It’s time to take control of ‘your’ education

In Year 9, you’ll start to take more control of your education. You’re able to choose subjects you’re interested in. By trying these you’ll find out what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at.

Exploring your skills and interests often gives you heaps of clues as to what subjects you might like to choose in Years 10, 11 and 12. Better still, you can get ideas for what you might like to do after Year 12 and what your career path might look like.

Must Knows

Ok. You’ve made it through Years 1 to 8 (nice one!) It’s time to get serious for planning the amazing life that’s ahead of you.  

You’ll hear these acronyms a lot, try and get a handle on them now.

The Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE)
The TCE is the qualification you’ll get in Years 11 and 12 when you finish school in Tassie. Check out the TCE explainer video

The Tasmanian Certificate of Educational Achievement (TCEA)
The TCEA is a certificate you can achieve if you’re unable to get the TCE qualification. You’ll find heaps of useful info on the TCEA by watching the TCEA explainer video

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)
This is a ranking system to help you get into uni. The better your ranking, the more uni options you’ll have. Check out the ATAR explainer video

Vocational Education and Training (VET)
This is nothing to do with being a vet! It’s a type of learning that is very much ‘hands on’ with an industry focus. Find out more with the VET explainer video

USI stands for ‘Unique Student Identifier’. It’s a reference number you’ll need if you end up doing any training courses in the future i.e. like First Aid, Responsible Service of Alcohol, Barista or any VET course. Find out how they work and how to get a USI number

If you want a casual job then you’ll need to pay tax to the government on what you earn (sorry ‘bout that). This means you’ll need your very own tax file number (TFN) which is like a reference number so they can tax you. Get some useful info on what a tax file number is.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are training opportunities with an employer. They could last between 12 months to 4 years with an employer. Apprenticeships tend to cover skilled trades i.e. plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etcetera. A traineeship can cover a broader range of occupations i.e. office administration, IT, retail. They’re run either part-time or full-time. Find out more about apprenticeships and traineeships.

There are some apprenticeships and traineeships options where you spend a few days at school, a few days employed and training during the week. It might be an option for you in Years 10 or 11. Find out how Australian School based Apprenticeships are the smart way to ‘earn and learn’.

Female students and teacher inspecting hydro power model

Must Do’s

Some super important ‘must do’, no excuses stuff to do in Year 9
Male teacher and student in art classroom

Will you continue the electives you chose this year in Year 10? Do you want to mix things up and try some others? The subjects you choose next year will give you the skills to create opportunities in the future. Check out your school course guide on Year 10 subjects.

Knowing what your interests are can help you figure out what electives to choose. Not too sure what your interests are? Read the How do I know my interests article to help

Look for subjects that are a good fit with your skills (don’t underestimate yourself, you’ve got plenty of skills). To find out what your skills are read about how your favourite activities can turn into a favourite course or occupation.

Start Exploring

Have some fun exploring occupation and course ideas you have. And see if they fit with your skills and passions.  

Attend as many ‘work exposure’ events as possible. It’ll be great for a taste of what you can expect in a chosen job, industry or course. A bit like a ‘try before you buy’, these events help you test any ideas you have, so keep an open mind. Chances are you might discover something that is bang on for you (and if not, then keep trying). Find out more on work exposure events. To see what’s coming up in the next few months in Tassie check out our calendar of events.

Try doing work experience to learn what an occupation, industry or business is like to work in. Hopefully it ticks all the right boxes, but if not, then it’s better to find out sooner rather than later. Chat to a teacher or career advisor to find out how this can be arranged.

Find out what apprenticeships and traineeships are. You can do them during school or after Year 12, or it could be an option to do whilst working towards your ATAR.  Read up on apprenticeships and traineeships.

Start thinking about which courses you want to study and what’s required to enrol. Work backwards and figure out which courses you’ll need to study in Years 11 and 12 to get into those uni and TAFE courses. You can even look at which subjects you can do in Year 10 that will help with those Year 11 and 12 subjects you’ll need to do. It sounds confusing, but it’s just a process. Visit UTAS courses, visit TasTAFE courses and then delve into the Year 11 and 12 Course Guide.

Engineering teacher teaching two students how to use milling machine

Get job ready

You can develop skills today for jobs tomorrow, and while you’re at it, have some fun along the way.
Male chef teaching a group of students in a commercial kitchen

Volunteering is a top way to give something positive to your local community. It’s a good opportunity for you to see what different workplaces and jobs are like. You can develop new skills and meet new people too. And it looks pretty impressive on your CV just quietly.

You’re now at an age where you can find all sorts of casual jobs and earn some money after school. So keep your eyes open, ask around, and get ready to earn some moolah! To help you land a casual job see these handy guides on how to write a CV and what to say in a cover letter.

Give a leadership or peer mentor program role at school a go. It can be a great way to develop skills that employers value. These skills can include:

  • working as part of a team,
  • public speaking,
  • organisation skills,
  • supporting people and
  • how to deal with conflict.

Talk to the existing leadership team to see if it’s something for you.

Key takeaway

Use this year to try all sorts of stuff. This will help you to discover what your interests, passions, skills and values really are.

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