Pres. Jacob Zuma, SONA and the future of education choices


“We will continue to invest in education and skills development as that is the key to economic growth and development. We need engineers, electricians, plumbers, doctors, teachers and many other professionals to build our country’s economy. Education therefore remains an apex priority for this government.”

In the State of the Nation Address 17 June 2014, President Jacob Zuma put the economy at centre stage with skills as the apex prioriy.

It’s clear – the more skilled you are, the more you participate in the economy, and the more you benefit from it.

Read on to see how this influences career & study choices.

Internships to increase

The public sector will take more interns. The private sector will receive tax incentives to take interns.  This means that students will need additional skills to get these opportunities and make the most of them.

University applicants to increase

The president stated his aim to improve the number of Grade 12 learners with university entrance by 45% over the next five years.

It’s very a positive move, but today’s students still have to think smart – and here are 7 reasons why: (check out fact no. 6!)

  1. The increase is for “learners with entrance” – not “learners who will enter”.
  2. It’s a 5-year plan.
  3. The main beneficiaries are therefore those in their earliest high school years.
  4. Universities already struggle to meet the demand. How will they cope with 45% more applicants?
  5. Many working people cannot afford the time & cost of attending university.
  6. Only 15% of all university students graduate after 3 years. 85% do not. (finance, academics, wrong choice)
  7. Our country has a shortage of people with vocational, work related skills

Making the right education choices

According to fact no. 6 – 85% of South Africans should make better study choices.So, it makes good sense to think differently (and carefully) about career and education choices.

  • Are you focusing on the skills our country needs?
  • Have you considered the full picture of education options (college, university, university of technology, skills training).
  • Does your education choice provide career skills as well?
  • Have you considered the right career before considering the study choices?

There’s definitely a new way to think about your education plan. If you don’t have a plan you need to make one, and a smart one. You could start that conversation by speaking to a career consultant. You can use this link to get in touch with one.

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