Things may seem hopeless when you fail matric, but resigning yourself to failure is the only way to guarantee a lack of success. Sticking with it and working hard to turn things around is likely to pay off. Failing matric does not mean the end of the world. There are so many ways in which you can further your studies. Do not let the fact that you did not complete Grade 12 discourage you.

Here are 3 different things that you can do to further your studies:

1. Study a vocational (skills development) course

When you study a skills development course through a college such as Skills Academy, you can choose from the following:

Short courses

These are a great way to obtain new skills or to enrich your existing skills. The course material is designed in a way that incorporates the theory behind the skill and the motive to why you need the skill. Courses are presented in such a way that students can easily relate to the content and contains numerous examples on how to apply the relevant skills in a practical environment. These courses emphasise the fundamentals of each subject, can be completed within a few months.  Thus, the course becomes perfect option for students who do not want to complete a full qualification that can take up to four years.

Certificate Courses

These courses are affordable, and are designed to equip you with the skills you need to work in your chosen field. Professional qualifications are recognised and accredited by professional bodies in various industries. They are also recognised by employers, which means that earning a professional qualification will generally improve your chances of finding a job. The entry requirements for these types of courses vary – but in many cases, you will be able to enrol without Matric. Once you have completed a professional qualification, you may even be able to enrol for a degree programme at university – depending on the type and level of qualification that you have completed, of course.

Professional qualifications include:

  • National Qualifications (N-level courses, which are usually accredited by the relevant Sector Education and Training Authorities)
  • Courses accredited by national bodies(e.g. SAICA)
  • Courses accredited by international bodies (e.g. ICB)

How many people do not ever get a Matric Certificate?

Education Minister Angie Motshekga released the 2015 matric exam results, revealing a pass rate of 70.7%. While many people celebrated the figure, Equal Education highlighted that a large percentage of students drop out before they write the final exams. For the 455,825 pupils who did pass their matric finals, 166,263 met entry requirements for a bachelor’s degree. The remainder may consider going straight into the workplace, but trade union Solidarity has painted a mixed picture for these candidates.

Solidarity recently released its Matric Report 2015, which stated that “a matric certificate does not seem to have a significant effect on a person’s chances of finding employment”.

“Among working people with matric as their highest qualification, only some 30% earned more than R6,400 a month in 2011,” stated Solidarity, basing its evidence on Census data. “According to the report, the South African labour market had already been swamped for decades by a vast oversupply of people with little or no training.”

Why study Matric?

Many students see high school as a social gathering and do not focus on their academics as much as they should, it is only once they have to decide where to study and what they want to do with their lives, do they realise the importance of matric, and your whole school career for that matter. It is possible to leave school at the end of Grade 9 with a General Education and Training Certificate (GETC).

Twenty or thirty years ago it was possible to do further studies with this and build a substantial career for yourself. Unfortunately in the present day, to study further at any institute and for most basic jobs, a matric certificate is a necessity. You get different passing levels based on your results. The higher your marks, the better the qualification is that you can study for. The different levels are Higher Certificate Pass, Diploma Pass and Bachelor’s Certificate Pass.

What to do if you have failed matric

Committing your time and effort to complete high school can be exhausting, and failing Grade 12 can leave pupils feeling lost and defeated, but there is no need to stress because there are many options that can be explored.

Rewrite: If you’re feeling confident enough you can write the supplementary exam – the information for which will be available at your school.

Find a College: If you don’t want to rewrite or endure another year at the same school you can enroll at a College where you can complete you can take up different courses. Skills Academy is one of the colleges that offer courses that does not require Matric. Examples of those courses are’

  • Study bookkeeping without Matric
  • Study office administration without Matric
  • Study business management without Matric
  • Study policing and forensics without Matric
  • Study beauty courses without Matric

Get experience: If furthering your studies is not what you want to do, apply for an internship in the industry you would like to work in. Employers are usually ready to take on interns to show them the ropes of the business. It is important to understand that many internships will only pay a minimum stipend to cover travel costs to and from work.

