If you are reading this article, it means you are on the SAstudy website and therefore you have thought about life after Grade 12.  But, have you ever wondered why it is that, from a small age, one of the most common questions you will be asked is: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  

In high school the question is still the same, but with more emphasis on where to study and whether you know what that chosen career is about. No matter how frustrating this might be, trust me – this is one of the very important dialogues you must consider engaging in every chance you get.

One must be aware that higher education gives one an opportunity to live one’s purpose in life. This purpose is linked to a need that will benefit the greater humankind. Graduating from a tertiary institution gives you an opportunity to live the life you have always wanted for yourself, your family, the community and the greater good of the country.

More importantly, in the modern South Africa, a grade 12 qualification will not necessarily get you a job that will earn you money to live off. This is because the economy of South Africa has scarce skills listed in Engineering, Commerce and Health, just to name a few. These scarce skills require a highly educated nation that will contribute to the development and growth of the country’s economy.

The 2011 census shows that young people aged 14 – 35 years account for 42% of the total population of 59 million proving that today’s young generation is the largest in history compared to other population groups.  South Africa aspires to produce young people who are empowered, able to realise their full potential, and understand their roles and responsibilities in making a meaningful contribution to the development of the country.

The key message is this: education is the greatest investment you can make, that no-one can ever take away. No matter the challenges along the road, you are guaranteed success if you persevere.