Should I study to be an artisan?

(If you were looking for info about N1-N3 electrical engineering then click here)

Is it worth studying to be an artisan?

You may have seen the N courses (N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6) etc (or NATED) certificates and diplomas advertised by various colleges recently. There are many fields of artisan training (e.g. mechanical, electrical, civil engineering, paralegal studies, business studies etc… the list goes on)


What’s it all about?

1. Are they new qualifications?

No – these qualifications have been around for many years. They were removed from the education system – but due to enormous need for people qualified in these skills – they were brought back by the South African Minister of Higher Education and Training.

2. Are they worth studying?

Yes.. and No…

If the college you’re thinking about studying at has no hope of linking you with an employer… then the answer is “No”.

But – the fact that they are desperately needed skills in South Africa means that the answer should be a resounding “Yes!”

3. How do I select a good college for these skills – when there are so many?

Many colleges can’t find people with real-world skills to teach the subjects for these courses. You’ll find that the majority use young, inexperienced “teachers” without any real teaching experience. In fact – the majority simply hire ex-students to teach the new students. You’re smart enough to see the problem with that right… (Somebody with no experience, probably an average of 60% in the exams, teaching the next class… from where the next “teachers will come”

4. Will I find work?

You should, absolutely. Remember – these qualifications disappeared for many years. In that time, the remaining qualified people got older and retired, while no new blood came to the scene.  There are lots of employment opportunities. But be realistic: Do you think a company with millions of Rands worth of equipment is going employ somebody who was taught by some junior who never even became an apprentice?

We hope that gives you something to think about as you make up your mind.

Like this? Maybe you’ll be interested in one of these trades:

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