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 Where to begin?

'I still don't know what to do!'

People are unique and because of this deciding on what to do after finishing high school can be more challenging for some than for others. 

Whether you choose the 'path less travelled' or stay on the highway, will in all likelihood make 'all the difference' to where you are positioned emotionally, financially and perhaps even physically - five, ten or twenty years from now. The decisions you make now about whether to continue study, what to study and how you will support your study, will in all liklihood also impact the quality of the journey you travel towards your academic, career, and personal goals so yes it s wise to research the possibilities and challenges of life after high school and try to make an informed decision before embarking on a course, job, or alternate pathway.


Area of Study researchers are primarily concerned with reviewing study related websites to assist youth navigate post school pathways and find direction.

Please note:  Although we make every effort to publish accurate information from credible sources, we encourage all visitors to conduct their own research to verify the currency and  accuracy of  information.

Where to Study?
Trade courses
University Choices

Options on where to study are often impacted by a number of factors including; academic results, career aspirations financial resources and emotional needs. Only you know the weight of factors impacting your decisions on whether to continue formal study and where to study. If the answer is 'yes I want to study' then more questions pop up. Do you want to study in your home country or abroad, at university or at TAFE, on campus or online?  

Three websites areaofstudy researchers have determined to be valuable in guiding youth to decide on where to study are posted below:

The Good Universities Guide

Whether you're intending to study towards a  vocational certificate or diploma, or an academic intensive undergraduate degree or  postgraduate award, The Good Universities Guide, offers a wealth of informative information on everything from a comparative overview of 'all' Australian universities, TAFEs and private providers.

Art of Smart

Targeted at Australian students, Art of Smart offers easy to read advice on factors to consider when deciding on a university including but not limited to considerations such as:

opportunity costs, employment prospects, social factors and course content delivery.

Times higher Education offers an easy to navigate platform, publishing a comprehensive overview of world universities and academic world rankings.

Trade Alternatives

If you're considering an alternate pathway forward - perhaps something more practical and hands on  there are plenty of interesting trade alternatives to explore. 

Possibly the best way to start is to head to over to, click on the National register of VET and type in a word relevant to a possible course of interest e.g. electrical and follow the links.

Financing  Study
Academic courses

Unless you have wealthy parents who are prepared to back you, decisions regarding what to study, how long to study and where to study will invariably be influenced by your financial position.

If you are an Australian student planning to study in Australia you may qualify for government assistance.

Additionally, depending on your study choices,  HSC results and  career aspirations  you may also qualify for government or industry backed scholarships. 

Commonly available funding is offered to most students in the following forms. Please be aware that deadlines often apply for funding so it is important that you apply on time.

To get a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or a HELP loan, students must be enrolled with an approved Australian education provider.


Approved providers typically include: universities, approved private higher education providers and Open Universities Australia (OUA).


A comprehensive list of providers can be found at the following link:


Study Assist provides a simple form based assessment for determining eligibility for study assistance. 

Something Else?

Can't decide? Perhaps try a short course in the meantime. There are plenty of fee free TAFE courses or commercial courses you could trial.

What to study?
Educational pathways

Options on what to study are often impacted by factors like results, interests and career aspirations.


Again the weight of variable influences on your subject choices is yours alone. In an ideal world everyone would make tonnes of money doing something that they love. Unfortunately the reality of marrying a passion for composing  poetry for financial stability is in all probability financially unrealistic but  depending on your need to create worth the financial instability.

Some websites that may help you decide are listed below:

Queensland University of Technology

Even if you're not considering study at QUT, the following link is a useful tool for detangling the confusion around course options.

Open Universities Australia

If you're really unsure about what to study Open Universities Australia offers subject choice advice based on multiple choice user input.

Other Considerations
Training Plans

If moving away from home to study is on the agenda, you'll want to consider accommodation options.


Should you live on campus, move out with friends, or look for cheaper private accommodation alternatives such as boarding or renting a room in a share house?

Again affordability and whether or not you can access assistance will often impact your decision. publishes  a comprehensive list of student accommodation providers with the added value of published price transparency.

Although isn't a dedicated student accommodation site, the website features student accommodation search filter options and publishes a vast array of affordable, well relatively more affordable,  accommodation options for students through private  accommodation providers and other students seeking flatmates to share group housing and costs.


Didn't get into the books this year? Know you could have done better if COVID didn't interfere with your head, or your dog didn't die or your best friend didn't move or that Math's teacher wasn't so useless or blah blah blah?

IT IS NOT OVER! It is NOT TRUE that the only way to gain entry into that course is through a great ATAR in year 12. 

While achieving a solid ATAR score will probably provide a shortcut to that course you want to enrol in, IT IS NOT THE ONLY MEANS TO GET THERE and NO you do not need to repeat the HSC to get in.

If your ATAR is reasonable it is probably  possible to gain entry into a different course at your favoured university and then transfer to your dream course once you have established that  you are capable of good grades at university level.

In other words instead of using year 12 to gain entry into your favourite course, use the results from a less favoured university course to gain entry into the one you want. Check with individual institutions to find out how to make this work for you.

The following article from 'The Art Smart 'contains further  information on how to gain entry into a preferred course with a low ATAR

Regional Australia Scholarships  

If you are a school leaver from a regional or remote area and you need to relocate more than 90 minutes from your family home to undertake full-time, higher-level tertiary education you may qualify for up to $5000 in government assistance to help you releocate.

Bridging the Gap


Do you know that the Australian government provides a range of financial incentives to support initiatives aimed at improving Indigenous participation, retention, and success in higher education.









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