Undergraduate qualifications

Identifying and preparing for opportunities

Employers seek transferable work-related skills that make you adaptable in the fast-changing workplace: skills such as oral and written communication skills, computer skills, the ability to work in a team, and self-management, problem solving and critical thinking skills. The Institute for the Future has identified a number of disruptors (drivers for change) that affect your work, such as needing to work past 65 to ensure resources, the rise of smart technology, the internet, and organisations functioning outside traditional organisational boundaries, enabled by social technologies. 


We want you to make career decisions that contribute to your graduateness

Your graduateness is linked to

  • your ability to find and maintain employment continuously (referred to as employability).
  • your ability to learn skills required for specific fields.
  • personal attributes (especially positive beliefs about yourself and what you can contribute).
  • your ability to reflect on what you are doing and how you are doing it.
  • knowing where you are going and how to get there.

As you progress with your qualification, you will acquire knowledge and skills that will change your life. Take time to reflect on how this affects your work, your relationships and your community.


Unisa's view of your future - your graduateness

Unisa defines graduateness as follows:

Unisa graduates have, as a result of their successful completion of their studies in an ODL context, unique qualities.

Unisa graduates

  • are independent, resilient, responsible and caring citizens who are able to fulfil and serve in multiple roles in their immediate and future local, national and global communities.
  • have a critical understanding of their location on the African context with its histories, challenges and potential in relation to globally diverse contexts.
  • are able to criticall analyse and evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information and data from multiple sources in a globalised world with its ever-increasing information and data flow and competing worldviews.
  • know how to apply their discipline-specific knowledges competently, ethically and creatively to solve real-life problems.
  • are critically aware of their own learning and developmental needs and future potential.

To what extent do you identify with these graduate qualities? What do you still need to pay attention to?


Your view of your future - your career vision

Your career vision is your picture of what you want from life or where you see yourself in the future. As you are thinking about studying, you have hopes that represent a picture of what you want from life or where you see yourself in the future. A useful way to think about your career vision is to imagine the contribution you wish to make.


Activity: My career vision

Think about your situation now (eg you are a school leaver, unemployed, employed, a graduate or retrenched). Use the following questions to think about where you are now, where you see yourself and how you will start making changes:

  • Where are you now in terms of your career?
  • Where do you see yourself? What would you want to change?
  • Think about the challenges you have observed (local, national or international). What contribution do you see yourself making in terms of resolving these challenges?
  • What type of problems do you see yourself solving?

Your planning

Making decisions prepares us for the future. If, in 2019, you're planning to complete a qualification by 2022, how do you know where you'll be at that time? The future holds no guarantees and planning prepares you to some degree to be able to adapt to changes.

One of the ways you could plan for uncertainty, is to know where you are going. It is not certain how and when you will arrive, and it is also possible that your destination will change. Having a sense of the type of problems you wish you solve, and the contribution you wish to make, creates a degree of certainty and a sense of being in control when things are uncertain.


Activity: My career planning

  • Think about how to make your hopes for the future real. What practical things do you have to start doing? Do you need to find out more about your chosen qualification? Do you, for example, need to start with a higher certificate and then continue with a degree? Do you still need to do a lot of research about your chosen career field? What skills do you need to improve or upgrade to meet a future goal? Think about these aspects and make some notes.
  • What else could you be? Have you thought about other career and study options where you could utilise your unique strengths?
  • How else could you use the qualification you're interested in?
  • What will happen if you have to adapt your planning due to unforeseen circumstances?
  • What information do you still need to help you plan what you need to do? Who can you talk to?