Tips for HSC leavers: Exploring your post-school options

By Ron Maxwell, CEO 

If you’re in the Class of 2022, you have much to consider when it comes to life after school. And as the first post-pandemic graduates, you’ll be pioneers of the new world of work. That’s exciting, but it can also be pretty daunting, particularly for those who aren’t sure exactly what they want to do yet.  

During my many years in the education, training and community space, I’ve seen countless graduating classes go off into the world and explore what’s next. Although the challenges and opportunities have changed over the years, the basic rules remain the same. So here are our top tips for exploring your post-school options.

#1 Remember it’s ok if you don’t know what you want to do

If you’re surrounded by classmates who know exactly what’s next for them, it can feel stressful when you’re unsure of your own path. But it’s important to remind yourself that’s ok. Some people approach life after school with a clear and definite plan. Others take a little more time to work out exactly where they fit – and both approaches are fine.

#2 Your passions and interests are key to your career

When exploring potential career options, consider your passions and interests. You might be surprised to find how many careers align with the things you love. VERTO’s CareerGate platform is a great place to start. This fast, free online tool asks targeted questions about you and your interests to generate potential career options. You can even start applying for vacancies in your area straight away.

#3 University isn’t the only, or even always the best, option

There’s often a lot of talk at school about going to university, and while university study is well-suited to many careers, it’s not the right option for everyone.

If you’re the kind of person who learns best by doing, or you’re ready to be out there earning while you learn, vocational education and training (VET) may be a great option for you. And one thing many people don’t realise is that VET graduates earn more in their first year than uni graduates, so it’s a win/win.

#4 Don’t overlook apprenticeships

Apprenticeships used to be seen as the pathway for those who didn’t want to complete HSC studies, but that is no longer the case. In today’s increasingly digital world, even the most traditional apprenticeships, such as electrical or automotive, require STEM skills, and leading employers are looking for HSC graduates.

There are many advantages to apprenticeship and traineeship careers. Not only do they enable you to start earning straight away, but they also open up a world of opportunity. Many apprenticeship industries, including hospitality and trades, offer job opportunities outside our cities. This means you can live or work anywhere in the country and, in many cases, in the world. This flexibility is perfect for those who want to live in regional or coastal areas or earn while travelling.

In addition, apprenticeships are a fantastic gateway to owning your own business in the future. If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spark, an apprenticeship can take you anywhere. And this includes traditional trades. With many trade industries plagued by crippling skills shortages, there are some excellent opportunities for those who want to make their mark and make a great living while doing it.

#5 Remember to enjoy the moment

Finishing school is one of life’s biggest moments and one you will look back on for decades to come. So, while there are some big decisions to be made, it’s also important to ensure you are soaking in the experience.

Life is unpredictable and will throw curve balls, so even if you are sure about what you want to do right now, that may change in the future. The key is to find a career that aligns with your passions, interests, and values because that’s a job you’ll enjoy long-term.

If you want to explore a wide range of post-school career options but don’t know where to start, VERTO’s friendly, expert career specialists can help. Give the team a call on 1300 483 786 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram.