Is your next step going to university or completing further studies?

A question for Year 12 students to answer after they complete their studies this year – is your next step going to university or completing further studies?  For many students the answer is:

  • most likely yes,
  • for others they might think so but are unsure what they would like to do and
  • then for the remaining students they still probably don’t really have any idea about what their future may be – a trade, getting a job, taking a gap year and so on …..

What ever the answer to this question there is usually no right or wrong answer.  When working with students (even those from about Year 10 onwards) I regularly advise them to attend university open days to not necessarily find what they want to do but often more to look at what they don’t want to do and work backwards from there.  For other students they might decide that completing further studies isn’t for them and then start to investigate what other options are out there.

Will I be able to attend an open day in person?Image of university students in a foyer - organising students - Is your next step going to university or completing further studies?

We all know the current and future landscape of universities & institutions might well be quite different due to Covid19 and time will tell more on that front.  For now the focus for the current 2020 Year 12 cohort should continue to be putting their best foot forward and putting in their best efforts for the remainder of this year.  In terms of attending university and other tertiary institution open days it may not be possible physically but can alway still occur online with virtual tours, attending information sessions and reviewing course materials.  It is suggested students check out the websites of the local universities and institutions (a few of these have been listed at the end of this BLOG but there are plenty of other options including TAFE that can be found online too) that they might be interested in attending or to even get more advice from their careers advisors at school.

What information should I be looking at and the type of questions I should be asking?

When attending open days (in person or virtually) I encourage students to visit a mixture of different options and to go along with an open mind.  It is an opportunity to get a broad view of different study areas and how each university or institution may cater to your needs.  It is important for students to not discount any universities before they have done their own research as they might be surprised to find the one they like isn’t necessarily the one they thought they may attend as it might be better suited to what they want to study or have the facilities or services on offer that appeal to them.

Image of lecture theatre chairs - Is your next step going to university or completing further studies? Organising StudentsStudents should take the opportunity to ask questions of students, lecturers and tutors.  This is particularly important for Year 12 students to ensure they are selecting the university/institution and course that will suit them best.  This way they will be better prepared when they have to submit their tertiary preferences.  Students should ask questions around:

  • what the entry requirements are and the pathway options?
  • what are the subject prerequisites for entering particular courses?
  • when the intake dates for courses are?,
  • what the options are for future employment?
  • what type of careers do their graduate go into at the end of their courses?
  • how does the university or institution help graduates with seeking employment?
  • are their additional features or benefits available in particular courses ie internships?

Students should check out the course options, the facilities and any other options/services to enhance the university experience.

There is no better way to learn more about university life or courses than by attending university and other institution open days (hopefully in person but if not virtually) – it is never too early or late to check them out!

What if I have no idea on what is next?Image for podcast on clearing up confusion on what to do after finishing school - Organising Students - Is your next step going to university or completing further studies?

For those students who are really struggling to work out what next they might like to do in the future they might like to check out this recent Podcast by Kate Fitzsimons – When you don’t know what career path to pursue.  This, along with Kate’s other podcasts, are a useful resource to teens.

There are also many other resources available to students and it is recommended they start with speaking to their careers advisor and teachers at school to get an idea of what options are available and take it from there.


On a final note I would like to point out to all Year 12 students is that the period of learning @ home has taught them some incredible skills that will put them in good stead if they do attend university or complete further studies in the future. Many of them may not realise that the development and growth in skills such as being a self-directed learner, being more self-disciplined when it comes to their learning and also taking responsibility for it will be useful in the future.

Whatever next steps a student takes it has to be what they are interested in or want to do – best of luck in determining this and then taking the necessary steps forward to see this happen.

If you would like to know more about how I support students on their academic journey through exams and towards university or future study or careers please get in touch to learn more.

Melbourne University

Monash University

Latrobe University

Swinburne University


Victoria University

Sydney University

University of NSW

Australian National University

The University of Adelaide 

The University of Queensland 

Queensland University of Technology

Australian Catholic University

Curtain University

University of Tasmania