Why is choosing subjects so important?
After reading our previous blog on Exploring who you are informs your future, I hope that you have some ideas of where you might be heading. Remember – dreams, ideas and interests may (and will probably) change over time. The thoughts you have about your future now, might unravel into something quite different, but as you keep on exploring your unique self and the world out there, you should find that your dreams become more and more focused and that you start discovering the future you were made for.
Be aware: This future will not just appear out of nowhere – you need to take some very necessary steps. One of these important steps is to choose the right subjects (the right subjects for you, remember) in order to open your way towards the careers you would most probably enjoy pursuing.
Because of this:
When you start pursuing the career you want, you need to think about the training that will equip you best for that particular career. When you consider the different paths of training, you need to explore which institutions and courses would be most suitable. Lastly – and, for the moment, most importantly – when you think about institutions and courses you want to apply for, you need to be aware and informed about the different ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS for each course.
Therefore, although there are no good or bad subjects, certain courses require certain subjects. Without the required subjects you will not be able to enter specific courses and will be very limited to which type of course or institution you can apply for.
So here are the IMPORTANT STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE WHEN CHOOSING YOUR SUBJECTS:
- Get to know yourself and think about the future and the possible careers you want to pursue (take another look at the questions in the previous blog to help you). You do not have to be completely sure, or have a specific career in mind, but you should start thinking about the fields you would want to enter.
- Familiarise yourself with the types of qualifications and training that would give you access to these careers or career fields. Go and have a look at the list of careers on www.pacecareer.com or ask people you know in these fields what kind of training they received before entering their careers
- Familiarise yourself with the admission requirements of the training you would want to enter (remember! Your interests and preferences might still change; therefore it is always a good idea to make sure that you are keeping your options open!)
See the guide provided in the pdf: Required subjects per career field for an idea of which subjects are required by most institutions/courses in different career fields. Also see institution websites for specific course information (see pdf: Contact details tertiary institutions).
- When looking at the required subjects for each field or course, also note that most courses require a certain minimum performance in the subjects they list
It is not enough only taking the subject – you also need to perform according to the expected requirements, so keep your current performance in related subjects in mind when making your decision.
- Lastly, apart from the specific subject requirements, there are additional requirements you need to fulfil in order to study a degree, diploma or certificate (see pdf: General admission requirements for tertiary study)
Ok, so let’s talk about Maths, Maths Literacy and Science.
Everybody is telling you to take Maths and Science, aren’t they? You keep on hearing how Maths and Science are important subjects to take. But maybe that is not true for you. Maths and Science are good subjects to take, don’t get me wrong, but they are only good subjects to take if you are interested in the fields that REQUIRE Maths and Science, or when you are interested in these subjects themselves and do well enough in them.
So how do you know?
Physical Science opens various options for study in the fields of Science, Medical and Health Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Architecture and Design. If you are interested in one or more of these fields, YOU NEED TO TAKE PHYSICAL SCIENCE. If you MIGHT BE interested in one of these fields, YOU NEED TO TAKE PHYSICAL SCIENCES. If you don’t enjoy Science and don’t think you’ll want to enter one of the above mentioned fields, you will not need to take Physical Science. Just be sure to make this decision in an informed way.
Same goes for Mathematics (or “pure Maths” as some of you might call it). Most courses in the fields of Commerce (Business, Economics, Accounting etc.), as well as the fields mentioned above, require Mathematics (and not Maths Literacy) for consideration of entry. Therefore, taking Maths Literacy to improve your aggregate might do exactly that, but might at the same time close various options in your preferred field of study.
However, you also need to take note of the required performance in Mathematics. For example: a course in Agricultural Management might require a performance of 50% in Mathematics OR 70% in Maths Literacy. If even trying your best does not help you to pass Maths well enough (because, let’s face it – Maths is NOT everybody’s thing and you are probably much better in History or Languages than most Mathematicians!), it might then be better for you to take Maths Literacy and to score that 70%. Also, most courses in Humanities (e.g. Social Work, Teaching, and Psychology) and Linguistics (e.g. Journalism, Communication or Languages) do not require of you to have Mathematics as a subject. Again – make an informed decision
Ok, so this is a lot of information to consider, but the most important to remember is this:
The decisions you are going to make NOW regarding your Grade 10-12 subjects, will impact your decisions regarding your career LATER. So…
- Know yourself and decide for YOURSELF
- Don’t decide not to take a subject because you don’t like the teacher
- Don’t choose subjects because you’ll have friends in the same class
- Select subjects that will gain you access to as many of the career fields you are interested in
- Think long term, not short term and be informed!
Have a look at the additional information below and please post any questions you have so we can answer it. Remember to visit www.pacecareers.com for information on different careers and career fields and familiarise yourself with different courses, and their admission requirements, that are at offer.