Choosing a qualification or career path isn't to be taken lightly because there's time, and money invested in it. However, thousands of learners across the country find this task very stressful and therefore result in them leaving the planning for the last minute.

Senior Head of Programme in the Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education,Natasha Madhav compiled useful tips to help learners choose the right qualification. 

Do your research

Given the difficult economic climate and associated challenges of finding suitable employment after graduation, look at qualifications and institutions that will prepare you for a specific career and the world of work. Additionally, you should ideally line up at least one or two additional options, as  you may find that circumstances and preferences might change by the end of the year.

Think about what you enjoy doing

If you don’t know what to study, consider what kind of work you would find interesting, and then work backwards to determine a suitable qualification. “It is also worth remembering that there are literally new fields and careers opening up every year – things that your teachers, parents and friends may not even have heard about,” she says.

Decide on which institution offers your qualification

Don’t settle on a university and then only investigate what they offer in terms of qualifications. Do it the other way around – determine what you would like to do, determine what qualification would enable you to do that, and then find out which institutions offer that.

If, for instance, you're interested in Game Design, it makes sense to find an institution that offers that qualification rather than doing a generic 3-year degree and then attempting to break into the industry thereafter. 

“Making that determination takes time and clarity of thought in the face of all the options out there, which is why Matriculants should make the best of the few weeks of grace they have left and get their future plans sorted now.”