Johan Fourie's blog

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Why and what to study in South Africa

with 258 comments

Career_LetsTalkAboutVarsityIt’s exam time at universities across South Africa, which means most students will suddenly have too much time to ponder the existential questions of life: Why am I here? What am I doing? Why am I doing this? (If you haven’t had these thoughts yet, try studying econometrics.) So I thought I’d provide some answers so that you can get back to thinking about the more pressing matters, like passing Ecos 2.

Why study?

A new research paper by two Stellenbosch economists provides the answer: South Africans (of all races) with a university degree (not a diploma or certificate) enter a labour market with an unemployment rate of 5.9% (in 2012), compared to the 25% unemployment rate for the total population. In other words, a university qualification reduces the odds of you not finding a job from 1 in 4, to 1 in 17. The more surprising thing is that this result holds across all universities and disciplines: a degree – no matter where or what type – makes a significant difference in your likelihood of finding a job.

From the existing data and research there is not much statistical evidence that either the type of degree acquired, or the university attended, leads to a greater likelihood of being unemployed for a graduate (although we still need better data and more research to understand these aspects fully). Unemployment rates are relatively low even amongst black graduates who currently are more likely to enrol for courses in the arts, humanities and social sciences and attend ‘formerly disadvantaged’ universities. While the composition and quality of a degree may play a role in black graduate unemployment being higher than for white graduates, black graduates still experience lower graduate unemployment than in the European Union, for example.

What to study?

So what you study doesn’t seem to matter? No. The above study measures your likelihood to get a job. And even though an art historian is as likely to get a job than a chemical engineer, their remuneration (salary) is likely to be different. Few of us are only concerned about getting a job; most of us care about the financial rewards (and auxiliary benefits) that that job offers.

A recent list by PayScale, a US company, ranks the top-paying degrees in the United States. I think this is a pretty accurate reflection of South Africa too, with one exception (which I’ll get to later). If you want to earn the big bucks, engineering is a good place to start, occupying six of the top seven highest paid degrees. Only Actuarial Mathematics – Actuarial Science in South Africa – can compete. An obvious feature of the top thirty top-paying degrees is that they require a heavy dose of mathematics, and one could argue that, given the poor performance in maths at South African schools, the premiums on these degrees would be even higher. The point is this: if you get an A for Matric maths, your best option is to enrol in an undergraduate degree that further develops your math skills (Engineering, Physics, Actuarial Science, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science). Studying mathematics is an excellent core skill to have; it opens up doors (at the graduate level) to many other applied fields, from the medical sciences, to software programming, to game theory, to managing your own business.

But not everyone can or want to (or should) be mathematicians. As the PayScale list shows, there are many other rewarding fields. One underrated field I consider to be increasingly important is supply chain management (or Logistics). Coding and computer programming will become increasingly important. And, as an economist, I must recommend Economics (and History): if you don’t believe me, read Noahpinion on why a PhD in Economics is the best thing since sliced bread. (Michael Jordaan, CEO of First National Bank, recently retweeted Noah’s post…)

And, remember, it is actually really really really important to do something you enjoy doing. You will spend most of your waking hours at work. You don’t want to hate it. (I’m happy that Ben Bernanke, chairperson of the Federal Reserve, shares this view. See point 7.)

Accounting for accounting

At this point, let me say something about the study of Accounting. Advising brilliant students (students that has the ability to study anything), school councillors in South Africa would most often suggest a career in either Actuarial Science and Accounting. To become a Chartered Accountant (following four years of study and two board exams) is seen as a ticket to riches and the logical option for many high-school students. To give one example of the preference for accounting; the School for Accounting at Stellenbosch now constitutes a third of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, which also include Economics, Management, Marketing, Logistics, Actuarial Science, Statistics, Industrial Psychology and the Business School.

This is a peculiar choice, and is unique to South Africa. Accounting is not a career choice for the brightest students in Europe or the United States, as is also clear from the PayScale list (Accounting doesn’t rank in the top 50). There are historical and institutional reasons for Accounting’s dominance at South African universities: the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants sets strict guidelines as to what should be included in undergraduate and graduate training, determines the difficulty of the board exams, and can thus limit the supply of Chartered Accountants (CAs) in the market. A limited supply increases the price, meaning qualified CAs earn well, which makes it even more sought-after. It is also a well-defined career path: get your Honours, write two exams, and you’re set. Make no mistake: these are some of the toughest exams to write, requiring years of hard studying. Only the toughest survive. The pay-off is a qualification with nearly limitless job opportunities (at least until the financial crisis hit) and guarantees high incomes.

Well-trained accountants have certainly contributed to the quality financial institutions South Africa is known for.  But – and this is a question I have no answer for – at what cost for the individuals and for society? I have not met many accountants who enjoy their job; they enjoy the benefits, yes, but not necessarily the auditing. These are driven individuals (you have to be to pass those exams) and they often rise quickly in an organisation, but is it because of the knowledge they gained studying Accounting or is it because they are inherently intelligent, motivated individuals? Would they not have climbed the corporate ladder in any event – perhaps even faster – with some other degree? More importantly for society, what if the most brilliant of South African high-school students, instead of learning auditing rules and tax principles and accounting standards, were grappling with the Hodge conjecture (in mathematics), the Gettier problem (in epistemology), the Golgi apparatus (in cell theory), the Equity Premium puzzle (in financial economics), or supermassive black holes (in astrophysics)? Or instead decided to create something brilliant: as authors, as artists, as entrepreneurs?

If Einstein was born in South Africa, he would probably have studied accounting. I’m not sure that he – or South Africa and the world at large – would have benefited much from such an arrangement.

I’m still at school and don’t know what I want to study

The good news is that it doesn’t really matter what you study, as long as you study something and make sure you get your degree. That degree – regardless of what you know – is already a sign to potential employers that you can work hard. But there are a few things you can do to improve your salary and job satisfaction:

  • Learn a computer language at school. Coding will open many job opportunities that probably don’t even exist yet.
  • In a world of information overload, writing succinctly is a skill that will be prized in all professions. To write well, read. Why not learn another language while you’re at it? (I would recommend Portuguese (for the fast-growing markets of Brazil, Mozambique and Angola), Swahili (East Africa), Mandarin (China), Spanish (the Americas) or French (West Africa, and to impress girls).
  • Of course, the richest people under 30 in the world are not the ones who studied. They are the entrepreneurs that had a great idea and put in a lot of effort to make those ideas a reality. Entrepreneurs are the life-blood of society. I can think of nothing more rewarding than building your company from a small garage workshop into something that has a profound impact on society, employing dozens or even hundreds or thousands of people. The sooner you start, the better.
  • If you need more information of university life, please read this book. It’s available (for free) on Google Books. If you’d like a hard copy, I still have thousands in my garage. (I started too late.)
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Written by Johan Fourie

May 25, 2013 at 10:19

258 Responses

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  1. This is very interesting. I’d also like to read the book, the hard cover preferably. May I request a copy?

    Oratile

    May 12, 2017 at 09:20

  2. Hi I want to study psychology at unisa, I don’t know where to start or if I qualify .. I did my matric 2003 and I passed English c,sepedi c, Afrikaans e, physical science f, agricultural science f … So if I qualify what r the steps to follow so that I can study psychology

    Sophy Manthosi

    March 24, 2017 at 20:41

  3. Hi I only managed late to do my matric and now I’m 40 finishing my adult matric.
    Is there a chance I can study further in any field and still manage to get a decent job afterwards at my age?

    Zibusiso Rorwana

    February 22, 2017 at 20:02

    • Absolutely!!! I’m 48 and doing my first year at UWC. Contact the closest university to your place of residence and enquire about their RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). It is never too late.

      Sharon Naidoo

      May 4, 2017 at 15:29

  4. Hi I only managed late to do my matric and now I’m 40 finishing my adult matric.
    Is there a chance I can study further in any field and still manage to get a decent job afterwards?

    Zibusiso Rorwana

    February 22, 2017 at 20:01

  5. […] than I could have hoped for. The large number is largely the result of one post I wrote – Why and what to study in South Africa – which I wrote in May 2013 and has since received more than 156 000 views. It also has 251 […]

  6. Well I suggest that I go to college and my diploma in engineering so I can get the job fast because too much of qualification in not good

    Amanda

    January 20, 2017 at 07:34

  7. Hi,My daughter is in Grade11 (IGCSE,cambridge syllabus) and she wants to choose accounting as her career, now she is doing Maths,Computer science,Accounting and does she need to take Economics or Business studies? to choose accounting as her career.

