things you can do if you didn’t get into university

By | January 18, 2018

You’ve just passed matric, but studying further might not be possible.

You do have other options, however deciding on the next step to take post-matric is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, especially when you don’t have time and money to play with.

“There are various career compatibility tests online and elsewhere that you can take to get a general feel of the careers that could best match you,” Zimasa recommends.

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Maybe the marks you got in matric weren’t good enough to qualify for a tertiary education.

You may opt to rewrite some of the subjects early in the following year or repeat matric entirely in order to improve your results. If you can’t afford to go to university you can apply for bursaries or study loans from government entities such as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or approach a commercial bank.

2. Find a job

As a new entrant in the job market, you need to be flexible and willing to take on a lower position in the company, be open-minded in order to learn and keep to company policies.

The last thing you want to do is create an impression of being ungrateful for the employment opportunity, thereby limiting your chance of advancement.

Register your CV with as many employment agencies as possible. Usually the agencies will have a large number of companies approaching them for temporary workers.


At the beginning and end of each year various companies that experience a shortage of skilled labour usually offer internships, which provide a monthly stipend and training.


A learnership is a structured learning process for gaining theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the workplace, leading to a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).


Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College courses are vocational or occupational by nature, meaning the student receives education and training with a view towards a specific range of jobs or employment possibilities. You earn a certificate at the end of your training.

For a full list of colleges in your area and contact details, go to


Some universities and private institutions offer part-time study options with evening classes or online lecture facilities, which makes it possible to work full-time.


If you’re still unsure of what to do or burnt out from your studies, consider spending the year finding out enough information on what you would like to do – researching different options before deciding on a course of action. This is not just time to spend playing video games or sleeping late. Have a structured plan.

Ask yourself where you want to go, what you want to do and for how long. You could travel overseas to become an au pair; work on a farm, cruise ship or resort; or teach English, do conservation work or share your sports skills.

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