Understanding the different types of qualifications you can study
Deciding what to study after matric is a difficult and stressful decision. When deciding on what course to study and at which institution, keep the following points in mind:
- What are you interests?
- What qualification do you want to achieve in the next two to five years?
- What are your marks for your National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations?
- Is there an institution of higher learning near you?
- What can you afford to pay for your studies?
- Can you get a student loan or apply for a bursary?
- Do you want to study and work at the same time?
Below is a table to help you understand the different types of qualifications you can study.
|Higher Certificate||Diploma||Bachelor’s Degree|
|Type of studying||Provides basic introductory knowledge and practical techniques. Focuses on how to apply knowledge in the workplace.||Provides comprehensive and specialist knowledge. Focuses on general principles and how to apply them in a particular field.||Focuses on principles, theory and research.|
|Further studies||Allows you to get credits if you want to study for a diploma or degree in the same field.||Can study further for an advanced diploma or a bachelor’s degree.||Can study postgraduate degree such as honours and masters.|
|After work possibilities||Enables you to do a specific job in a specific industry, e.g. hotel management||Enables you work in a specific industry or profession, e.g. finance||Broad education that allows you to follow a career as a professional, e.g. lawyer|
|**Average number of credits to complete course||120||360||360|
|Examples of completed qualifications||Higher Certificate in Tourism
Higher Certificate in Event Management
Higher Certificate in Information Technology
|Diploma in Management in Finance
Diploma in Journalism
Diploma in Building
Diploma in Tourism
|Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSci) Bachelor of
Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)
*High Credit subjects are: Languages, Accounting, Agricultural Science, Business Studies, Consumer Studies, Dramatic Arts, Economics, Engineering Graphics & Design, Geography, History, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Music, Physical Sciences, Religion Studies, Visual Arts.
**Credits are the minimum number of hours required to get the qualification. It is an indication of how hard you will need to work. One credit equals 10 hours of study time. Some courses may take longer to complete than others, e.g. it would take longer and more work to get a bachelor’s degree (360 credits) than it would to get a higher certificate (120 credits).