    Kiran

    January 19, 2017 at 09:09

  8. Hello I’m Nkosinathi Dube and I’m looking for a job which pays well and I’m finding it difficult to find a job with the subjects I’m doing which are Business Studies,History,,Mathematical Literacy,Engineering Graphics and Design,English,SiSwati & Life Orientation…..so please help me find the perfect job by offering me a variety of choices to choose from …thanks

    Nkosinathi Dube

    January 6, 2017 at 18:10

  9. Hi, I’m a Swazi who has completed school last year and have difficulty in choosing a career. I for one would love to know a career which will be best for since i love to solve things, look for loop holes, draw and still have time to refresh. For the past 4 years I have been doing my best to improve my house planning skills by using different softwares to design with. I don’t know if Architecture/Civil engineering/Mechanical engineering are good for me. I would love to do these courses in S.A cause of they development

    Paris

    December 9, 2016 at 10:15

  10. Hi. I’m 24 years of age, I’ve just completed an NCV Level 4 Office Administration last year. I’m currently studying Management Assistant N6. So I need to know whether I do qualify to study LLB or BSc Finance. The subjects that I studied while doing NCV are: Maths Lit, English FAL, Personal Assistance, Business practice, Office Practice, Office Data processing.

    KARABO

    December 2, 2016 at 18:13

  11. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

    Izetta Sheer

    November 27, 2016 at 17:28

  12. Im a 32 year old man with technician diploma in electrical engineering theory my ordinary grades are not impressive i need help on how i can further my studies please

    Tony

    November 1, 2016 at 10:46

  13. Good day, i am a 21 year old caucasion female living in South Africa, i am working as a Reception at a Panelbeating Workshop and i still do not know what to study as i really want to go futher in life and want to build a great future with a Family.

    Chandre

    October 6, 2016 at 15:56

  14. hy am nonhlanhla n am in grade 12 n have no clue on what 2study next year n the subjects that I do are life sciences, geography, tourism, maths lit n Afrikaans so I would like you to give me some advice on what to study thank you

    nonhlanhla

    September 23, 2016 at 22:06

  15. hy am a grade 12 so,i don’t know which career path i should choose my subject are as follow: maths lit,geography,tourism nd history..I am looking forward for you’re respond

    zanele

    September 1, 2016 at 19:14

    • I would suggest based on your subject choice you study either BA Environmental Science/Management or Bachelors in Agriculture.

      Affie

      September 9, 2016 at 14:25

    • haai my son is doing the following subjects I don’t know which career path should he choose

      mandisa sitole

      February 28, 2017 at 11:21

  16. I want to study Economics but not with Unisa, please advise best institution for me in johannesburg.

    Thank you

    Thembile

    August 31, 2016 at 19:44

    • Hi Thembile, what are your reasons for not wanting to study with Unisa?

      Lee

      December 22, 2016 at 06:35

  17. Hllw I need advice can I study engineering when I had these subject maths lit,history,economics,life science,English, isixhosa,life orientation I had matric

    okuhle

    August 30, 2016 at 08:59

    • no. u need pure maths and physics

      Thandi

      November 8, 2016 at 01:29

  18. I’m in grade 11 and really battling with Chemistry & I’m afraid I won’t pass science in matric. Should I drop science & take Geography now in the 3rd term of grade 11 or is it too late to change now?

    Bruce

    July 31, 2016 at 08:42

  19. Im a grade 12 learner this year nd stil i dont knw which career to choosechoose.. Subject that i do iz maths lite, geography, history, afrikaans, setswana, english, LO

    Kamogelo

    July 21, 2016 at 10:03

  20. I passed grade10 with physical science,life science, geography & mathematics …what should I study for and can I study at fart hare with my grade 10

    Nolutando

    July 10, 2016 at 07:56

  21. Hellow..I’m doing Matric and I still don’t know what to study for next year…I’m so confused.

    precious

    July 5, 2016 at 20:54

  22. Hey good people
    I’m in Grade 11 and i’m still not sure on what to study and i’m confused,please help me because I really need help.My subjects are:Life Sciences,History,Geography,Mathematical Literacy,Life Oriantation,English & Setswana

    Kenneth

    June 2, 2016 at 14:44

    • Hi Kenneth

      I think that if you can stomach engineering (and importantly, if you have an interest in it!) then go for an engineering degree. From your subjects, you may need to do a bridging year though.

      Candy

      June 19, 2016 at 16:20

    • Need help in choosing a career

      precious

      July 5, 2016 at 21:03

    • Try nursing

      Sanele

      September 8, 2016 at 18:14

    • Hi I’m Nomathamsanqa.I Was Doing My Matric Last Year(2016).I’m Interested In Law Which Includes Paralegals,Legal Secretary,Lawyers And e.t.c. I was Doing History Life Sciences,Geography,Mathematical Literacy,IsiZulu,Life Orientation And English.Can I Qualify To Study Law With The Subjects I Was Doing At School,Please Help.

      Nomathamsanqa

      January 4, 2017 at 06:30

  23. I’m doing my grade 12 this year I’m still not sure of what to study but I love and good at accounting, economics and business studies, please help

    Christine

    May 15, 2016 at 21:40

    • a bcom in accounting will get you far in that field if you enjoy it

      kav

      June 7, 2016 at 14:29

    • Dear christine why dont you try for BBA course that we offer.

      saloni

      June 16, 2016 at 13:58

  24. I really love this and it opened my eyes,I have a much clearclearer picture

    Christine

    May 15, 2016 at 21:30

  25. Whoa….such a handy site.|

    Ervin Calliham

    May 10, 2016 at 16:10

  26. Hi i’m in grade 11 doing these subjects: geography,life science,maths literacy, lo,english and afrikaans.I don’t know which career I can do please help me thanks.

    Estenia kgole

    April 30, 2016 at 22:49

  27. I don’t know what to study and I’m in grade 12 I want something to do with accounting and what I won’t struggle to find a job.

    please can u get back to me

    natasha zondo

    April 21, 2016 at 16:00

  28. I want to study business economics

    Lindiwe

    March 24, 2016 at 22:22

  29. I’m 33yrs and going to write my 4 subjects In June for 1st year of metric and I’m also have a certificate in computer, home based care and level 7 of intrepreneural. I feel like I have to study more. The thing is I don’t have money to study. So what can I do.

    charlotte nomaswazi yikani

    March 19, 2016 at 17:40

  30. Please we do not know how to pay for my son who wants to study electrical engineering. He started casualling in but I want him to focus only on studies how and what do we do. I don’t want him to give up because we cannot afford it. Please advice or help will help us.

    Sheryl Van Der Westhuizen

    January 15, 2016 at 14:35

    • Hi, my daughter is doing biomedical science, how good are her chances of being admitted to medicine or pharmacy after she complete her course in medicine, in grde 12 she got 66 mathematics, 60 phyisical science, 72 lifesciences,
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

      sthandiwelovely@gmail.com

      January 18, 2016 at 19:49

    • Hi, my daughter is doing biomedical science, how good are her chances of being admitted to medicine or pharmacy after she complete her course in bio medicine, in grde 12 she got 66 mathematics, 60 phyisical science, 72 lifesciences,
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

      sthandiwelovely@gmail.com

      January 18, 2016 at 19:50

      • let her apply at medunsa now known as sefako makgatho health science university for medicine

        lesego

        June 14, 2016 at 23:23

  31. Hi Johan, you mentioned that you have hard copies available. Could you possibly make contact so that we make an arrangement for us to collect. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Maryke Viljoen

    January 14, 2016 at 16:24

  32. […] most popular post on this blog – by far! – remains the Why and what to study in South Africa entry I wrote in May 2013. My advice was pretty simple: if you can do math, study a degree where […]

  33. I’m perplexed what to study and where for I have done my high school in Lesotho but a south Africa citizen

    Thabang

    January 7, 2016 at 18:27

  34. Good people ,

    If I could I would help you all .

    The new kid on the block is UX .
    Google it .

    I cant help everyone but will try to accommodate the few I can fit into 24 hrs a day .

    Go study UX .

    We need to change the world .
    dereck@swapmobile.co.za

    Dereck

    January 5, 2016 at 01:33

  35. Hi Everyone ,

    The latest thing to study is Interaction Design – regardless what you want to do there is someone with money on the other side , some refer to them as customers , clients , users etc but essentially that is the person with the money , the money you want .

    It is going change the MBA program , the Arts , the everything .

    Google terms like UX , IxD etc , you’ll see what I mean .

    The time has come to break free of what the system says we should do .
    It is also time to start listening to our customers , patients , clients etc

    If you are at all interested to make any kind of money – start thinking and caring about the person across you who has the money you need .

    Or , ignore this and be do the same old same old .

    Our people , our country , our planet needs something fresh .

    your call !

    Will help
    Have Email address
    dereck@swapmobile.co.za

    Dereck

    January 5, 2016 at 01:29

    • Hi Johan ,

      Hope this gets to you .

      We have to help the youth .

