Life After Matric 

All throughout high school, everyone tells you that once you matriculate, you will be in the “big world” or the “real world”. But no one actually tells you what to expect. We have a few tips on what you can look forward to and what you need to know about Life After Matric.

Opportunities After Matric

There really is an endless list of possibilities for what you can do. It can be a bit overwhelming, so we are here to break it down for you. The main options are:

  • Further your studies
  • Start working
  • Take a gap year

Further Your Studies

Furthering your education after high school is the most common option to choose. Everyone works hard to apply to universities and colleges. Studying after Matric gives you the opportunity to work towards a qualification that will help you on your journey to your dream career.  

Start Working

Once you have successfully completed Matric, you can apply to start working full-time. You can gain the work experience you need, and then you will be able to save up for college. Working after high school also allows you to refine your soft skills and learn the hard skills needed for your future career. 

Take A Gap Year

If you need a break before committing to a job or a course, then a gap year is a great option. A gap year is a perfect opportunity to do anything you want to do and can do.

Examples are travelling the world, working abroad, and volunteering for the year to gain work experience and community service hours that you can use later on your CV. 

What Are The 4 Types Of Degrees?

The four Degrees you can achieve begin at the Bachelor’s Degree level, which is NQF level 7. Each Degree goes up by an NQF level, and each Degree requires you to have the previous Degree qualification to apply: 


NQF Level


Bachelor’s Degree


Matric with Bachelor’s pass

Honour’s Degree


Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree


Honour’s Degree

Doctoral Degree


Master’s Degree

The qualification directly above Matric in NQF levels is a Higher Certificate. 

Which Degree Is The Highest?

The highest degree you can achieve is a Doctoral Degree. Before you can start a Doctoral Degree, you must have a Master’s Degree. 

What Level Is Diploma?

A Diploma is NQF level 6. There are 10 NQF levels starting at Grade 9 going up to a Doctoral Degree:

NQF Level

Educational Level


Grade 9


Grade 10


Grade 11




Higher Certificate


Diploma/Advanced Certificate


Bachelor’s Degree/Advanced Diploma


Honour’s Degree


Master’s Degree


Doctoral Degree

Study Readiness

Going through 12 years of school can be draining, so you need to be sure you want to go through another three years of it, and that you are ready for it. Make sure you are properly prepared before you begin. 

Work Readiness Test

A work readiness test will determine if you are ready to join the workforce. This test will simply evaluate your skills. If you do not receive the results you would like or prefer, you could consider doing a short course to build on your skills. 

Challenges After Matric

High school can become a safe space that you are familiar with after spending most of your teenage years there. You and your friends are likely to be attending different institutions or studying different courses, and you will have different teachers or lecturers. So leaving can be quite challenging at first.

Transition Issues

Leaving high school means that you are now an adult. As much as you might want to be an adult, there are a lot of responsibilities that come with it. You may feel overwhelmed or lost at first, but give yourself time to adjust. 


If you choose to study after matric, you will find that the work is much harder. You will also notice that the learning style is much more independent. This means you will be more responsible for your own studies. 

College Life

College can be confusing and overwhelming with all the choices you have to make and the options available to you. But you can overcome this. Simply stick to what you know, and remember that you can always ask someone knowledgeable if you need help.

Which Course is Best After Matric?

Only you can decide which course would be best for you. However, we can give you a few suggestions to look into. Remember that you should choose a course based on where you want to be in the future. Some options are:

  • Short course
  • Diploma course
  • Bachelor’s Degree course

Short Course

Short courses can take a couple of months to a year to study, and they give you the workplace skills you need.

Short courses at Skills Academy are open-access, which means the only entry requirements are that you can understand, read and write in English, and that you are over the age of 16.

Diploma Course

Diploma courses usually last three years and can be studied at a college or university. All recognised diplomas are accredited by the Department of Higher Education. 

Bachelor’s Degree Course

The duration of a degree course depends on the type of course you want to study. However, they usually take a minimum of four years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees also have strict entry requirements.

Note that many universities will also have their own entry requirements for Bachelor’s Degree courses. Remember to check with the university you are applying to for any additional requirements for the course you want to study. 

Stay Confident After Matric

Stand tall regardless of any challenges you might face after matric. If you need help choosing a course, you can contact one of our course experts.

  • Call us for free on 0800 39 00 27
  • Or fill out a contact form for a callback

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: June 29, 2022

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.