Get crafty: South Africa is short of small businesses and entrepreneurs. You don’t need a matric to start a business and fulfil a need that you may see in the community. You can take a course in engineering, bookkeeping, office administration, business management, policing and forensics, beauty courses and start a business along those lines.

Get looking: There are jobs that will employ people without matric, provided that they have a unique set of skills and are certified to make use of their skills in that industry.

Can you study even without a matric?

Getting your results and finding out you have failed may be extremely depressing. It may even be shocking and unexpected.  You may feel your world is crumbling around you and you have nowhere to go. While your friends move on to better things, you feel like you’re left behind trying to pick up the pieces. Failing Matric can be a slap in the face, but it’s really not the end of the world.  There are steps you can take to move forward and up.

What do I do if I have to get a matric?

There are two major learning systems that you can follow to complete your
matric certificate.

Day or night Classes

These classes are scheduled and will help to maintain a disciplined programme. For example the some colleges  offers night school for adults and day school for matriculants as well as weekend classes.

Distance learning

This option provides more flexibility but you will need to be more disciplined in your approach.
Skills Academy and Together We Pass offer distance learning programmes which would suit people currently employed who cannot take time off from work to go to classes.

Consider the way you live, be sure to explore all your options before making a decision\ and choose the option that will suit you best.

Working without a matric – how do I better myself?

A skills development course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to work in a particular field. While this type of course will usually be non-credit bearing, it will still indicate to employers that you have completed a formal training course in your chosen field. Studying a skills development course may be a good option if:

  • You want to work in a field where skills and experience are more important than qualifications.
  • You need certain knowledge and skills to be able to apply for a job, to be considered for a promotion, or to change your career.

What if I want to go to university?

If you don’t meet the minimum admission requirements for the degree that you want to study, you can start with a relevant lower-level qualification, such as a higher certificate or diploma, and from there you can apply for a degree course. Work through the admission requirements for each level of qualification. Keep your eyes on the prize and determine what the exact criteria are for the course that will get you to the career of your dreams.

What jobs are available to me without a matric?

Not every job requires you to have matric. Searching the job portals available on the internet is a possibility for finding a job.

  •  Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Digital Photography
  • Interior Design
  • Wedding Planner
  •  Business Management
  •  Entrepreneurship
  •  Occupational Health and Safety
  •  Public Sector
  • Interior Decorating

Jobs in the beauty therapy field

A career in beauty therapy can be highly rewarding for people who have a love for beauty. Qualified beauty therapists can work all over the world, and can find employment opportunities in a variety of places. They can, for example, work in beauty salons, on cruise ships, at health spas, or at beauty academies. They also have the option to work as freelancers. Beauty artists can also work on movie sets or stage productions, and in fashions shows.

Examples of jobs in beauty therapy field

  • Beauty therapist
  • Beautician
  • Nail technician
  • Makeup artist
  • Hair stylist
  • Facial skin care therapists
  • Massage therapist
  • Retail cosmetics assistant
  • Salon manager
  • Lash and brow specialist

Jobs in the Policing and forensics field

Forensic science includes many sub-disciplines and areas of specialization

Examples of jobs in Policing and forensics 

  • Private investigator
  • Forensic pathologist (you will need to study medicine if you want to specialise in this direction)
  • Forensic accountant (you will need a qualification in accounting to pursue this career)
  • Accident scene investigator
  • Handwriting expert
  • Forensic biologist
  • Forensic anthropologist
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Criminologist

Jobs in the Administration Field

Job opportunities that are available in the field of administration vary. Administrators are required in different industries and types of organisations. The functions that they perform will also differ from one position to another. Some administrators perform mainly secretarial functions, while others may be required to play a supervisory role.

