On Monday, Chris Youness from Western Sydney University spoke to all yr 11 and 12 students on the topic – “University, is it for me?”
Chris shared his own career path – he was offered his 9th preference for University – in a course that ‘sounded interesting’, but in reality he knew little about the course. At the end of this first year he decided to change his career direction and do a Human Resources Business course which he believed was more in his skill set and interest.
Chris stressed that it is the regular and continued daily practise that goes into learning, understanding and skill development that makes all the difference. Without practise, we are limiting ourselves. With practise, the impossible is possible. Along with practise, the effort, and growth mindset are crucial to being able to achieve even when it is hard. Skills can be developed from a very young age, and it is important for students to start thinking about how they will use their skills. He gave the example of practise on mobile phones – students have developed skills and abilities because they spend hours each week on their phones practising.
47% of the jobs of today will not be available in 20 years time. This startling fact means that students need to plan for career changes and develop skills that are highly valued. They need to develop skills that they can transfer to other career paths as technology changes the career opportunities.
A young person today will have up to 17 career changes in their lifetime. Gone are the days of studying once and then working in that career for the next 40 + years and then retiring. Students may start in one direction, and then divert into another field.
Students need to be thinking strategically about their skills and how these can be used in their career plan. The important skills include problem solving and critical thinking skills, ability to work with people and negotiate directions and plans. The ability to make sound judgements and decisions are also crucial.
Universities offer many pathways and are very flexible, which allows students to work part time study – either face to face or online, change courses, do a TAFE course inside a university course. The main career choices of young people today include Health and Education.
HECS is the main way that students pay for a University course. The Government gives a loan to the student to complete the course, which is then repaid slowly once the student has graduated and is working.
Western Sydney University is our local university and has several campuses across the region including Milperra, Parramatta and Penrith.