      Please make contact

      Dereck

      Dereck du Toit

      January 5, 2016 at 02:02

  36. Hi. I am having trouble picking between a university and a college. I want to study IT and I really need your help. Thanks

    Sanele

    December 29, 2015 at 20:13

  37. Hello,

    Nice article, additionally as future exchange student I would like to ask couple questions
    Currently I am a student of Rotterdam Business school, RSM, and I have an opportunity to go for exchange semester to Witt business school. However, I would like to know whether I will have an opportunity to stay and decent employment opportunities with Master’s diploma from Top European business school, couple internships at top international companies and + exchange semester Witts.
    And of course is the level of studies is on the same wave as in Europe?

    Looking forward for answer

    Saulius

    November 12, 2015 at 22:01

  38. […] got me thinking about a topic I’ve written on before: what do the best and brightest South African high school matriculants choose to study? Of course, […]

  39. Is it possible to obtain MBA wen havin honours degree in built environment profession?

    REEGY

    November 2, 2015 at 17:48

  40. I study life science, history, travel tourism and mathematical literary when i was in high school, now i need a career advice what to take.

    Zanele Zulu

    November 1, 2015 at 10:37

    • Any branch under BA probably

      REEGY

      November 2, 2015 at 17:49

  41. i want to understand about studying logistics when am doing different subjects?

    Baloyi Kulani Aeron

    November 1, 2015 at 09:11

  42. in the organisation of today some people forget that we are not gifted the same
    .
    .am in grade 11 doing general subjects including history,agric,geography,maths lit.the advise l want is what degree can open doors for me?

    michael

    October 22, 2015 at 08:03

  43. ii am really under-pressure .. i am writing my final exams next week and ii still dont know which course to do at varsity next year .. ii am doing maths , economics and history at school ..

    Tee Mthembu

    October 13, 2015 at 13:09

  44. i want to know that you can become an economist with mathematical literacy i want info because i like that career.

    refilwe sipha

    October 1, 2015 at 18:10

  45. hi,i’m in grade 10 now,i’m doing maths lit, geography, life sciences, history, english, life orientation and tourism. I need career choices that i can pursue. I’ll appreciate if you can help me.

    mojoyin

    September 28, 2015 at 19:58

  46. […] | Read Sources […]

  47. ahm currently in matric and dnt knw wht to study nxt yr…ahm doin Maths,Physics,Life sciences,Geography and languages.the thin is ah love all ma subjects and don’t wanna sacrifice by living any one of them nxt yr….and yes ahm veri gwd @ EM bt if ws askd to rank em ah wuld chose maths 1st,then physics..then after life-sciences and lastly Geography bt still ah love em all….any ideas?

    refilwe mokoka

    September 19, 2015 at 15:23

  48. I’m doing geography,life sciences,history and maths literacy can I become a fire fighters

    Sibusiso

    September 8, 2015 at 20:45

  49. I’m doing geography,life sciences ,history and maths literacy can I become a fire fighters

    Sibusiso

    September 8, 2015 at 20:43

    • Sir, you can become whatever you want to become, except for becoming 2+ fire fighters, unfortunately you can only become one of those.

      Ryan

      September 14, 2015 at 08:53

  50. our CA

    T MAN

    September 6, 2015 at 07:51

  51. […] has just entered the job market. Google and Wikipedia can help too. So too can blog posts, like my own one here. I’ve heard too many stories of students’ decisions being influenced by friends or family who […]

  52. Hi,thnx this really helped me..

    Nonhlanhla

    August 24, 2015 at 17:11

  53. Am planning on studying building science next year ..i want know more about the course,i need guidance on which path to follow after the ND.

    Sizwe

    August 23, 2015 at 05:24

  54. Hy.thnx a lot 4ur tym you’ve really opened my eyes on how to choose a career.Am currently upgrading ma grd 12 en am really confused i dnt knw wht to study next year coz am not gud in maths.

    Mahlori

    August 21, 2015 at 08:58

  55. […] **I am often asked how to best prepare yourself for an Honours degree in Economics. I would suggest that you, aside from doing third-year economics of course, also enroll for good courses in statistics and mathematics (at least up until the second-year level). And if you have more undergraduate time, do history and philosophy too. Here are some other random thoughts on what to study. […]

  56. Hey! Thakx for your time ……. Its look like you know a lot , am currently working as internship at South African Police services at Human Resource Management office now I want to study further am confused which course I can study at Unisa ,

    When I want to study H.R people say H.R have less job opportunities

    Dion

    July 31, 2015 at 21:13

    • Good day Dion,

      I am a criminology graduate from unisa and would like some guidance as to how you achieved your internship opportunity and its process. Please contact me on 48012262@mylife.unisa.ac.za Your advice will be highly appreciated.

      Regards,
      Fathima.

      Fathima.

      September 1, 2015 at 08:10

  57. Hi there,am currently studyng BA communication at university of Limpopo,i wanna know more about it so that i can do my honours degree next year

    Tsire mandane

    July 26, 2015 at 16:22

  58. it seems like you know a lot can you brief me on medical doctrine please and it’s pros and cons of it

    skhumbuzo

    July 23, 2015 at 16:40

  59. I would like to find out more about what to study for? I am 36 years old and have 15 years of Retail Management (supermarket) related. I am frustrated with the salary that I am earning and the amount of time that I have to spend at work.

    I seriously need to make a career change that is more rewarding financially and were I can spend more time with my family. I know the only way I will be able to get out of my situation is to get a degree, just not sure what direction to head in?

    Would you be able to assist me in this important decision?

    Shaun

    July 21, 2015 at 21:23

  60. can i got a job if i study dip in financial management please help…. i passed g12 last year with 70% accounting and 59% maths lit.

    MPHO "Chairman"

    July 20, 2015 at 12:56

  61. […] **I am often asked how to best prepare yourself for an Honours degree in Economics. I would suggest that you, aside from doing third-year economics of course, also enroll for good courses in statistics and mathematics (at least up until the second-year level). And if you have more undergraduate time, do history and philosophy too. Here are some other random thoughts on what to study. […]

  62. I really enjoyed reading this, and I’m inspired somehow. I’m an educator at high school but would like to study LLB and work as a lawyer. I’m now 28 yrs should I continue with registration.

    khomotso Rapakgadi

    July 4, 2015 at 19:38

  63. I completed my grade 12 last year I took a gap year. Any idea that can help me make fun and progress in my life?

    refentse rgm

    June 19, 2015 at 22:37

  64. Reblogged this on sa law search.

    salawsearch

    June 18, 2015 at 10:01

  65. Thanks for the help really got me thinking some info on your book would be nice

    kaylen

    June 14, 2015 at 20:56

  66. I’m doing grade 11 and I get A’s for maths and physics. But I don’t know which career to go for when I finish my matric

    Mhlengi

    June 13, 2015 at 07:36

  67. Hi I’m still in Grade 9 and am choosing subjects next year, PLEASE tell me what subjects I need to take to get into chemical engineering at UCT? And what marks i need?

    Yazmin

    June 10, 2015 at 17:16

    • Hello
      For chemical engineering u need maths and physical science.u must get a minimum of 60% on both subjects..but coz it is CUT u must work hard

      treasure

      June 10, 2015 at 17:33

    • you should know that Chemical engineering in this market(SA) is really a bad idea unless you plan on going to places like dubai……. if you have maths and physics you willqualify

      ayanda

      January 4, 2016 at 13:37

  68. I’d love to get in contact with you Mr Fourie. My team and I are working on a project that I really think would interest you. Please leave me with your contact details

    Qiqa Mpengesi

    June 9, 2015 at 16:05

  69. Hey there my name is Tisha I am currently in grade 12 and I am torn between three choices law,psychology and BA communication science. I’m not sure which is in more demand in South Africa and which gives the best job satisfaction.and pay. Could someone please advise?

    tisha

    June 8, 2015 at 18:04

  70. I have NDIP in Analytical chemistry and I plan to do Btech next year.do u think there is any bright future of chemistry in our chemistry.

    treasure

    June 7, 2015 at 16:47

  71. Hi, I’m Lakita, this has helped me immensely, yuo have such a well balanced writing skill. I’m grade 11 and I have the following subjects: english, afrikaans, mathematics, life sciences, business studies, L.O, history. My subjects don’t complement each other please help…. Confused…..

    Lakita

    May 24, 2015 at 09:23

  72. Hi there. I was doing maths lit last year and I’m interested in studying agrisciences at stellenbotch. They require a 60%, I got 58%. . . What can I do? Is there any other varsities or? But I’m really interested in Stellenbotch university.

    Christina

    May 9, 2015 at 08:10

  73. Hey there

    I obtained my Bsocsci degree in psychology and sociology from UCT in 2012 and only ever had a brief internship in 2013, havent had any real offers since. I do plan on studying further (Phd one day)but my plans to complete my Honours were derailed when my father passed away in 2014.

