Shiny long run for SA if matrics’ minds are harnessed

After an understandably poor set of matric results in 2021, during the dark days of Covid-19, the class of 2022 has turned the corner, improving the national result and opening the door to better futures.

These matriculants now face the prospect of studying further, or entering a job market and economy in a state of flux.

Dedicated Class of 2022

While the 2022 matriculants did not have the same hard lockdowns to contend with as in the past two years, they faced unprecedented power cuts and related challenges.

They must be commended for their hard work and dedication as they took full advantage of being able to return to classrooms, sports fields and to connect in person with friends once again.

They showed clear levels of hard work and dedication.

Improvements and challenges

The rise in the matric pass rate to 80.1% from 76.4% in 2021 indicates that the recovery after the devastation of Covid is well on track.

But these matric results did not come without challenges.

With prospects for SA’s economy remaining bleak, the choice of career is becoming more critical than ever.

Tertiary education

Those seeking to pursue a career path must ensure they are making the right choice in terms of choosing a tertiary institution.

For instance, one of the most important things to look for is accreditation by making sure the institution and courses are accredited by the relevant governing body.

With MIE’s annual Background Screening Index showing year-on-year that qualifications are the most misrepresented aspects on CVs, it will be equally important for companies hiring matriculants or graduates to ensure they do proper background screening checks.

One blight on the class of 2022 was the major cheating scandal uncovered in Mpumalanga.

ALSO READ: Roedean all-girls’ school achieves best matric result in century of existence

Most in-demand skills

However, those who completed their studies in 2022 without cheating have many exciting career choices, driven in the main by demand for technological solutions, strong financial and business acumen and engineering innovation.

According to Grabjobs, the top five in-demand skills in 2023 are:

  • Software development,
  • Sales,
  • Business management,
  • IT,
  • Banking/high finance.

There is also an increased demand for those with language skills across fields like legal, marketing, accounting, education and publishing, while engineering and medicine/nursing come next.

Marketing and customer service round out the top 10.

In-demand jobs include agriculture engineers, software engineers, customer support specialist, manufacturing managers, proofreaders, credit managers, office administrator,s front-end web developer, logistics manager and junior secondary school teachers.

ALSO READ: Horizon defies Covid onslaught to score 100% matric pass rate    

Skills development and training

Students should also remember that practical training and skills are going to give them a decided edge, whether before, during or after their studies.

Choosing programmes with a practical element are increasingly sought after as students can hit the ground running.

Companies should also improve their own practical and apprenticeship programmes instead of just complaining about many graduates’ lack of readiness.

There is a lot of work to be done here to open the door to real growth.

SA has the potential, skills and talent and we can overcome the odds if we all work together.

Barkhuizen works for Managed Integrity Evaluation

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa congratulates matric class of 2022 for their outstanding performance

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