Should my child go to university?

As a parent you want to help your child find a fulfilling career but in order to make the right choices you need to have all the facts.

Most people see university as the next logical step for matriculants who have finished school. However every child is different and the demands and objectives of a university may not be the most suitable for your child.

In the video 'University vs apprenticeships: what is right for my child?' we look at some of the challenges and benefits associated with different post school training options.

Here are some things to consider before guiding your child in their career path.

What can a university offer?

“Uni lets your child specialise in a specific area of academic study.” The purpose of university is to teach students academic disciplines.

If your child wants to pursue a career in medicine, architecture or economics for example, a university is the better choice.

“It gives teens expertise and knowledge as well as a taste for independent living.”

Bare in mind that university study can be quite costly and students will have to commit to an academic course for at least four years before they can graduate and seek employment.

However the earning potential for university graduates is generally higher for those who are able to find employment in their field of study.

What can an apprenticeship offer?

On the other hand apprenticeships allow your child to work and learn at the same time.

“These work-based schemes provide practical skills plus a qualification.”

During apprenticeships students can earn a wage while they complete their training which eases the financial burdens associated with higher education.

In South Africa specifically, apprenticeships and artisan training is a government priority due to skills shortages in these fields. There are also more job opportunities for apprentices after graduation.

Contrary to popular belief university is not for everyone, but it can be a good platform for students seeking a theoretical education.

Your child is unique and their career path will be unique to their desires, abilities and goals so help them select the option that will give them the best start in life.