    My degree was very research based hence I began to look into how those skills apply in the real world and I find that they are quite in demand, esp the quantitative aspects of it. Having been unemployed for a long time, I find that most employers don’t really know that Social science skills are also important-givem the amount of Stats that we also have to do.

    How do I market myself then?? How do i get employers to take me seriously? My love for numbers does not extend to accounting “unfortunately”
    I would the opportunity to engage with you further ( I am not gonna ask you for a job) I am just passionate about academia and education. charitymamogwane@gmail.com…..please

    charity

    May 8, 2015 at 23:08

  74. I am in grade 12 and am doing geography, life sciences, mathematical literacy and agriculture but I don’t knew what to study next year, please help me I really need you advise.

    xholee

    May 4, 2015 at 14:09

  75. Hi my name is Lucia
    I am working for an NGO since 2007 and as a Programme Manager since 2011. I completed a Higher Certificate in Management last year 2014 and I would like to further my studies but I’m not sure which degree to choose. I enjoy working and assisting people but mostly in directing way.

    Pls advice me on which degree to choose.

    Lucia

    May 2, 2015 at 12:13

  76. I passed my matric in 1996.bt I dnt get my certificate.

    nokuthula

    April 11, 2015 at 20:50

  77. I’m doing grade 12 doing maths,phyics,agric and life science also don’t know what to study next year

    Kakuhle Mzingisi Dlungane

    April 5, 2015 at 12:00

  78. Hi,probably saw dz post way too late bt I hope I’ll gt da hlp I need,m dng bcom economics n hope to study honours,I’m passionate abt studyn n helpn pple,I wix to study a second degree bt nt x0 wat btween LLB,supply chain management or bcom industrial n orginasational psychology…I also wish to study post dip in project manament..ma aim is to work in government, at local,provincial r national…I’m so concerned with souht african delivery service n corruption n wuld like to b in a position where I cn make a different in pple s lives,I’m also majoring in public admin…an again if God blesses me with life,like to study more further…confused bn MBL or MPA…advice pls

    Dineo

    March 31, 2015 at 20:43

  79. Good day . I completed my matric in 2013 , and i would like to know if supply chain and operations management degree is a good degree to study. will i easily find employement with it? Please advice.

    Regards
    Jimmy.

    jimmy

    March 31, 2015 at 11:54

    • I am doing a scm degree at Tuks. It is definitely worth it, and you will get a job just make sure you do good in university academically. Job hunters tend to pick the academic performers when employing graduates.

      Ruan

      September 29, 2015 at 08:50

  80. i’m doing grade 12.doing life sciences,agricultural sciences nd geography but i dnt knw wht i want to study next year in university

    Manuel

    March 29, 2015 at 22:47

    • n mathes literacy

      Manuel

      March 29, 2015 at 22:51

  81. m doing grd 12 this year,doing pure maths,lyfscience and physical science bt i don’t knw wat 2 study nxt year cz i’m shrinkin in maths

    lungsani

    March 20, 2015 at 15:17

  82. i’m shrinking in math don’t knw wat 2 do plz help

    lungsani

    March 20, 2015 at 15:14

  83. am in grade 11 .am studying physical science. pure mathematics. ife science snd geography but I don’t know what I want to study in university

    Thendo

    March 15, 2015 at 09:30

  84. Hi I am Linah

    interesting blog, it sums up a lot. I finished my B-Tech in Quantity Surveying in 2013, I work as an estimator in a specialised field (since 2011). I wanted the B-tech to get in the construction industry and grow. it is difficult to get in a good paying job and for them to mentor you to become better at the trade. is there anyone who can advice me on the best option I can take (study field) to beef up on the qualification and possibly earn more.

    Linah

    March 2, 2015 at 12:53

    • Wow always thought estimators earn as much as engineers since they even in top 10 scarce skills

      REEGY

      July 7, 2015 at 18:07

  85. Dear Johan
    I wanted to ask for your advice regarding a B.A. majoring International Relations and Economics for someone who is currently an Accountant but is really in love with those subjects and the Humanities/Social Sciences education.

    Zolisa

    February 26, 2015 at 12:50

  86. I have N.Dip and B Tech Biomedical Technology plus Diploma in Human Resource Management with 15 years experience in Medical laboratory but it seems as if I have wasted my time. I’m earning less compared to my peer with a Bachelor degree or first quantification and I’m even a simple technologist. One will wonder why am I not in the management, this is the question I always ask myself.

    Thabo

    February 15, 2015 at 22:41

    • Hi Thabo, Im doing ND in Biomedical Tech, do you mind telling me a salary for a Biomedical Technologist,

      nosipho makhathini

      January 7, 2016 at 17:30

  87. Hi,I’m Thandeka,and i’m in High School and i really love being an Editor In Chief and being a Writter.But i don’t know what subjects to study!What must i study?

    Thandeka

    February 14, 2015 at 17:33

    • Journalism or creative writing degrees

      theo

      June 2, 2015 at 18:57

  88. Hi I’m leah and I need advise since I’m considering taking communication science as a course in university but I haven’t studied business in highschool . What are my moves than?

    leahandra

    February 9, 2015 at 21:33

  89. Thank you. Very insightful. Just completed a BSc in Mathematical sciences and i’m now job hunting.

    Brigitte

    February 5, 2015 at 12:32

    • Hello there. I’m Afikile and I’m doing grade 12. I’ve been accepted at UP for the same degree. I would like to know if how is the work environment for mathematics students and how fast can you get a job in the mathematics field. Thank you in advance

      Afikile

      July 23, 2015 at 19:05

  90. Hi, I am a final year B. ED student at UNISA. I love teaching , how ever I want something more adventurous . A job that South Africa needs , yet also pays well. What do you suggest?

    PRI

    January 26, 2015 at 11:41

  91. i have completed this Higher Certificate in Economic and Management Sciences with Unisa and want to study further but i am not sure which qualfication i can go for, please advice me

    MRT

    January 22, 2015 at 14:34

    • Hie

      I just came across yours, apparently i am starting on the same higher certificate this semester and am looking for material if you can sell me by any chance.
      contact : natemate2005@yahoo.com.

      Regards

      Nathan

      Nathaniel

      July 16, 2015 at 11:10

  92. Good day,

    Kindly assist

    Im working full time and currently stuyding at Unisa towards a degree in Bachelor of Commerce Economics 02011 – ENM and Ive been advised that this qualification will be discontinued in 2016 and I wont be finised by then,

    What/which qualification is equivalent to this degree so that I can convert now and continue with my studies

    Thank you
    Zama Nkosi-M

    Zama Nkosi M

    January 13, 2015 at 11:43

  93. Hey, I am a bcom student, is there any chances that I can study about nature and wildlife course and work in this field merely, after graduating in bcom.

    Osama Sohail

    January 12, 2015 at 14:21

  94. […] you want more advice on what to study, click here. If you want more advice on what to do when you get to university, this might […]

  95. […] Why and what to study in South Africa | Johan Fourie’s … – May 25, 2013 · Hey Johan. I am in grade10 and I am doing business studies,accounting and physics so obviously pure maths too. I want to enter business but don’t know …… […]

  96. […] Why and what to study in South Africa | Johan Fourie’s blog – 25/5/2013 · It’s exam time at universities across South Africa, which means most students will suddenly have too much time to ponder the existential questions of …… […]

  97. I think left brain functions are grossly over-emphasized in education. All people can think of is making quick money or how to build bridges to get goods from point A to B quicker.

    Ben

    December 21, 2014 at 10:05

  98. I want To study mathematics Science but I don’t know what I can do because I do’t have matrix I have abert level 4

    rebecca

    December 4, 2014 at 23:40

  99. hmm, interesting stuff

    karabo

    November 23, 2014 at 22:36

  100. I am currently in grade 10 . I do very well in math , science and accounting. I would like to become a Chartered Accountant one day , but I am afraid that I will have difficulties finding a job because I cannot speak Afrikaans even though I can read and write the language. I have noticed that most companies prefer to employ people who are fully bilingual in Afrikaans and English to do their SAICA articles. This is something that worries me.

    karabo

    November 23, 2014 at 16:55

  101. Hey Johan. I am in grade10 and I am doing business studies,accounting and physics so obviously pure maths too. I want to enter business but don’t know which occupation to follow because there are so many and I want to earn the big bucks too. I would to be a CEO one day of a big company in South Africa or own my business but you have to start somewhere right? So where could I start to being a prominent businessman? I am business minded and very motivated. Trust me.

    mash ngele

    November 21, 2014 at 21:50

  102. Hi, I’m currently studying Bcom in marketing and working as a sales manager. Is there a possibility for me to get a decent job paying a well?It seems like experience matters more than education in this field.is this right.

