Listen: Careers counsellor Nicolene White chats to Clare Chate about alternative paths into universities and careers.
Close to 40,000 school leavers will be disappointed tonight, as they miss out on an offer for their preferred uni course.
The University Admissions Centre (UAC) is due to release the Main Round Offers to NSW applicants at 6pm this evening, with 85,000 would-be students waiting on the news, but only 46,000 offers being made.
But all is not lost for those who miss out, according to careers coach Nicolene White. With years of experience as a life coach and career counsellor, Nicolene has helped countless young people find their path towards their dream career. She told Hope 103.2 that there’s now many ways young people can work towards their dream career.
For students who don’t like the courses offered to them – or who have lost interest in what they originally selected – Nicolene says research is the next step to take.
“Have a look at other courses,” she said. “Look online at different universities, look at the uni where they had their main preferences, and see what other courses are available, and what they’re still eligible for.
“Then go onto the UAC site and go through the process of ‘Check and Change’.”
Front Up To The Dean – It’s Worth A Try!
For those who are very passionate about their dream uni course and have missed out by a small margin, approaching the university in person is an option, Nicolene said.
“Sometimes it’s even a possibility to go and speak to the Dean,” she said. “If it’s only a matter of a couple of points and if you really feel that that’s exactly what you want to do, it’s a funny saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
“Get yourself out there, go to the university, have an appointment, go there and be bold.
“It gets back to believing in yourself and following the pathway that excites you when you talk about it.”
Getting In To Your Dream Uni Course Later On
An option that’s often overlooked is the pathway courses offered by most of the major universities.
These are preparation courses consisting of various courses that help students get into university if they missed out in the school leavers’ round.
The TAFE-to-Uni path is also an option.
“TAFE have various courses that are going to prepare students to be able to go into university, and it might only be a one year program and then they can get into university the next year,” Nicolene said.
Alternatives To University
Nicolene also urges students who didn’t get into university, to look into the numerous alternative forms of study available, such as TAFE and private colleges.
“TAFE has got some great options and I would be suggesting go onto the TAFE website, and look at the courses there,” she said. “Or go online and look up private colleges for the particular field you’re interested in you will find there are so many options.
“It’s always possible to learn whatever it is you really want to do”
“It’s not just universities these days, to be honest there’s a lot of competition between private colleges, TAFE and Universities.”
She added that business colleges often offer graduating students more job-seeking support than universities at the end of their studies, while TAFE courses offer great practical experience that proves very valuable in the workforce.
“I would also be looking at Seek.com.au, and read about different professions,” she said.
“Look up actual job descriptions, and from that something might jump out at them. Then look into what course relates to that.
“Students may be feeling a bit despondent because they haven’t received what they want, but if they’re passionate about a particular field, there is always a pathway to get there.”
Your First Career Isn’t Forever
For those students concerned about making the wrong choice and getting “stuck” in the wrong career, Nicolene is living proof that you can always change.
She’s switched careers around eight times, and said it’s very normal for people to try one form of work for a while, then change their mind and take a different direction.
The key, she believes, is to simply “find something you love to do”.
“I know the importance of following your dreams, and realising that it’s always possible to learn whatever it is you really want to do,” she said. “I’m a great believer in that.”