In Year 12? Here’s what you need to know about your options for 2021
COVID has changed A LOT of things we took for granted. Chances are you had your post-school pathway pretty much planned out before it hit with a bang, but if you were planning a Gap Year, or going to work for a while before thinking about what comes next then perhaps it’s a good idea to have another look at your study options.
We know this was not what you (or anyone) wanted, but there are some positives to come out of it. So if you’re looking for a way to put a positive spin on a deadly pandemic, here are our top 6 reasons to celebrate:
You have more entry pathways than ever before
Things were already changing – each year more universities were offering alternative entry schemes that effectively bypassed the ATAR for the majority of students and courses – but COVID-19 has accelerated that change.
There are now more ways for you to get to uni, if that’s what you want to do. In this economic climate and job market, it’s not a bad idea to seriously consider uni if you think you’re up to it.
No one knows what the future holds
This has never been more apparent than now. None of us knows what the future will bring, and no one really knows what the jobs of the future look like.
As Professor Nick Klomp, Vice-Chancellor of CQUniversity Australia points out in his recent open letter to Year 12 students (it’s a great read), the Australian Government use a ‘best-guess’ 5 year forecast to predict the jobs and skills which will be in demand, but in 5 years you’ll only just have finished uni. So don’t choose a study path based solely on the government’s best estimates.
Ignore all the talk about fees
No, it’s not a good thing that fees are increasing for some of the most popular degrees, and it’s also not good that universities will have even less money to deliver quality teaching experiences. But don’t let the price of one course over another dictate what you do.
At the end of the day, uni graduates on average earn more over their lifetime – in this study they found uni grads earnt 15-20% more than people with no post-school training. Uni grads also have a lower unemployment rate and after three years the average income was $72,800.
HECS, while not ideal, exists to pay for your studies while you’re a student, then allows you to pay what you owe off slowly as you earn an income. It can help to see the fees as an investment in yourself (and your future earning potential).
If you’re really concerned about the fees, then consider one of the low-fee or no-fee TAFE options in your state – your course could count towards a degree down the track.
Uni could be a better option than tackling the job market
Let’s face it, the job market is not good. Youth unemployment stands at 16.4% (ABS – June 2020) and there’s a good chance it could get worse. If you’re on the fence about going to uni, a degree could significantly improve your employment prospects and if you can’t find work, you can claim Youth Allowance while you study.
No, it’s not a lot of money (max. $462.50 per fortnight for single/18+/living away from home/without the coronavirus supplement) but it is still an option.
It’s now easier to go to uni
You may not need to leave home, and you have more universities to choose from.
Universities were already offering a range of courses online, and they’ve moved all but the most hands-on degrees to online learning, so you don’t need to worry about moving away to start your degree. You can apply for any online course at any university you choose, so if you live in Hobart you could study at Uni of Melbourne, or students from Tamworth could apply for UQ and UNSW, all without needing to leave home.
If things change down the track you can still move to the big smoke, but being able to start online will give you some breathing space while you plan your next move.
You are all in the same boat
Every year 12 student across Australia is facing the same challenges, and no one expects you to graduate in the same way as in any other year. In fact, we predict that this year’s Year 12 will become highly sought-after – if you can make it through, finish Year 12 and complete your assessments then you’ll have shown a significant level of adaptability, flexibility, and determination before you’ve even left school.
You’ve quickly moved to (and from) online learning, and kept up with your studies while you faced a highly stressful situation. And, you will only be assessed against your peers, which means as long as you keep going, complete your work and attempt your exams you should be in the same position relative to your peers as you would have been without COVID-19.
2020 has not gone to plan
But that doesn’t mean you can’t look forward to a bright future
Ready to explore your options? Find out more about how to apply to university here.