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Taking Flight Blog

Graduating High School During a Pandemic… NOW WHAT?

Finishing Year 12 in 2020 and worrying what comes next? Had plans for a Gap Year full of work and travel that now seems impossible? Here’s a look at what the next step could be for you…

Graduating students often dream of gap years that will give them a break from studying, to use the time to explore and travel abroad or to get into the workforce and figure out what they want to do with their lives. But with the current international travel bans and the decrease in jobs this year, the class of 2020 will have a different experience entering this period of time as a school leaver.

So now what to do in 2021?

School-leaver service Year13 surveyed 1,000 possible gap year students, and of those, 68% now said they had plans to attend university instead. But for those who are not wanting to move straight into a degree next year, there are still gap year options within Australia to look into.

If you would like the experience of travelling to a new environment and needing to make an income at the same time, a great option would be a travel and work package that has been created for domestic Australian gap year students. These work opportunities include a Queensland cattle muster, northern NSW surf camp and eco-holiday options in the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.

With the international travel ban still in place, the number of backpackers around Australia is at an all-time low, dropping by around 50%. This has resulted in typical jobs undertaken by backpackers having a shortage of workers.

Jobs such as bar work, customer relations and accommodation support are needed in resorts across Northern Australia in Broome, the Northern Territory and Whitsundays. These are great opportunities for school leavers who would like a change of scenery whilst undertaking seasonal work, as Australia looks to open domestic borders and allow local tourism to resume.

What if I want to continue my studies?

2021 is the perfect time to start a university degree or other studies as job and travel opportunities are currently at a low point, so getting started now will put you ahead when the economy and employment rates begin to rise again in the near future.

Due to the tough circumstances that year 12 students have had to go through this year, university acceptance criteria has become more lenient which is good for students who have struggled and are stressed about their grades to meet entry requirements.

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to enter into a lengthy degree or even if you aren’t quite sure exactly what you want to do yet, a diploma would be a great option. A diploma can be completed quickly in around 12 months or less and can have you job ready or give you the knowledge and skills to continue on into the 2nd year of a university degree.

If you’re interested in studying travel and want to be ready for when international travel is reopened to the world, take a look at our Diploma of Travel and Tourism.

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