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Choosing A Career When You Have No Idea What You Want To Do

Some people know from an early age what they want to be when they grow up. The vast majority, however, have no idea, and when the time comes for them to choose what they want to study, making a choice is a process riddled with anxiety.

Now, as South African Matrics come to the end of their schooling careers, many will still be unsure of what to do next year – and the clock is ticking for these young people to make a decision.

 “The best place to start is to make two lists. The first list is about things that interest you, things that you enjoy doing, and the school subjects in which you perform well.  The second list contains things that you don’t find stimulating or interesting,” advises Khanyisa Tlala, Student Relations Officer at Oxbridge Academy, a private college that serves more than 20 000 South African distance learning students every year.

“Next up, learners should start researching careers related to their fields of interest – both independently and with the assistance of a student counsellor at the potential institutions they may want to go to, or private career coaches.”

“For additional insights and clarity, it can also be helpful – and fun – to do a personality quiz which then matches your personality and interests to potential careers,” says Tlala. 

To access a fun and interactive personality quiz, go to:

According to Tlala it is also important to look to the future when choosing a career.  “Many current career options may become obsolete in years to come as technology evolves and processes and behaviours change.  Others will become more relevant and we will also see the rise of new career options.”

“It can be extremely difficult to choose a career at a young age that one then needs to stick with for years to come.  Instead of vacillating and suffering “analyses paralysis” and potentially not choosing anything for fear of making the wrong choice, a good idea is to do short courses that will expose you to a variety of study options and potential career paths.  These will also better equip you for the future and ultimately make you that much more employable.”

“For example, Oxbridge Academy recently launched short courses in Digital Marketing as well as Social Media, and we offer a course in Elementary Journalism – all good options that can equip you with in-demand skills.  We also offer short courses in Beauty Therapy, Childhood Development, Events Management, Computer Studies and many more.”

“Short courses such as these are also great for students who don’t manage to get a place at their chosen tertiary institution and need a stopgap for the year ahead.  Plus, they are offered via distance learning so the uncertainties that exist around Covid-19 and its impact of educational institutes in 2021 is removed.”

“Don’t spend 2021 sitting at home, but rather take your prospects into your hands and make it a productive year that forms a stepping stone to your future,” concludes Tlala.

For further information on distance learning short courses for 2021 please contact Sanet at Oxbridge Academy: 021 1100 144 or email

Alternatively, please visit