Navigating Post-School Options


Well here we are at the end of the year. Final year results and ATARs will be out soon, the rewards for a challenging year. The choices can be overwhelming. So where to from here?

Judy O’Donohue from Career Me Now, recommends researching the options.

“There are so many options after Year 12: straight to university; studying at TAFE; getting an apprenticeship; taking a gap year; going straight into the workforce”.

“The most important thing young people can do is proper research – around what is best for their own skills and abilities; around what motivates them; around what options actually exist; around the future world of work; and around how best to utilise all this information. There is a great website where a great deal of this can be undertaken so that there is real knowledge based on facts not hearsay.”

For those who have their eyes set on university, Judy recommends starting at the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)website,  There is also a large range of courses delivered through TAFE that are worth exploring. TAFE course options and how to apply can be found on the VTAC

Leaving school and going straight into the workforce is not as simple as it once was. The market is competitive and employers are looking for entry level employees with skills or the willingness to engage in further training. If you are considering going down the apprenticeship route, Judy says:

“It is important to know that obtaining an apprenticeship requires an application to an employer via word of mouth or a job search or employer website; or by approaching a ‘network provider’ or local TAFE. A great website to start finding out more is here:

Taking a break from study and having a gap year to work and possibly travel are also options. A bit of time and distance from school can help focus in setting a plan for further training or study in a year’s time.

The focus at this time of the year is on the young person and their plans. Parents still have an important role to play. In a recent journal post for Authentic Parent Voice, Jacqui Van de Velde wrote:

“Parents often find they flounder a bit trying to find their new role as parents of an adult. The fundamentals don’t change, but the focus and how we express them does. Parents will still be significant influencers in the musings and decisions.”

She encourage parents to shift their parenting style to fit the new situation of living with adult children and adopting a “coaching” approach:

“Our role as parents is to actively induct our children into the adult world. Outwardly, this might look like parents stepping back allowing the child to take on responsibility for themselves: work and study responsibilities, medical appointments, contributing to the household financially and in kind etc. Internally, it is parents mentally letting go and celebrating each step in the new exciting stage you find yourself in... preparing for launch.”

It is an exciting time. Embrace it! Keep the lines of communication open and listen, a lot.

Further reading and information can be found here: