Wednesday, 10 October 2018 08:25

Subject choice and career pathing

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Grade 9 is an important year in the life of every South African learner.


You need to start thinking about possible careers during grade 9. Your choice will also depend on what subjects are offered at your school from Grade 10. In order to make the right choice of subjects in grade 10, learners should know the career path they wish to pursue on completion in Grade 12.

In order to obtain the National Senior Certificate in Grade 12, learners must have SEVEN subjects – four compulsory and three which are chosen at the end of Grade 9 for Grade 10 – 12.

The four compulsory subjects are 2 official Languages (one Home Language and one First Additional Language), Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy and Life Orientation. Learners must also choose three optional subjects from a list of 25 approved subjects. Of these, a maximum of two additional languages may be selected.

Learners are allowed to change two of the optional subjects in Grades 10 and 11. In Grade 12, learners are able to change one of the optional subjects.

Why is it important for learners to make informed subject choices?

The subject choice at the end of Grade 9 could determine the field of study learners can follow once they complete school. In other words, if learners do not select the correct combination of subjects, they could find themselves unable to enter into certain higher or further education programmes. So when making this important subject choice, learners should consider their options for when they complete school and select accordingly.

For some career paths, a learner may need to complete a degree at a higher education institution or a certificate/diploma through a Further Education and Training College or a SETA. The first thing learners need to know is that to qualify for higher/further education and training studies they must make certain that they have the right subjects to meet the minimum entry requirements to study further. Of course, for a degree, diploma or certificate studies, it is important that the learner chooses subjects that are appropriate to the career he/sheintends to follow and that they try to keep their options open as their plans may change as they go along.

How can learners get advice on subject choices and career options?

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) with the Departments of Higher Education and Training and Basic Education launched the NQF and Career Advice Service in January 2011 that has a website, a career advice help line, guidance materials, and a weekly radio programme in partnership with SABC Education that is broadcast on nine regional radio stations in nine languages.

Fully qualified Career Advisors provide career information, guidance and advice by telephone and also respond to queries received by telephone, SMS, ‘Please Call Me’, E-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

Call them on: 086 999 0123
SMS or send them a PLEASE CALL ME (they will call you back)on: 072 204 5056
Email them on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tweet them on:
Talk to them on:

Making decisions about your career does not have to be difficult. You should know what you enjoy doing and what careers appeal to you.

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 08:30