COURIER-MAIL: School's Out [Talking about Uni/career plans at age 17]


As jobs grow harder and harder to find and the Prime Minister tells us to tighten our belts, the prospect of finishing school and entering the workforce is a daunting one to many.

When you look through the employment column of city newspapers, it's easy to see that the majority of jobs are for professional people.

For people who have specialised in one specific area and have a university degree to back up their skills.

But degrees, like jobs, are in many cases becoming harder and harder to obtain. Each year the number of school leavers increases, though the number of university and technical institute places is not rising at the same rate.

We asked some of this year's grade 12 students about their thoughts on their future when they leave school and further study...

Michael Ware, 17, from Brisbane Boys Grammar, says he couldn't handle having to repeat final year. He wants to get it right the first time. He reckons on going close to a score of 970. With that he will study arts/law.

That sort of course has been in his thinking for the past two years, dating back to when he chose his subjects for the final two years of school. He is in the lucky position of being happy and confident about doing just what he wants, with the right subjects to help him along.

While Michael sees faults in the present school system he is realistic about the situation. "The system is not perfect but its the only one we have got, so we have to try to work in it. No one is ever really confident."

For the 230 grade 12s at Grammar that meant a concerted effort on the ASAT, with a view to lots of study for the end of the year.

But maybe a more individualised system would be better for deciding on tertiary entrance. "Everyone thinks TE is marks and how hard you work for two years, but perhaps that is not the best way of judging whether you would be good in a profession."

Michael suggests personal interviews to sound out course applicants, although he concedes that such a process would be very time consuming.