    Titus

    October 21, 2014 at 16:21

    • Hi Titus

      You’re absolutely right, experience does matter more than education, that being said, having a Degree does add more weight when applying for a new job. Your sales experience should be a big plus as you’ll have a better understanding of implementing Marketing strategies.

      Darryl Alexander

      November 20, 2014 at 14:38

  103. Great piece of career advice Johan, Im a Accounting Student and i was pretty uncertain whether getting a degree is actually worth it and i questioning my choice of choosing to study Accounting

    Lungelo

    October 13, 2014 at 21:57

  104. I found the few paragraphs about a career in accounting to be quite interesting. It is true that many students who are considered to be bright take the CA route, because chances of them making it to the finish line are very high.

    I am a first year BCom Accounting Sciences student and one of the things that attracted me to the field is the financial benefit. Despite the high salary and travelling associated with being a CA, I fell in love with the subject during my tenth grade. My love for it then declined during my final year of high school, but I went ahead to study it in tertiary anyway because I love working with numbers and I had attained a good mark for accounting in matric.

    If it is possible for one to pass a subject well even though one does not love it as much as in the past, it leaves one with a question when applying for tertiary studies: Do I try out something not linked to what I have been studying so long (in high school), accounting in my case, or do I continue with what I started with during my tenth grade simply because I have the ability to persevere and reap the great rewards?

    This also makes one think about the high unemployment rate in South Africa and knowing that employment is almost guaranteed for someone with a CA degree makes the choice easier.

    Thabisile Ndumo

    October 11, 2014 at 23:54

    • I agree with your comment. I’m a first year accounting student myself and I also think that it is good to study accounting because you are most certainly going to get a job in South Africa. Many sources have also told me that South African Chartered Accountants are some of the best Chartered Accountants in the world.

      Cecile de Lange

      October 12, 2014 at 08:17

  105. Interesting

    Ignicious

    October 4, 2014 at 03:01

  106. Hi my name is Sophie, I live in Venezuela and also ive lived three years in Germany. Iam doing grade 12 this year with a german A level (im attending a german school) and seriously i dont know what to study, but im thinking about international management,marketing or public relations in South Africa. Can you help me? Also finding a good university. Thank you..

    Sophie Mugica

    October 2, 2014 at 00:05

  107. I don’t knw weather its me o my teacher please help guys

    Ntombie Madonsela

    September 21, 2014 at 07:26

  108. Am doing Geography n I don’t understand it I don’t know wht to do anymore

    ntombie madonsela

    September 21, 2014 at 07:22

  109. Hi, I am 20 years old and I was doing my externded program for National Diploma in Mining Engineering at UNISA. I passed every module but when I was registering for the main course they said I should do math module first. This math module is a year module, so next year I will be doing this mathematics module. My only concern is time here, I am scared that I am going to finish my B.Tech at the age of 25.Should I just apply for another qualification or continue with this Engineering? Please help, I am really confused.

    Bathabile

    September 16, 2014 at 01:37

  110. Hi Johan,

    Ek is 35 jaar oud en doen al consulting sales in IT vir 14 jaar. Ek wil baie graag uit sales uit beweeg en verder gaan studeur. EK sal dit deeltyds moet doen aangesien ek moet werk om dit te kan bekostig. Ek het matriek sonder toelaating en wil weet wat die beste sal wees om in HR rigting in te gaan? Wat sal die beste wees om te studeur en ook waar?

    Baie Dankie,
    Freddie

    Freddie

    August 25, 2014 at 12:02

  111. Hi Johan
    Ek is graad 10 En my vakke is Fisiese Wetenskappe (Natskei) ,Lewenswetenskappe (Biologie) ,Rekeningkunde en Wiskunde (Suiwer) Ek Is So Bietjie Deurmekaar Met My Beroepskeuse Want Suid-Afrika Het Baie Beroepe en eks nie seker wat om te doen nie.. Kan Jy My Dalk Rigting Gee?

    Lizette Lourens

    August 24, 2014 at 13:08

  112. Best article ever, thanks Mr fourie!

    Menzi

    August 20, 2014 at 07:32

  113. My name is kabelo,I finishd matric last year nd got a diploma.got level 5 in maths nd level 3 in physics.I’m interestd in engineering bt don’t know wat 2 do?sum advices plz

    kabelo

    August 16, 2014 at 19:01

  114. Halo Johan ek moet vakkeuses doen vir graad 10. Ek wil ‘n programmeerder word maar ek weet nie watse vakke ek als gaan nodig hê tot graad 12 nie. Ek sal inligting rerig waardeer. ASB.

    Brandon

    August 7, 2014 at 15:01

  115. maths literacy and actuarial science is it possible, but have commerce subjects?

    menzi

    July 12, 2014 at 07:01

    • Not to be rude,but menzi my brother never ask such question again. That’s unfair of you. Never attempt to ask such again

      Ndumiso

      July 13, 2014 at 04:56

  116. Hallo Johan
    ek het n probleem om my blog op te stel kan jy dit vir my doen en wat sal die onkostes wees ek sal dit waardeer hier is my epos addres jrobbie43@gmail.com.laat weet my so gou as moontlik

    jgrome43

    July 10, 2014 at 09:21

  117. I love South Africa. It is a beautiful country and I have always wanted to come here and study aviation. Good country with a rich history

    Free Dating SA

    July 8, 2014 at 07:54

  118. Hi I need help
    I’m doing grade 11 this year and my subjects are
    Accounting,business studies,economics and maths literacy
    What courses could I do with these subjects
    And do they guarantee me a great job specially when maths literacy is there

    Martin

    June 18, 2014 at 18:40

    • Martin,plenty careers u could do man. U just hav to make sure that u obtain atleast a level 6 in maths lit,if ofcos u wana do a good course.

      Cyril Ocean

      November 24, 2014 at 06:52

  119. Hi need help,i dd not pass my matric very well i got a D with 2 in maths.So wanna go to a collage either CTI or regent business school i am not sure which one is the best.I’ll be very delighted if i’m advice on which collage will be the best.And i also wanna ask abt the bcom general if it is a good degree at this stage and would u advice me to do the dip un finanacial management

    Zinhle

    June 13, 2014 at 21:11

  120. Hi, I’m Themba and 22years old. I’m currently studying National Diploma Computer Systems Engineering at TUT and to be honest, I hate this course, I’m very interested in electronics and this course has little electronics. Is it too late for me to drop the course I’m currently studying and switch to BEng Computer and Electronics Engineering?

    Themba

    June 13, 2014 at 21:00

    • Hi Temba please forward me your email address I need to ask you about Computer systems. Thank you

      Ndumiso

      June 20, 2014 at 19:51

  121. Hi i am 29yr old have a diploma in electrical engineering i’m currently work for one of the biggest company in electrichly…. it was always my dream to work for this company but i wound be telling lies if i can say i enjoy what i am doing coz i dnt… I was thinking of changing fields myb environment science because i love nature and animals … I dnt knw what too do at this point.

    Chumlie

    June 9, 2014 at 20:47

  122. Hi, I donot what to study, I did real bad in school , I am think about going in to shipping or business , have no idea what
    I am good at , please advice me

    mel

    June 5, 2014 at 16:43

  123. I am interested in a hard copy from your garage of your book Let’s Talk About Varsity. How can I get hold of it?

    Hanli

    May 25, 2014 at 15:03

  124. Hi, I’m a 33 year old female, unemployed, I’m thinking of going to university next year and have a career. Considering my age, I’m not sure which course to start as it would be very difficult for me to get employment after I graduate. I only have Matric, I worked here and there but never had a serious job. Please advice.

    Thembi

    May 18, 2014 at 19:21

    • Sweetie nothing beats going back to school I’m a 19 year old and I find life very difficult out there

      Funeka

      October 7, 2014 at 14:12

  125. Hi am Gloria in Ghana i have completed my professional Diploma in computerized accoumting and i want to do my top-degree course. Can u plz help me?

    Oduro Gloria Akua

    May 10, 2014 at 22:28

  126. I really wish I had received this information when I was really confused in matric and ddntknowwhat to do :(. Anywho I ended up g to Vsrsi and changing courses. I initially wanted to do bcom accounting but I ddnt fo accounting at school and I was scared. Long story short I’ve completed my degree in Occupational Therapy n now currently doing my community service but I am not happy I don’t see myself here my heart still wants to fo business related studies that of course pay well and because I think I love them more than health science studies. So I want to do an MBA to add on to my Bsc Occupational therapy degree but I don’t really know which one would be best n also do I really need all those years of experience to do an MBA?.

