The value of Studying in Tough Economic Times

2017-02-26 16:45

How do you improve your chances when unemployment is getting worse? When the economy is struggling, the best way to do better is to improve your education by studying.

It is getting more difficult to find a job

According to this report from Stats SA, we have more jobs, but even more people chasing those jobs.

An article in the Mail and Guardian, reports that the public employment services division of the labour department was able to find job placement for 2% of the five million people on its database, last year.

There is a clear link between your chances of finding a job, and your level of education. According to the labour department the success rate in people finding jobs, differs widely according to education levels:

  • Unskilled workers: 6.2%
  • Semi-skilled workers: 11.1%
  • Skilled workers: 47.3%
  • High-skilled workers: 93.2%

People with less education struggle much more to find a job. And when they find a job, it is at a very low salary. Your best chance of finding a job, and finding a job with a good starting salary, is to get better qualified.

There is a direct link between your level of education and your starting salary

Your expected starting salary is directly influenced by your level of education. Someone with a one-year certificate can expect a starting salary of nearly twice what you can expect if you only have Matric.

And someone with Matric can expect a starting salary that is nearly double that of someone who does not have Matric. In many cases you can double your income potential with just one extra year or studies.

Here are the starting salary you can expect, based on your level of education:

  • No schooling: R 1 704
  • Grade 1 to Grade 7 incomplete: R 1 867
  • Completed Primary School (Grade 7 completed): R 1 946
  • Grade 8 to Grade 12 incomplete: R 2 660
  • Grade 12: R4 977
  • Grade 12 with Certificate: R 8 326
  • Grade 12 with Diploma: R 13 378
  • Bachelor's degree: R 21 527

How further education helps you

Invest in your Education

When times are tough, the smart people invest in their education. For working people, and people who cannot access classroom-based education, there are the options of distance learning as well as online learning.

Invest in Yourself

The money you invest in your education will help you earn more for the rest of your life. It beats investing in most other kinds of assets. When one extra year of study can double your income potential, that is certainly a better investment than a savings account at a bank.

Education helps you keep your job

When you get yourself more educated, you are making yourself more valuable to your employer. If they need to retrench, they will keep the most valuable people. Make sure you are one of them.

With a short course, or even just reading a book, you can get better in your job in less than a month. Learn how to better use your computer, learn how to better manage a project... these skills are always in demand.

Prepare for retrenchments

Retrenchments now happen all the time. Make sure you will be the better qualified and better performing person when you are fighting to keep your job. Your ongoing studies will certainly count in your favor.

Improve your chances for a promotion or better position

As someone improving your qualifications, you have a better chance at that promotion or that increase. Employees who study, work hard, and show a positive attitude are seen and valued by employers.

Plan to change to a different career

Your studies might lead you to a new job or a new career. As you study more, you will better understand what your real interests and passions are. Following your passion can lead to a completely new and different career.

Get skills that are always in demand

Some skills are always in demand. Look at scarce skills. Qualifications such as computer repair, bookkeeping and office administration are always in demand.

Learn now, pay later

Many of the colleges where you can study via distance learning will offer you a payment plan. So you might be able to start your studies without having to first save up lots of money.

Your employer might be willing to help

Employers want their staff to study. But they are not always good at getting you started. Make a start yourself. Choose a course, get the costs, and then approach your employer. Remember, you need to show how your studies will also help your employer!

Studying while you work

When times are tough, you can probably not afford to stop working and go to a college full time. With distance learning you study in your own time, while you keep working. It takes discipline to work in the daytime, and study in the evenings or on weekends. But it will pay off, and it will impress your employer.

About the Author:

Jan Badenhorst works as the CEO of Skills Academy. Skills Academy offers Home Study Courses to people who never completed Matric, or who cannot get entry into Universities.

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