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What are my future options?

After you finish school, there’s a whole wide world of future options out there for you. Maybe you want to study. Maybe you want to work. Maybe you want to travel. But how do you know what the right choice is for you? Well, you’ve got lots of options. And if one pathway doesn’t quite fit, there’s bound to be another. Let’s take a look.


This is probably what most people think of when they’re asked about what they want to do after school. University is a great option if you have a career in mind, and know what you need to study to get there (for example, if you want to be a doctor, you’re going to have to study medicine).

Many students finish high school and use their results to gain entry to university. But this is far from the only way. There are a ton of alternative pathways you can take if your first option doesn’t work out.

You can find out more about applying to uni on our website here.

Vocational education

Speaking of study, uni isn’t your only option. Vocational education and training (or VET) is a great way to get skilled for work, often in a much shorter time frame than university. Most VET courses don’t have any entry requirements either, so you don’t need to stress about results.

And if you decide you do want to study at uni one day, you can use your VET qualification for entry.

You could even combine work and study by doing an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Find out more about VET pathways and options here.


Maybe you don’t want to do any more study, and that’s OK too. There are lots of jobs out there that you don’t need a qualification to jump into.

Or, you could start at the bottom and work your way up – maybe you’ve had your retail job for a while, and there’s an opportunity to become manager. Even better, you might come up with the next big idea and start your own business.

You might even find that you can access some pathways you thought you’d need a degree for – but this will usually take lots and lots of time and experience.

Interested in the world of work? Take a look at our resources here.

Gap year

Not quite sure what you want to do just yet? That’s totally fine! You can always take some time off to evaluate your future options and spend time growing as a person.

Traditionally people take a gap year to travel, though this changed a bit thanks to COVID. Luckily, lots of travel and exchange programs are opening back up. You can combine your travel with work, or just get out there and have some great experiences.

Even if you don’t want to travel, there’s so much you can do – you could volunteer, pick up a new hobby, learn a new language, build your soft skills… The list is nearly endless.

Read more about your gap year options here.

Combine your options

You might’ve already figured this out, but one of the best (and most common) things to do is combine your options.

While you’re studying, you might like to get a casual or part-time job. If you want to work full-time, you could upskill with microprograms or short courses that won’t take time out of your busy day. Pick up a job while you travel overseas. Get a VET qualification, then use it to get into uni. Take some time off to rest and relax, then start studying mid-year. 

The options out there are nearly endless! And if you don’t end up liking the pathway you’ve chosen? You can always try a different one. Even if it’s after six months, or twenty years down the track.

Wherever you want to go, there’s probably more than one pathway you can take to get there.

Want to find out more?

You can find heaps of resources to help you discover your future options on Study Work Grow.


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