    Carly

    May 7, 2014 at 02:27

  127. […] and (private) health care, and sunny weather as the main pull factors. They should also add the low unemployment level for those with […]

  128. hi..am johnson am curently doing my third year in bachelor of social science(criminology).the problem is that i wanted to do law but i couln’t get it because i applyd late;so my concern is that i heard rumours that the rate of unemployment on this field is very high therefore i begin to ask my self have i chosen the right degree that will earn me living?..help plz

    johnson

    April 24, 2014 at 23:43

    • Johnson I suggest you ask that question to a person you know is involved in that work , but if u know no-one than log yourself in a website and ask someone who’s experienced in that line of work to give u some answers.

      mandy

      April 30, 2014 at 19:44

  129. As am studying Btech information technology (business analysis) I’d love to do a Politics Philosophy Economics degree at Unisa will these earn me job opportunities?..As the Chief economist of FNB he did PPE and he then did a masters in Economics that was in 2005..could this still work for me?. Thank you

    Ndumiso

    April 22, 2014 at 12:18

    • No course can promise you a job, Ndumiso, but PPE is a very good foundation that opens up many possibilities.

      Johan Fourie

      April 22, 2014 at 13:44

  130. Hi Mr fourie..I aspire to be a business analyst hence I decided to do a Btech Information Technology specializing in (business analysis) am I guaranteed to get a job as a Business Analyst? Looking forwaed to a positive response. Kinds regards Ndumiso.

    Ndumiso

    April 22, 2014 at 12:07

    • Some jobs are not entered directly, like Business Analysis. What I’d suggest, is doing the BTech with a life understanding and trust, coupled with perserance that you WILL end up a Business Aanalyst. A bit fairy-sounding, yes.
      But it is the formula of most. They don’t say it because you/we don’t want to hear it. Because you/we want certainty and they do not want to sound stupid. Seeking guarantees will make you toss and consume your energy that just drive more uncertainty. While, if you choose to get busy and forget the guarantee – you would have the BTech and exposed to situations that open up opportunities you can’t compute now.
      One thing at a time. So far you verbalised your want – that is way more a lot of people don’t have. Complete it. I say complete it as if there’s nothing else in the world for you. We live in a society that use a lot of measures to judge things and people. You want someone (of the society) to pay you (supply work to you) – they place a very high value on you completing what you have started.

      Do worry too much. A mother don’t store up meat for her baby while the baby is drinking milk. So just as the milk dry up when the teeth come, so will the job come when the degree is finished.

      It also won’t be a big fat steak(Business Analysis) because you won’t have All your teeth.

      Gary

      May 15, 2015 at 10:08

  131. Hi I’m Lerato and I’m currently doing my first year, majoring in Economics at Monash South Africa, I have recently heard that there are very limited jobs for graduates that were/are majoring in Economics, is this true?

    Lebo

    April 15, 2014 at 18:06

    • Hi Lerato –

      Our students who obtain a Masters degree certainly do not struggle to find work. A Bachelors degree with no further graduate training may offer a weaker signal to potential employers, and it may therefore be more difficult to find a job. The quality of your marks is therefore really important.

      Johan Fourie

      April 16, 2014 at 06:18

    • Hai am currently doing grade12 nd am good in economics and accounting bt I love economics nd I wuld lv to continue wth it at university. My parents want me to do. Something wth accountng so I decided to do cost management accounting plz help shuld I please my parents or do what I love most help help

      zikhona khaka

      July 5, 2014 at 20:38

  132. I have a interior decorating diploma and I am currently a manager at a Retail store.I love working with property and playing around with space please advise me what else can I study in order to get a better job that’s got to do with buildings and property.

    Gugu

    April 11, 2014 at 06:22

  133. can i study at Fort Hare university?

    Thulisile

    April 3, 2014 at 13:29

    • Thulisile, I think u must apply at the university and I think it might also count on which city u are situated in and if u are in area but if those things don’t matter then I see no reason on which can’t register unless your points are not qualified

      mandy

      April 30, 2014 at 19:57

  134. Which country has the biggest demand for engineers

    ITU

    March 31, 2014 at 17:33

  135. Just a quick question. If one does not qualify to study for bachelor of commerce economics at unisa because of a bad math grade at grade 12 and they are told to first do a higher certificate in economics and management science, does that mean he/she can go on directly to a degree after completing the higher certificate or not? And are there any exemptions when applying for the bachelor of commerce in economics after completing the higher certificate?

    Nthembe Kenisha

    March 27, 2014 at 18:02

  136. Hello,

    I am also curious about studying in SA, But a little clueless if it is feasible as I have budget constraints.

    Hasib

    March 25, 2014 at 21:58

  137. Hey guys please help here…i’m currently enrolled in kzn doing bsc chemistry and computer science,,would i be able to use my academic records to apply for Aeronautical engineering?

    Nhlakanipho

    March 24, 2014 at 20:59

  138. Can I get a degree in software development with maths literacy?

    Dorando

    March 24, 2014 at 16:52

    • Hey i don’t think they do require maths lit,,,most institutions here in south africa only accepts those who did pure maths in high school…i’m currently doing bsc computer science and pure maths is required.

      Nhlakanipho

      March 24, 2014 at 21:02

      • Thank you for the reply, where are you studying?

        Dorando

        March 24, 2014 at 21:11

    • I agree with Nhlakanipho for I have looked it up

      mandy

      April 30, 2014 at 20:03

  139. hi my name is solo mlaba I am currently doing grade 12 this year I’m studying mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, geography and languages. I’m going to uj next year but my problem is that I’m struggling with maths so I want to do something that does not require maths any suggestions??

    solo mlaba

    March 19, 2014 at 13:02

    • I would suggest you rather find help to acquire skill in how to do maths rather than giving up on it. The so called careers without maths will not benefit you in the long run, unless obviously you plan to be on TV or sort. Try to find information on extra classes, depending on your location I would suggest you ask around.

      Innocent Ndona Moreki

      March 22, 2014 at 17:37

  140. I don’t know wht to study

    ntombie Madonsela

    March 18, 2014 at 17:24

    • What are your favorite hobbies and favorite things to do

      mandy

      April 30, 2014 at 20:10

  141. Goodmorning/Afternoon. My name is shirley and I live in South Africa. I’m 16 years old and in the 10th grade. I would like to know if studying mathematical literacy can lead to me getting a job? Subjects that I’m currently studying at school are; Computer Applications Technology, Business studies, Accounting and also 4 compulsory subjects which are Engilsh, Afrikaans, Life Orientation and Mathematical literacy. I would really like to know if I can study logistics (chain management) if I am doing Mathematical literacy. Your input would be very much appriciated, thank you.

    shirley

    March 14, 2014 at 22:14

    • Hi Shirley –

      To get into a B.Comm programme, and study Logistics, you would need Mathematics, not Mathematical Literacy.

      All the best,
      Johan

      Johan Fourie

      March 15, 2014 at 07:38

  142. Hi I’m a 33 year old guy and didn’t get a chance to complete matric hence thru my odd job I’ve managed to acquire GED and I intend to enroll for a degree.what degree do you advice I enroll for taking into consideration my age at the moment I work as a shop assistant in an IT consumables shop and I also have intrest in real estate

    albert dlamini

    March 14, 2014 at 18:53

  143. Hi,my name is Lindelwa Ntumba I’m currently a grade 12 student studying mathematics,life science,geography and business studies.I’m mostly interested in science related job descriptions,e.g. Pathologist.I want to find out any job opportunities in science field around South Africa and the remuneration and which universities I can apply at.

    lindelwa

    March 11, 2014 at 03:12

    • pathology! I think its a good choice.just do some research even though I realy recommend university of Pretoria and wits so my advise is pass well in maths, physical sciences, and life sciences.
      Best of wishes with your career

      Treasure

      March 11, 2014 at 05:18

  144. I am in grade12 , i am studying electrical engineering , engineering graphics n design , phyisical science and maths literacy .,.,im not sure what im going to study next year but im keen on doing one of these electrical engineering , information technology , law studies , estate agent or a pilot .. Do i qualify in any of them , which universities can i go to , what are the requirements

    Lebohang mokoena

    March 9, 2014 at 11:32

  145. Hello,am patience dolo i like to stady economcis,accounting,business and maths.but know am in grade 10.am looking for a good choice and good life.

    Patience dolo

    March 8, 2014 at 21:46

  146. Hello, does anyone know any good universities in South Africa that have September start dates. I am particularly interested in BCom degrees. I plan on sending 2 of my daughters to study there. I have emailed a couple of universities but I have not received any replies yet. Thanks for your help.

    emily

    February 24, 2014 at 18:17

    • It has got to UJ, UCT and WITS. That is advice from a BCom graduate

      Aphiwe

      February 26, 2014 at 11:39

    • Dear Emily –

      No South African university starts in September. Your daughters will have to wait until end of January when universities open officially. Applications usually close by October the year before.

      Regards,
      Johan

      Johan Fourie

      February 26, 2014 at 13:45

  147. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anyone else having the same RSS issues?
    Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond?
    Thanks!!

