When planning your career, it is important to consider the workplace landscape and the roles that are deemed important now and in the future.
The impact of technology on the world around us is undeniable. The IT landscape is evolving rapidly, the advent of Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and the technologies that accompany them are forcing IT professionals to acquire new skills and knowledge all the time.
As automation advances and increases, skills are going to have to change so that people can still contribute to the automated workplace.
The early adoption and development of technical skills are pivotal to the individual’s success when entering the workplace. Although tech skills are in high demand, human-centric skills are also important.
According to businessinsider.com some of the best high-paying jobs of the future include information security analysts, computer occupations, systems software developers, business operations specialists, accountants, and auditors, as well as general and operations managers.
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This will ensure that graduates have the necessary skills to secure jobs that will be relevant in the coming years.
Another, and very important, aspect to consider when aspiring to get a top job is how you will fund your studies.
While some are fortunate enough to pay for their studies upfront or through monthly instalments, not everyone can afford the additional costs on top of their other expenses.
This should not discourage anyone from working towards earning that dream job, as there are other opportunities available such as student loans, bursaries, internships and learnerships.
Funding opportunities available to future-proof your career
Students can apply for a student loan at banks or other financial institutions. Most of the time the student only pays the interest while studying and only starts paying back the loan after the conclusion of the agreed upon study term.
It’s important to do the necessary research on repayment options before selecting the bank or financial institution.
CTU Training Solutions has also partnered with Student Loans 4U to assist their students with the student loan process. Read more here.
A second option is a bursary or scholarship which is a grant made to or for students who are registered at educational institutions established by or registered with the Department of Basic Education or the Department of Higher Education and Training.
Students can apply for bursaries at academic institutions (if they offer them), from companies offering scholarships or bursaries or, if they are working individuals, directly at their workplace.
Scholarships or bursaries offered by companies may have conditions linked to them, like a specified time frame to complete the studies and an employment contract based on a work-back condition.
Benefits of funding studies through bursaries/scholarships include:
- The student can have more than one benefactor sponsoring different aspects of the studies.
- The student has no obligation to work back the funds unless it is agreed beforehand and included in the signed agreement.
- The student is under no obligation to pay back the fees unless the agreement stipulates the successful completion of the programme.
Employers also benefit when they offer scholarships or bursaries. These benefits include:
- Partial funding of a student towards his/her qualification.
- No obligation to provide workplace training.
- Employment is optional – during and after completion of studies.
- BBBEE Skills Development Points on their Skills Development Element on the BEE Scorecard. (Bursaries are now included in the BEE Scorecard and requires a 2.5% spend based on leviable amount).
- Pivotal claim on Mandatory Grant on an annual basis.
- Optional Discretionary Grant from SETA.
Another opportunity to earn a qualification is to apply for a learnership – a work-based programme that allows you to study and train for the job you want while gaining valuable workplace experience.
Funded learnerships are financed by the SETA where the company is registered and has applied for funding. Unfunded or self-funded learnerships are mostly financed by private companies.
If you have the determination to succeed, do your homework and work hard towards reaching your dreams, getting that top job doesn’t seem that far out of reach.
CTU Training Solutions’ consultants are standing by to assist you with your career plans and making them a reality.
This article was published in partnership with CTU Training.