Sunday, 31 August 2014

4. High school learners: awareness of occupations and related university courses - Project in progress

I had attended a program called "Pathwayforlife" which was started by a retired American couple Mr Ray Brooke and Mrs Gay Brooke. They had been traveling around the world for this purpose: "To Encounter, Engage, Encourage, Equip and Empower college students."

We only had 3 sessions with the couple but I've gained so much from the program; things that are of great importance, which I will share in later posts. Right now, I'd like to share a concern that was raised at one of the sessions.

During the sessions we've had, we had been divided in groups and each group had to partake in a set of activities. One activity stood out the most for me:
The activity was centered around finding our purpose in life. The couple informed us that part of finding our purpose in life is to discover the needs in our country and in the rest of the world. Pupils such as the late Mr Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela were used as examples of people whose purpose in life was driven by the need in their country; and in the case of the late former President, it was to free South Africa of the apartheid regime.
In our groups, we were given a task to identify the needs of our country and to discuss possible solutions. Among the needs that we identified, one of them was that something needs to be done about the fact that some learners from certain high schools arrive at university and choose a course that they hardly know much about. Learners choose courses that they end up not liking or enjoying; and hadn't a clue what they were getting themselves into when they chose the course. I think those are among the causes for drop-outs and the small number of students who graduate in the year they're supposed to. One of the group members and fellow student raised this issue and could relate to it, myself included. A solution that the group agreed on was having awareness workshops where high school learners are informed about the different university courses and careers that can emerge from them.

Of course there are already initiatives and programs such as ABASA (Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of South Africa) that provide such workshops, but only for certain occupations. ABASA caters for the accounting profession. There are also many schools that are not that privileged to be informed about various careers.

Not long after this idea about such a workshop came up; I had an idea of making a simple PowerPoint presentation on the different occupations and link them to the relevant courses - using the computer skills I had obtained.

I knew that the presentation would take me a long time to complete and that I will need help.
There are lawyers, accountants, doctors, carpenters, architects, engineers, nurses, etc. There are trainees, students who are studying, trained and being prepared for those occupations. I need YOUR help. For completion of the project, I would like the following information:

For YOUR profession/ occupation:
- If applicable, the high school subjects and results required for enrollment into university
- Name of the university course to enroll into
- Number of years the course takes
- Experiences and exposure students should engage in while at university
- What to do after obtaining degree
- Characteristics required
- Other requirements expected to be an excellent candidate for the profession/occupation
- Other professions / occupations that stem from the same degree

The presentation can be distributed to our high schools across the country and aboard if need be. It will be made available to the general public. Any presentations already made available can be provided, too.

All information can be sent to me via email to The subject of your email must consist of the name of the occupation and "info."; for example: "Chartered Accountant info."

Please feel free to share any ideas that you feel may be useful.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I certainly hope this will be a success.

P.S: since I am in South Africa, I can only make a presentation on courses provided in South Africa to avoid any unnecessary confusion: the courses in the other universities around the world may differ from those of South African universities.
All individuals will be acknowledged for reference; and all information is subject to scrutiny for reasonableness and reliability.

Till next time :)


  1. An excellent idea. You can shorten the distribution process by creating a profile, through which all can access your presentations easily.

    1. That would be great Mr Cadogan! I was hoping to get help on the presentation. My computer skills are not too advanced. I'll get back to you when i have all the information i need, or in due time to ask how that profile works. Thanks so much Mr Cadogan :).