HW Careers

Choosing the Right Subjects for College or Vocational School

Deciding what subjects to take at the end of Grade 9 is an important life decision, but it isn’t easy to know that early on what you want to do when you’re finished school.

There’s no magic formula, what is important though is that at the start of Grade 9 (even during Grade 8), you start thinking about possible career choices.

Take some time to think about these questions:

  • What drives you?
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What sort of personality do you have?
  • What subjects do you enjoy at school?
  • Are you artistic/creative? or maybe methodical/logical?
  • Do you enjoy working with people?
  • Do you prefer working alone or in a group?
  • Do you enjoy working with your hands?
  • Is there a career path that really interests you?
  • What job opportunities exist for people in the career/s that interest you?

The Importance of Pure Maths and Physical Science

Did you know?

  • Our world is ever-changing and today we rely on mathematics in ways we could not imagine thirty years ago.
  • Mathematics touches every part of our lives.
  • A strong background in pure mathematics can assist you in entering your chosen course of study.
  • Pure mathematics is a prerequisite for many fields of study such as
    engineering, natural science, information technology and medicine.
  • Many of the fastest-growing occupations today are related to pure
  • Pure mathematics will train you to think logically, critically, and analytically.
  • Maths literacy is not an alternative to pure mathematics.


Some compelling reasons to seriously consider taking pure mathematics to Grade 12 wouldn’t you say?

We know that the prospect of pure maths is one that scares many young people. But it’s a no brainer really. If you are good at maths or believe you can pass it with some hard work and determination, then you really should consider taking it as a subject in Grade 10. It can only benefit you in the future.

Pure Mathematics vs Maths Literacy

Maths literacy is about using mathematical skills and principles in the real world, whereas pure mathematics focuses on the discipline of mathematics. In pure mathematics, applications are important but are not always exhibited in real-life contexts.

Pure mathematics content is expanded on as you progress from year to year. Maths literacy is not an alternative to a higher grade or standard grade maths, it is a distinctive subject that uses mathematical concepts and applies them to everyday situations.

Maths literacy enables you to develop the ability to think numerically and to interpret and analyse everyday situations to solve some problems. It equips you to become financially responsible and mathematically literate, but it will not grant access at tertiary institutions should you wish to study engineering, natural science, information technology, medicine or many other courses of study.

With pure mathematics and physical science, you are more likely to understand charts or formulas without having to read journals upon journals trying to make sense of it all. Pure mathematics and physical science will train you to think logically, critically and analytically.

Scarce Skills and Your Future

A scarce skill is a specific job, in a specific industry for which there are too few qualified or available people in the labour market to meet industry demand.

Scarce skills can be a result of absolute scarcity, this could be due to the fact that the job is newly emerging, or that no people have enrolled to acquire the skills required to do the job.

Why study for a scarce skill?

You would:

  • Contribute to the development of South Africa
  • Be more employable
  • Likely be paid a higher salary (depending on the job of course)
  • Progress more quickly
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