While passing your matric is a huge milestone in any school leaver’s life, for some of us, it just doesn’t come together. Perhaps you had adverse circumstances to face or simply let the temptations of young adult life distract you from studying as you should.
Luckily, while a Matric does indeed open up a lot of educational and vocational doors for you, there are things you can do to further your tertiary education and employment prospects if you didn’t manage to pass, from retaking or improving your Matric scores to finding work and study opportunities with what you did achieve. Let’s take a look.
What Can I Study If I Don’t Have Matric?
While a Matric pass (at any level) is the traditional route to higher education and the broadest career opportunities in South Africa, it’s not the only way to achieve well in your adult life. Not having a Matric certificate does not mean your educational and career aspirations are forever gone. There are several career paths available to you, as well as some routes to further education, if you are willing to put in the work. We look at some of these in the next paragraph.
There are some degree and certificate programs you can study directly even if you don’t have a Matric. You also have the option to improve your Matric results to a passing grade through the ‘Second Chance Matric’ program offered by the government. You will need to look for study programs that require less than an NQF 4 to enter, as that is the level of a passed Matric.
Is There Any Career Without a Matric?
There are definitely career options available to people who do not possess a Matric certificate! While Matric opens doors to a wider range of opportunities, many careers do not have strict Matric requirements. These careers may require alternative qualifications, skills, or vocational training or simply a willingness to work hard and learn on the job. Here are a few careers you can consider without a Matric:
- Trades and Artisanal Work: Becoming a skilled artisan in fields such as plumbing, welding, electrical work, or carpentry is done through apprenticeships and trade-specific training rather than a Matric certificate.
- Hospitality and Catering: Careers in the hospitality industry, such as chefs, waitstaff, or hotel managers, prioritize practical skills and experience over formal academic qualifications.
- Entrepreneurship: Starting your own business does not require a Matric certificate, but it does demand initiative, creativity, confidence, and business acumen.
- Freelancing and Creative Arts: If you have talents in writing, graphic design, music, or other creative fields, you can establish a career as a freelancer, contractor, or artist.
- Security Services: Positions in private security, including security guards and armed response officers, may not need a Matric certificate but often require training and specific security certifications.
- Sales and Retail: Many entry-level positions in retail and sales, such as cashiers or sales associates, do not have strict Matric requirements.
- Delivery and Couriers: Delivery and courier positions are booming in South Africa right now, and very few require a full Matric pass.
These are just some of the careers you can pursue without a Matric, although many will require vocational training or specific certification to make the most of the field, so be prepared to study some more after school.
Who Can Write Matric Without Grade 11?
Currently, you can leave formal education in SA once you pass Grade 9. Most children who continue in school will pass Grade 11 and then take Matric in Grade 12. However, if this was not open to you when you left school, don’t worry! No one is sending adult learners back into the school system just so they can get their matric now they are able.
Once you are older than 21, you can look at the ‘Adult Matric’ program, which requires you only to have passed Grade 9 (or higher) to write Matric. This will give you your Amended National Certificate, which is functionally identical to the NSC Matric certificate, without having to do your Grade 10 or 11 in a school.
Equivalent NQF levels (Grade 9 is NQF 1) can also be considered for direct Adult Matric programs, as long as you have 2 official languages included in what you did study.
What Are Study Without Matric Courses?
Some courses and qualifications will directly advertise themselves as ‘Study without Matric’ courses. This means they are open to students who wish to pursue further education without a Matric certificate. These courses provide alternative pathways to acquiring skills and knowledge in career fields and are great for those without a Matric to further their education and job prospects.
ICB Courses You Can Study Without Matric
The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) offers a range of office administration, business management, and bookkeeping/financial courses that do not require Matric as an entry requirement. These include the following:
- National Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF Level 3): Foundational skills in bookkeeping and financial accounting.
- National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting (NQF Level 5): This advanced course covers topics like financial statements, cost and management accounting, and income tax for SA.
- National Certificate: Public Sector Accounting (NQF Level 4): Focusing on public sector finance, this course is suitable for those interested in government and municipal financial roles.
Many of their business management and office administration courses likewise do not need a Matric to start studying. Most will open at an NQF 3 level (matric is NQF 4) to ‘fill in the gaps’ and guide you through upskilling in a structured way in later courses.
SAQA Courses You Can Study Without Matric
Additionally, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognizes a wide range of qualifications and skills programs that do not require a Matric certificate for entry. Again, they typically start at the NQF 3 level and will guide you higher as you study, bypassing the role Matric normally plays. These qualifications are available in fields such as:
- Information Technology
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Trade and Vocational Training
There are many more, so don’t forget to check out what SAQA courses are on offer without Matric!
Not having a Matric certificate does not mean you can’t undertake further education and career development. Many careers and vocational training programs do not have strict Matric requirements, and there are alternative pathways to acquiring skills and qualifications even in fields that do. Don’t hesitate to explore the available courses and programs, consider your interests and strengths, and take steps to further your goals and aspirations.
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