Examples of jobs in administration:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Administrative Officer
  • Office Administrator
  • Data Capturer
  • Secretary
  • Receptionist
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Personal Asisstant
  • Executive Assistant
  • Switchboard Operator
  • Information Officer
  • Office Manager
  • HR Assistant
  • Clerk
  • Filing Clerk
  • Legal Admin Officer
  • Legal Secretary
  • Civil Servant
  • Admissions Officer
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Reservations Officer
  • Payroll Administrator
  • School Administrator
  • HR Administrator

Colleges where you can study without Matric

Don’t despair if you don’t have a Matric certificate! You will find numerous further education and training colleges that offer courses that don’t require you to have a Matric certificate to gain entrance to the courses. These colleges have designed courses ranging in length from 3-6 months up to 24 months:

At Skills Academy you can study the below courses even without a Matric:

  •  Accounting and Bookkeeping Courses
  •  Beauty Courses
  •  Entrepreneurship Courses
  •  Policing Courses

At The Learning Group you can study the below courses even without a Matric:

  • Digital Photography Courses
  • ICB Courses
  • Interior Design Courses
  • Wedding Planner Courses

At Home Study College you can study the below courses even without a Matric:

  •     Business Management Courses
  •     Entrepreneurship Courses
  •     Occupational Health and Safety Courses
  •     Public Sector Courses

At The Decor School you can study the below courses even without a Matric:

  • Interior Decorating Courses
  • Interior Design Courses

Courses you can study without Matric

Skills Academy offers both accredited and provider programme courses that don’t require matric:

Study bookkeeping without Matric

ICB offers foundation level courses in Financial Accounting which requires only grade 10, and Public Sector Accounting which requires only grade 11. Once you’ve passed the foundation level you will be able to continue with the programme, right up until you receive a National Diploma in either Financial or Public Sector Accounting.

Study office administration without Matric

Office Administration have the choice of taking ICB. There are several ICB qualifications a student can enrol for, including:

  • ICB Junior Office Administrator – This programme provides essential information about Business Communication and Basic Bookkeeping.
  • ICB Senior Office Administrator – Labour Relations and Economics are just some of the subjects covered in this programme.
  • ICB Office Manager – Specifically designed to equip learners to successfully run an office, this option teaches fundamental basics like Financial Accounting and Business Management.

Study business management without Matric

Business Management is becoming an increasingly popular career choice. One of the reasons why Business Management is so appealing is that the skills that you learn can be applied across various industries. In other words, a Business Management qualification can open up many doors for you. The business world is complex and ever changing. It’s important to keep your skills up to date so you can battle toe to toe with the competition, or land a job while competing against other experienced and educated candidates.

A business management certificate is a short-term educational program that offers a certificate instead of a degree. It takes between a few months and several terms, depending on how the program is designed and how many credit hours you tackle each semester. A certificate in business management can open doors for the unskilled worker. If you’re fresh out of high school, it’s a great way to learn the basics of business before launching a full-scale bachelor’s program. If you’re already working in the business world, brush up on your skills by completing a campus or online certificate in business. Whether you own a small business or are looking for ways to boost your marketability, a business certificate just might fit the bill. This will give you the competitive edge if you’re aiming at a top spot in the company or looking to change careers.

Certificate programs in business management are also a great way to get a taste of the degree program. ICB offers foundation level courses in both Business Entrepreneurship and Business Management. Both of these courses require only grade 11. If you choose to continue you will be able to carry on with these programmes until you achieve a National Diploma in either Business Entrepreneurship or Business Management.

Study beauty courses without Matric

Beauty therapy as a field of study aims to prepare students for working in this industry. It involves learning how to perform various treatments, as well as learning about physiology and anatomy, as it is important for beauty therapist s to understand the scientific principles underlying the treatments that they administer to their clients.

Study policing and forensics without Matric

In South Africa, the majority of career paths in the forensic science field are associated with the South African Police Service (SAPS). If you want to pursue Forensic Science as a career, consider the following:

  • Do you have the necessary skills such as analytical skills, detail-orientated, high concentration levels?
  • Do you enjoy problem-solving or investigating?
  • Are you someone who can adapt easily?
  • Are you dedicated, a hard worker and willing to put in the effort and hours

In conclusion, things may seem hopeless when you fail matric, but resigning yourself to failure is the only way to guarantee a lack of success. Sticking with it and working hard to turn things around is likely to pay off. Failing matric does not mean the end of the world. There are so many ways in which you can further your studies. Do not let the fact that you did not complete Grade 12 discourage you.

Last updated: November 21st 2016