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Didn’t get into university?

There are alternatives to consider

by Media Xpose

Sometimes in life not getting what you want immediately is mentally taxing. When things don’t go according to plan, alternatives can be looked at as part of the journey towards the end goal. So, what are some of the alternatives?

Many of us seek to obtain a university degree in the hopes of securing employment in the future. The reality, however, is that university can be very expensive, there are limited spaces (universities cap the number of students they can accommodate), and sometimes learners don’t meet the entry requirements. If a matriculant or individual does not manage to obtain admission to a university, it is not the end of the world and there are alternatives to get you upskilled.

Private institutions

There are pros and cons associated with attending private colleges.

Some of the pros include:

  • Some accredited colleges and universities have a very good standing from a reputation perspective.
  • At certain private institutions it can be a bit “easier” to be accepted – government universities tend to have stringent capacity requirements.

Some of the cons include:

  • While there are various private accredited institutions, applicants should be very thorough with research as there are some “bogus” colleges.
  • Some private institutions can be a bit more costly.
  • Private institutions are not covered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) – if applicants require funding, they will have to go the bank loan route or have a discussion with the institution about payment plans.

TVET Colleges

TVET Colleges historically have had a bit of a negative connotation, however, this is changing. Over the years numerous TVET Colleges have produced very successful graduates who have gone on to obtain employment in various industries. TVET Colleges generally are more geared towards equipping students with practical skills, which can go a long way in terms of employability. NSFAS can be applied for.

Online courses

Depending on the field you wish to enter, online courses can be budget-efficient and there is a level of flexibility in terms of time management. For example, if you are doing online courses in coding, you can choose to undertake it full-time or part-time.

If you choose this route, students will need a strong internet connection. Some institutes have adopted online classes whereas some are purely work-on-your-own with support. Online courses can also be cost-effective i.e., you can work from home, or you could study after hours if you have a job.


Often the word internship is associated with someone who has a post-matric qualification. However, there are internships that are offered to matriculants. Internships are a great way to gain practical experience in a particular industry or role, which can also give insight as to whether it really is the career field you want to pursue prior to studying further. An internship is also a great way to network for potential future career prospects.

Entering the workforce

Securing employment is a step towards a level of financial freedom. For example, if you are unable to study due to funding, having a job can help fund your future studies.

Another positive is, depending on which organisation you work for, there are skills development opportunities that may be afforded to you. When many of us are young, we often have dreams about being in a high-powered position – the reality is that many of us have to start at the bottom and work our way up.

Whatever course you decide to take, the main takeaway advice is to be proactive and look at alternatives as opportunities. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t go to university – you can still upskill yourself and have a good career.

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