Nolte, MD of Optimi College