    Rosario

    February 17, 2014 at 16:19

  148. make no mistake about it,accounting is arguably the hardest degree in the commerce faculty. I will admit that ecos and finance are also pretty hard as well. The issue with accounting is that it is being over-subscribed by students. WITS accounting is also on another level,teaching you things outside the SAICA syllabus. My suggestion is study HR,fun,easy and relevant.

    Kid

    February 10, 2014 at 15:00

    • I’m not meaning to be rude “kid”, but I seriously disagree with what you are saying. People, don’t study a subject just because It is fun, choose it because it is relevant, will get you ahead and you like it. Not because it is fun and I suggest you take my advice if you want to succeed.

      amy

      October 8, 2014 at 22:49

  149. Nice article. You certainly know a lot about the world and specifically the CA route (and Bell curve for passing CAs) for someone still at school.

    Charl

    January 23, 2014 at 23:40

    • Sorry – seeing the “I’m still at school” is just an example and not you!

      Charl

      January 23, 2014 at 23:43

  150. […] the training they receive at universities across South Africa. I’ve also written about it before, and received positive as well as critical and dismissive feedback. There I basically argued that […]

  151. Great article – it is true that accounting is overly advertised in SA, and sad that we do not see more people going into ‘purer’ subjects such as Mathematics, CS, Stats. We’d like to see more people in SA learn about programming and CS – if you’re looking to prepare yourself for any type of degree that may involve programming, or you just want to learn a programming language for free online, check out http://www.hyperiondev.com

    moolriaz

    January 18, 2014 at 16:39

  152. I just matriculated and I’d like to study Journalism and Media studies,as I feel it is what I’d do my utmost best at.I made this decision as I chose to go with my traits and hobbies of writing etc..anyways in South Africa although I’d love to travel is it a good decision,I have been discouraged but what do I do

    unknown

    January 16, 2014 at 13:09

  153. I have just completed my national diploma in analytical chemistry at university of technology and I would like to study further and I want to go into environmental chemistry .any advise or suggestions on which course and university should I go for…and i was also thinking environnental law i dont knw if there is any relations?thanks

    Treasure

    January 16, 2014 at 09:40

    • There is a connection. An analytical chemist would be deployed in an environmental setting for testing purposes. Having technical experience alongside a managerial degree is a brilliant combination. I am also an analytical chemist with a btech in polymer technology studying a bcom in marketing. One thing I’m sure off is if you plant your seeds you will reap.Look into MBA courses as they seem to be the key into managerial positions in technical settings.

      Peer analyst.

      January 20, 2014 at 20:31

      • Thank you so much.. ..

        Treasure

        January 20, 2014 at 23:49

  154. Dankie for the advice

    Lawrence

    January 8, 2014 at 19:55

  155. Thanks you for the enlightenment, I’m currently studying towards a National Diploma in Entrepreneurship, I need to know what career path I can follow.

    Xolani Nkosi

    January 7, 2014 at 12:49

  156. […] has just entered the job market. Google and Wikipedia can help too. So too can blog posts, like my own one here. I’ve heard too many stories of students’ decisions being influenced by friends or […]

  157. I really like your article,I am currently studying IT at an FET College and would like to continue to study at a University so I can get my degree but I’m not sure which course to do , must I do Programming, networks and communication, or support services?.

    Mthobeli

    January 3, 2014 at 19:55

  158. which universities offer electro-mechanical engineering here in south africa??

    xolisani nkwentsha

    December 31, 2013 at 06:48

  159. I was doing grade 12,im only waiting for my results for now,i not sure which course to study

    Kubayi Floyd

    December 30, 2013 at 01:36

  160. Hi I will be doing my matric next year and I am intrested in editing and graphics and I wonder if it will make me financialy stable

    kdee

    December 26, 2013 at 21:54

  161. I’m really inspired by this article, startng from now I’m gonna put a lot of efford in my decision making.I just finished my matric and awaiting my results,I know they will come out gud but the problem is,finencialy I cannot afford to further my studies.I kind of need help and advise on the options I have for next year if I don’t go to university or how I can get in varsity

    Lebo Maphunye

    December 19, 2013 at 15:39

  162. Hi,I’m sfiso.and I’ll be doing my matric next year,uhm.I’m very good in economics,n I wanna do supply chain management or human resources,but I’m not sure if these carreers can secure me,financially so,can they?oh,and can I qualify on either one with maths lit?

    sfiso

    December 16, 2013 at 02:07

  163. Great article. I’ll be doing Matric next year. I consider myself a bright student as I receive A’s for Maths, Physical Sciences and Accounting. I’m not the type of guy to study every night. I study for about 3 days for an exam.. Well, that’s a day for a Maths exam and still get an A. I have a natural aptitude for Mathematics and I’m in-love with it. I’m not quite sure which career path to follow.. I first thought of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering but ruled them out.. I think because I hate drawing.. Ok, I don’t hate it.. I just can’t draw. Then I thought of being a Chartered Accountant but realized that I wouldn’t like to work with money but make it.. Then I thought of what I’m thinking about now.. Actuarial Science, Computer Engineering and Applied Mathematics..

    I need some guidance.. I love Maths and computers.. I’m a funny guy.. I love Maths.. I love Maths.. Help me out.

    Tebogo

    December 13, 2013 at 14:25

    • Dude, do Electrical and Computer engineering here at UCT. Or Chemical Engineering , che eng is a very broad course and is very lucrative. you should do it.

      Zolisa

      February 21, 2014 at 16:43

  164. Worth reading post helps many. Thanks author

    Vinod

    December 9, 2013 at 09:19

  165. I really want to study economics but I have not done math and economics at high school I want to know if its possible to still study economics

    brendon k

    December 6, 2013 at 23:42

    • Unfortunately not without math. Many students study Economics at varsity without having had it in school, including me!

      Johan Fourie

      December 7, 2013 at 22:56

  166. One of the many prohibiting factors that students face are funding and intake dates. Many college campuses around South Africa can offer multiple intake dates where you can sign up for your college degrees, or Unisa degrees with assistance. Many of these colleges, such as Boston City Campus, can also offer revision courses for Unisa Students self studying just before the exams to help students save costs.

    Many of these can offer a University recognised qualification without the high costs.

    Boston Colleges

    November 18, 2013 at 14:45

  167. What about medicine? Is it still up there in the top here in South Africa?

    Tom Ford

    November 13, 2013 at 17:30

  168. Hi, i am a 27yr old tettiary dropout. I have a business idea and still want to finish my studies. Please advise me, which one must i do first.

    Ezra

    November 13, 2013 at 12:37

    • Hi there this is robert,i would suggest u to first study as your education is going to give you the skills and more knowlegde tht you can also use in that business idea you have, so what type of a business idea and if u see it as more profitable you can go for it and study part time..what is this business idea you have

      Robert

      December 14, 2013 at 20:04

    • Hi there this is robert,i would suggest u to first study as your education is going to give you the skills and more knowlegde tht you can also use in that business idea you have, so what type of a business idea and if u see it as more profitable you can go for it and study part time..what is this business idea you have?

      Robert

      December 14, 2013 at 20:04

  169. A useful website to find courses in South Africa: http://sastudy.co.za/courses

    Anelle

    October 23, 2013 at 15:40

  170. Hello.. Im currently studying towards a Bsc in computing part time. My aim is to major in artificial intelligence and become the software engineer in that field. My problem that I got is, that im not working as a developer at this moment. How can one apply for such positions with only minor certificates (n+,a+,pdi+ and attendance c programming course). If im not studying for exams then I try to do extra programming to keep the programming practice… the idea is to work in any developer field to keep me in the loop of things. Im currently a printer/IT tech which is not helping my career at the moment. Thank you.

    JJ

    October 12, 2013 at 16:56

    • I thnk we have to study so tht we can have better. Future than our parents
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

      ntombie55@gmail.com

      October 13, 2013 at 06:50

  171. Am doing grt at skul , I want to b an engineering

    ntombie Madonsela

    October 11, 2013 at 22:09

  172. I’m studing maths,tourism,english,life science,computer,geography ,sizulu n I want to knw am I doing d right thng

    ntombie Madonsela

    October 10, 2013 at 17:07

  173. I dnt want to commets I want to say thank you guys , n I really need yo help because I dnt knw how to choose the subject . Please help mi

    ntombie Madonsela

    October 10, 2013 at 16:08

  174. I’m in grade10 and I really love mathematics because I excel at it. I also do IT, physical science and life science. I want to pursue a mathematical-related career, probably actuarial science.

    m.squared

    September 28, 2013 at 14:07

  175. Hi, i am a third year student majoring in industrial/organisational psychology and industrial sociology, i have heard a lot of people saying that there are not many opportunities for this fields and that am just wasting my time as i will end up unemployed, i am even thinking of starting from scratch with a law degree so i just want to ask is it true that there aren’t many opportunities out there for this field meaning does it really hold the most highest unemployment rate in South Africa? Again is it necessary for me to change field of studies or should i just continue with this field till post graduate? please i really need help with this one as i don’t want to waste my time on something that is worthless

    malebo

    September 28, 2013 at 13:21

  176. “A in maths and you should do something maths related” – Bullshit, A in high school does not mean that you know maths. You can easily achieve that by memorising formulae and past papers. Doing this in university means that you will either a) Fail b) Work your ass off and scrape through. You cannot succeed in a science or engineering degree if you cannot think – ie You cannot depend on memorising past papers, formulae or rely on studying what is in the book to pass. You can get through your degree by doing these things, but you will not enjoy it and will not be at all equipped for your future job. ie You will be a crap engineer who could have done accounting instead

    “If Einstein was born in South Africa he would have studied accounting” – What about studying what you love?

