Students need vocational education


By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

Vocational education and training is clearly the answer for most students who can’t enter the university system.

That is why experts have in the past urged students to consider private colleges and Further Education and Training (FET) institutions as a viable option for gaining a tertiary education. Among them are quality institutions offering courses that address the economic needs of our country.

Many colleges have a higher ratio of graduates placed directly into related employment.

Sharene Menteath, Head of Academics at CTI Education Group comments: “CTI Information Systems graduates are employed at the same level as university graduates, but require only one year of study and are likely to have earned an additional R100 000 before their university counterparts graduate.”

Founded in 1979, CTI formed a partnership with the private university, Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI) in 2006. CTI, formerly known as the Computer Training Institute broadened it’s horizons with this and various other partnerships to include, not only computer related education, but other fields like Accounting, Commerce, Graphic Design, Law and Psychology.

And the Human capital group, Adcorp, had previously announced that the country faced shortages of highly skilled personnel in senior management, professionals in the medicine, engineering, accounting and law fields, technical occupations requiring both technicians and artisans, as well as occupations in the agriculture industry.

Adcorp had calculated that the economy faces a shortage of 432 100 technicians, 216 200 managers and 178 400 professionals.

Ian Yoell, Regional Director of Edexcel Southern Africa had commented:”Private colleges and FET institutions are well placed to positively impact the skills shortage that threatens our economy. Many of these institutions are delivering quality career-orientated qualifications: courses designed to prepare graduates for the work place that include critical on the job training.”

“Valuable qualifications from private colleges and FET institutions may help to ensure that a greater proportion of South Africa’s learners become independent, self sufficient contributors to a sustainable economy,” added Yoell.

Credible private colleges such as the CTI Education Group offer nationally and internationally recognised diploma and degree courses in faculties including: information and technology, commerce, law and social sciences, and creative art and communications.

These qualifications offer many benefits to students keen to either enter the job market or continue to study for a higher degree at leading universities.

“The commerce faculty provides students with the opportunity to interact with experts in the field through their guest lecturer programme. Most degrees also offer an internship during the third year of study thereby exposing students to the work place before graduating and starting their careers. CTI assists students with these valuable internship placements,” continued Menteath.

Vocational studies offered by private colleges and FET institutions are vitally important to the success of our economy and should be regarded as a viable study option.

With the South African Department of Education now in full support of private colleges and FET institutions an increase in quality establishments is expected.

Yoell concluded: “Young South Africans should thoroughly investigate all study options before ruling out any one course of tertiary education. International accreditation provided by Edexcel through private colleges and FET institutions can open many doors both locally and internationally.”

Edexcel, a Pearson company, is the UK’s largest awarding organisation offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers
and other places of learning in the UK and internationally. The company operates in more than 100 countries with 9 million examination scripts completed every year.

The company also designs course material that is modern, relevant and meets demands of worldwide employers and industry. South African partners include CTI Education Group, Prestige College, COPA (contemporary music college) and Northlink (performing arts) private colleges, among others.

Earlier this year Edexcel announced it was also teaming up with the Government of South Africa’s Sector Education and Training Authories (SETAs).

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