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If I Didn’t Finish High School? Know Your NQF Level

What If I Didn’t Finish High School? If you don’t have Matric, you can pursue free training opportunities available to you. However, quitting school without a plan is never a great idea. Boost your level of education by applying for learnerships and apprenticeships.

What If I Don’t Have a Matric: What NQF Level Am I On?

Not a very good one. Truth is you’re setting yourself up for a very difficult life when you have a low standard of education. Even Matric is generally regarded as inadequate unless you’ve developed additional skills on your own. If you dropped out of school, consider the wide variety of free training available online. Pursue alternative forms of qualifications such as MOOCs.

There are ten NQF levels, let’s check which one you are on.

No NQF Level 4 Matric: Didn’t finish high school?

You have probably still earned credits that you can use when applying to a learning programme. Even if you dropped out of high school, it’s possible you can be credited for what you managed to achieve.

NQF Levels Provide Career Pathing If You Have No Matric

Find an occupational qualification that you assume is at your level. Research that qualification to see if you meet the entry criteria.

Didn’t Finish High School? Find An Occupational Certificate To Kickstart Your Career

The SETAs have been working with the Quality Council of Trades and Occupations to develop new occupational qualifications. Take a look at some of these new qualifications across different industries:

Suitable NQF Levels if You Don’t Have Matric

  • For those with little or no high school and limited if any work experience.: NQF. Level 1 and 2 

Suitable NQF Levels for those with Matric

Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT): Finish High School

If your schooling is incomplete, you are credited for what you have completed.  Here’s a table listing how you can work out your credits:

Here’s how to work out how many credits you have and which NQF Level courses to apply for.

Which NQF levels can I apply for? I didn’t finish high school

If you completed Grade 10: apply for NQF level 2 and 3 opportunities.

If you completed Grade 11 or some of Grade 12: apply for NQF LEVEL 3 and maybe 4.

Special note:

  • Many employers and training providers want NQF L4 applicants to have Matric in place. This is because a job-base (occupational) NQL4 qualification can be very demanding if you don’t already have Matric.
  • If you qualify for Language and Maths credits, the employer’s training costs and your time commitment can be reduced.

 Use SETAs to find an opportunity if you didn’t finish high school

There are 22 SETAs, each responsible for different industries. Remember to be clear about the NQF level you are looking for.

If you didn’t finish high school: Which qualifications are you looking for?

Each SETA promotes a different set of qualifications based on the industries they represent. For example, BANKSETA promotes banking qualifications.

BANKSETA also looks for solutions to scarce skills in the Banking sector. If they find that financial institutions need IT skills, the SETA will fund IT training.

TWO KEY QUESTIONS ABOUT QUALIFICATIONS: Learnerships and Apprenticeships

1. Which SETA is in charge of the qualifications you want?

2. Which SETAs are offering funding for those qualifications?  Eg: if you want to be a software developer, check each SETA to see who is offering training. Check PIVOTAL grants.

List of SETA websites 

Good luck!

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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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