    Engineering Student

    September 15, 2013 at 00:12

    • Yes true that. I have folks who have done exceptionally well in mathematics at high school. Achieving’ A’ higher grade but when we get to varsity they drop out after failing over and over again.And they were told to do engineering or medicine

      Tshepo

      September 15, 2013 at 05:33

    • So what are these things tht you have to do..

      Robert

      December 14, 2013 at 20:12

    • i totally agree with you; one should study what they love and really passionate about. i fear that i wont be able to study what i want, with the bad grade 11 marks that i have, so in so that i want to repeat the grade to make my dream reality, but some say that i would be waisting my time. i see that you are a honest person and direct,which i really respect. i really need advice: do you think that i would be waisting my time if i repeated grade 11? should i continue to grade 12? what would be the best move to get to where i want to be, which is to study engineering?

      nonofo madonsela

      December 20, 2013 at 17:47

  177. hey! Can i have the copy of this book please!!

    lithalethu

    September 14, 2013 at 23:31

  178. Hi

    Thanks for the informative page/link.

    I hear you emphasize the importance and relevance of a degree. I have a three year National in Logistics from the Tshwane University of Technology and I believe is on the same NQF level with a Bachelors degree.

    My problem at the moment is that I find it hard to get a permanent job in Logistics. I have worked for three different organizations ( in the logistics departments)as a contract worker.I need advice because im planning on studying something else next because logistics seem not to be working for me.is this a good move? Is there still hope for a person Who holds a National diploma in Logistics in South Africa? What are the odds of making it with this qualification?

    Your advice in this regard will be highly appreciated

    Regards
    Mr T

    Tshepo

    September 6, 2013 at 03:00

  179. Awakening, mind opening. Thanks to the Author.

    Luckeez

    August 27, 2013 at 12:09

  180. Hi. I am a 43 year old white woman. I haven’t worked in 6 years. I hold a BA degree (criminology/psychology). Due to my divorce, I was unable to continue my studies due to financial constraints. I am now eager to rebuild my life and am keen to study further. My only problem is deciding what could I possibly study that will enable me to become an independant woman, and at my age too! I have been considering studying for an LLB but have heard there are so many LLB graduates to compete against and being a ‘late’ starter may be a disadvantage in that field? I would really appreciate some advice. I loved criminology and have always been interested in criminal and psychological behaviour. I am unsure though of what I could do with a degree in Criminology, should I further my studies in that field.

    sally-ann wood

    August 20, 2013 at 08:40

    • Hi there.considering you age and the field You studied. I would advise You to study social work there is a definite link between criminology, psychology considering the escalating levels of social ills in this country, i bet you wouldnt struggle to find a job. You will be a mother figure and a counsellor at the same time and stating ur marital status that u a a divorcee will give u an edge over others because you will be preaching what u experienced. Goodluck

      Tshepo

      September 15, 2013 at 05:43

  181. I Would Like a hard copy of that book!

    Johan van Vuren

    August 7, 2013 at 08:02

  182. Im in the same position you but for me i havent started studying.i prefer you start your own busness,you gat an inventor’s mind dude,so start laying it to use.

    simiso

    August 6, 2013 at 10:03

  183. Im studying IT,which venture from there would you recommenod

    simiso

    August 6, 2013 at 09:36

  184. everyone should choose the best subject that would help them in there near future

    jason

    August 4, 2013 at 00:16

  185. hi msizi, just a reminder:dont choose a career looking at how much I’ll earn bcos you might end up having trouble at varsity,the higher the price the tougher the course…

    innocent mpina

    August 1, 2013 at 10:36

  186. Hy am msizi.am still at school and studing these subjects:isiZulu,English,biology,geography,business studies,Maths literacy and life orientation..am from south africa..plz e.mail what paying jobs will I get to do as I hv not made up my mind of what I want to be……………thank you………….

    micheal s m

    August 1, 2013 at 07:29

  187. innocent mpina

    July 26, 2013 at 17:34

  188. hi,I took a gap year just to get a clear picture of What I really want to do.Am good at maths and science but maths the most,so I was considering a career in engineering specifically electrical,and other options include maths stats/computer science. So I nid some tips on which one is suitable looking at future south Africas employment rate…you can email me on my Gmail above

    innocent mpina

    July 26, 2013 at 17:31

  189. Hi I’m doing final year at university of limpopo am doing Bsc in poor mathematics and applied mathematics so i want to know about jobs opportunities and kind of job can work if i have do only those subjects?

    LIHAIWA RAYMOND

    July 15, 2013 at 21:17

  190. Im studying Accounting ( CA ) 4th year. I wanna know if the South African CA programme is recognised overseas? My main objective is one day to fly overseas and work there.

    Tapson

    July 12, 2013 at 23:17

  191. I agree wholeheartedly with your point about accounting taking up too much space in South African universities. I recently had an interesting conversation with a Grammar school teacher in England, who shared with me that accounting (in it’s pure form, equivalent to the BAcc degree offered in South Africa) is not offered as a course at the academic universities in the UK.The reason: it is considered a practical skill, something to be acquired through on-the-job training or by completing a course at a less academic institution. Universities have historically developed as the institutions where the academic sorts come for stimulation and guidance on how to think for themselves and formulate arguments that will, in the long run, filter through to society at large and inform the future of the country in all spheres – political, economic, religious, scientific.This has been and still is their purpose in Europe and the US. And this is exactly your point – what price are we as South Africans paying for sending our top thinkers to study something that will not stimulate, but rather depress and confine their thoughts on these issues? I do understand that we (read: South African universities) do not have the same luxuries that universities in the developed world have, but there is definitely space for restoring the balance so that accounting as a career choice is put in its rightful place.

    Marisa Coetzee

    May 29, 2013 at 11:49

  192. Johan, a great piece of career advice. As an accountant, I do agree with many of your sentiments expressed above, but I just wish to provide a brief view from the “dark side”.

    To re-emphasise Neil’s point: what you study is merely the starting point of your career. It equips you with a certain set of skills which can be applied to a variety of fields. The same is true of the chartered accountant route: Very few CAs remain in auditing for extended periods of time. They enter retail, mining, manufacturing, financial services etc. where (I hope) they make a contribution to the South African business landscape and society as a whole. The CA (SA) qualification provides a broad business background and, through your articles, exposure to a variety of different companies – some of the reasons why so many South African directors and executives are CAs!

    Weaknesses of the qualification are the lack of mathematics and development of problem solving skills – something I wish Stellenbosch would emphasise more in their B. Acc qualification (another year of economics as a main subject would not be a bad thing either).

    If you wish to play globally (outside the Commonwealth where the CA qualification is well regarded), it would be almost be a requirement to supplement your CA with another qualification (CFA or MBA depending on your focus).

    Gideon Joubert

    May 27, 2013 at 16:29

  193. I just have to add one point: people don’t necessarily end up doing what they studied. I know of a number of cases (including myself) where the skills developed during an engineering degree were transferred into fields as diverse as banking and finances, agriculture, sustainable development etc. So don’t value a degree for what it is called, but rather for what skills you will learn. This mindset is maybe not as prevalent in South Africa yet, but in some well developed economies employers are looking for skills and not for a specific degree.
    I am glad to see that chemical engineering gets an honorary mention. I just have to say this: on the list of highest payed jobs, petroleum engineering is listed as the top paying job. In South Africa, you would have to study chemical engineering to become a petroleum engineer. So if you might ever want to possibly know what Gibbs free energy, enthalpy or fugacity means, sign up. You won’t regret it (well, not after you get your degree in any case…)

    Neill Goosen

    May 25, 2013 at 11:13

    • As a matric graduate though i wrote maths and science i still find it hard to make an informed decision about a career that i would like to do and at which institute.Some few ideas would really be appreciated. i can describe myself as a hard worker who loves taking risks and challenges that comes with it. Loves biology and maths. An introvert who cares for others and find it hard to say no to respected peers.

      martha maazaneca

      January 20, 2015 at 14:10


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