1. Why is it so difficult for school leavers to decide on a career to follow?
Recent research has indicated that prospective tertiary education students are not confident about their career choices. Schools do not have the resources they need to assist learners with career investigation, and in addition, they have to focus their time and efforts on the academic material for exams –they don’t have the luxury of spending time advising on careers. It is in this environment that learners have to make a choice and finalise applications! I can also say from experience – when you are in first year you are overwhelmed, studies are very difficult at a tertiary level, and we land up questioning whether the effort required matches our passion for the industry we have selected!
2. So Boston realized that there was a gap in career education at school level, and addressed it with a computerized programme?
Well, recent research indicates that 73% of matric students believe they are still in need of comprehensive career guidance and 84% believe there are many career opportunities they do not even know of. Sadly, only 21% believe they have the resources within their area to guide them towards their ideal career. Learners need clarity!
Boston invested in the development of a computerised assessment that can be delivered on a national basis and made sure it is offered free as part of our corporate social responsibility to education. A decision on careers is a life-changing decision and we have to keep in mind it involves a commitment to fees too, so we believe that we need to try and assist in matching the most appropriate skills and interests to studies. It is offered at no obligation or cost to any learner.
3. Tell us about the career compass assessment?
This is a hi-tech and brief career insight evaluation that is aimed to help students reach career maturity. It will help you explore things such as:
Do you want to work regular office hours or extended hours?
Work with numbers?
Work with people?
Work as a member of a team?
Are you creative? Do you wish to enter the working world as a technician, web designer, programmer, or administrator?
The answers to these pertinent questions guide the student towards the ideal study programme.
4. And when the aptitude assessment is complete – what do you get?
Results are available immediately, produced in a graph that ranks the individual’s results from the most suited career options to the least, based upon the individual’s interests.
Appropriate career choice is important – it has been proven that students are more likely to succeed academically if they are studying subjects that they enjoy.
‘Statistics show that there is a 15% – 25% throughput rate at South African universities and colleges (Source: High university drop-out rates: a threat to South Africa’s future – HSRC, 2008). This means that only about 1 quarter of all students who start a programme complete it. “This shows career choice requires research and self-evaluation with a consultant. And if you start a degree and you are not happy –investigate your options!”
5. What other advice do you have for learners about to make a career decision?
Education is not static – which is why Boston maintains a liaison with various industries, updates course material, and introduces new courses such as our new Cisco qualifications to keep graduates in demand in the workplace. We also continuously work on achieving accreditation for new Higher Ed degrees and diplomas, to meet new skills demands in the industry.
For more information, contact Boston on 011 551-2000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.boston.ac.za, or Facebook.