There is a study pathway for everyone – does your school leaver know theirs?

Many of the young people I work with are increasingly interested in finding out about alternative ways to gain tertiary qualifications and understand their options. The good news is there are many tertiary pathways that sit a little outside the box and offer an alternative to the traditional straight road into tertiary studies.
Covid-19 is creating real uncertainty in terms of what a first year at university away from home might look like. This has led to an increase in young people looking to consider a gap year, employment or gaining some undergraduate qualification locally or online.
It is important to ensure that young people are aware of the study pathways that fall into the government funded category, for example, or are at least leading towards a sector where there is a skills shortage. This knowledge can support young people with their pathway decisions and create genuine opportunities in exciting and important future industries.
One pathway that I have learnt about this week is the NZ Diploma in Engineering, delivered at various polytechnics around the country, including NorthTec in Whangarei. This two-year course is fully funded by the government (until December 2022) as it fits under the sub-degree programmes in targeted areas that support the construction industry.
Not only can students study the two first years of a Bachelors Degree in Engineering fees-free but they will also be supported to apply for an internship and gain valuable hands-on experience with a local business, learning from experienced engineers.
This could be a great option for a school leaver (or a mature learner) who is unsure about studying away from home, who wants to save money or who wants both academic and practical experience before committing to university studies away from home.
This qualification staircases into the University of Auckland’s Engineering degree which gives student two years to decide what interests them most in the field of engineering.
My key message is that there is a pathway for every young person based on their interests, ambitions and learning style. While Covid-19 has caused much uncertainty and stress, it is also creating interesting and alternative opportunities and it’s important young people know about their options so they can make the most of them.
If you’re keen for help to assess all your options, including the government-funded programmes available next year, please contact me – I’d be glad to help!