[DATE: 26 January 2022]. With Matric results in, many are thinking, “Now what?” when looking to what their future holds. Choosing a career path can be a very exciting, but also an overwhelming experience. Luckily, these days, even with an ever changing job market, there are many courses, degrees and diplomas that open multiple doors and offer a flexible future.
When many think about their future career, they envision a steady stream of jobs within one industry, successfully climbing the corporate ladder. However, this type of career recipe isn’t as common as it once was. The reality is that people change not just jobs but careers as well, their interests evolve and external factors force whole industries to change. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted this, showing how quickly career paths and company growth plans needed to adjust to this adapted environment.
“The number one thing that I tell all prospective students is that you have to be flexible when it comes to preparing for your future. You need to realise that your studies post Matric are only the first step to success. Even if you don’t know what career you want to pursue just yet, there are many courses you can take that will be useful across multiple fields, whichever career path you finally choose,” says Di Charton, Head of Department: Marketing and Senior Lecturer (Marketing & Advertising Communications), Red & Yellow Creative School of Business.
Below are her five tips to help high school graduates plan for a future career.
1) Stay ahead of the curve by researching future trends
It is important to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for a future job, even if it doesn’t exist – many of the jobs advertised today didn’t even exist a few years ago. Therefore, research trends not only in an interested industry, but also general career trends that will enable one to map out a career trajectory.
“An interesting trend that has recently gained traction is the concept of a metaverse, all thanks to Facebook recently rebranding itself as Meta. The metaverse is a network of virtual worlds that are focused on social connection,” says Charton.
“The metaverse worlds will become the next natural evolution of the internet. Organisations will start looking at creating immersive environments where people can work and play. In order to prepare for this changing world, we need to be curious and continue to learn, grow and explore the world around us. Consider looking at a digital marketing course that covers digital marketing strategy, which prepares one in understanding the digital customer and designing customer experiences,” she continues.
2) Focus on building transferable skills rather than a specific job
It is no secret that technology is advancing at a rapid speed and this creates the possibility that certain jobs can become redundant. However, job titles might change, but the skills that have been learnt can be transferred over time.
“Courses such as Copywriting, Project Management and Creative Thinking can really come in handy within any job space. These are skills that are always needed and stand the test of time. It is a journey that you go on and consistently revisit. Red & Yellow has a low student to lecturer ratio which allows lecturers to mentor and guide students, not just within their studies, but helping them find their place in the world,” adds Charton.
3) Talk to professionals
By making connections with people who are established within their area of interest, and by asking the right questions, students can get a more realistic idea of what they can expect from a potential career path. Not only does this provide informed guidance, it can also result in learners building useful relationships that could one day lead to them getting a foot in the door.
“Most industry professionals are more than happy to share their experience or advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and there are many resources available that give access to people in a specific profession. LinkedIn connections, Facebook groups or personal contacts are all good options and institutions like Red & Yellow also have an endless supply of knowledgeable people willing to give advice and help students find the right fit for them, “says Charton.
4) Break the mould
These days success come not just from traditional, cookie cutter jobs. There are so many accomplished artisans and business owners who are masters of their industries. Students should not be afraid to think outside of the box and forge their own career path.
“If you have a passion or a hobby that makes you happy then use it as a foundation. Focus on studying something that you can use to turn an interest into a career. There are so many learning options out there, be it an entrepreneurial degree that will help you build a business, or a focused artisanal course to master a craft. Don’t be afraid to study to be your own boss,” adds Charton.
5) Never stop learning
Education is key and everyone should take advantage of all the educational opportunities that come their way, looking at ways to grow and develop the skills that give a competitive edge in a chosen career.
“Remember, it is also fine to change your career path from one to the other. You should never feel like you are stuck doing something that you are no longer passionate about. However, learning skills that are always in demand and which are transferable mean that even a career change can mean moving upwards, rather than sideways in the career ladder. If you are still uncertain of what course you would like to take, look at courses such as a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree, as the fundamentals will always have value in any career,” Charton ends.
The Red & Yellow Creative School of Business offers a variety of degrees, advanced diplomas and short courses, all designed to set students on the path to a successful career. The Employability Study conducted by the Honoris Network saw that this resulted in 87% of their students being employed by the time they graduate.
In addition, the institution also offers a variety of online courses, designed to help students develop their skills, no matter which stage of their career they are in. Some of the most popular courses include a variety of Digital Marketing courses for people at all levels, Graphic Design for Beginners and Social Media Marketing.
Red & Yellow will be hosting Open Days on-campus on 29 January and 2 February 2022, 10am to 12. Applications for study in 2022 are currently open.
To find out more about how to apply to the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, go to https://www.redandyellow.co.za/.
NOTES TO EDITOR: Red & Yellow School of Creative Business.
Red & Yellow Creative School of Business is a CHE-accredited private higher education institution headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. It is an established cornerstone of the South African marketing, advertising, design and business industries, teaching its students to think creatively and equipping them with the critical commercial and 4IR skills that they need to thrive in a digital world.
Established in 1994, the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business offers degrees, advanced diplomas and certificates in marketing and commerce, digital marketing, user-centred design, graphic design and art direction, copywriting, digital content creation, as well as business and corporate offerings. The school also offers a range of popular online short courses and national certificates, and its highly-regarded corporate training team works with some of Africa’s most well-known companies to deliver innovative, customised programmes focused around 21st century skills.
Red & Yellow has deep, longstanding ties with industry and works with leading brands and agencies throughout Africa to ensure its students and alumni are always world-class and work-ready. Its students are regular nominees and winners at local and international awards ceremonies, including the Loeries, Pendorings and D&ADs.
The school’s alumni include business leaders who have achieved remarkable career success, across the continent and internationally, such as Jason Harrison and Faheem Chaudry of M&C Saatchi Abel; Veli Ngubane at Avatar; Dorcas Onyango at Coca Cola; and Steph van Niekerk at Grey JHB, ranked as South Africa’s No. 1 Creative Director and No. 1 Copywriter in 2019.
In addition, Red & Yellow is a member of Honoris United Universities, the pan-African private higher education network focused on educating the next generation of African leaders and entrepreneurs with industry-ready skills.
For more information, please visit www.redandyellow.co.za