Careers in the Health and Welfare Sectors


This page will provide you as a learner with some of the basic information you require to get you started on deciding exactly what it is you want to do with your future in the Health and Welfare Sectors. We’ve also made a career portal just for you, to help you with the big decisions that lie ahead. For more information, please visit HW Careers Portal

Choosing the Right Subjects

Deciding what subjects to take at the end of Grade 9 is an important life decision, but it isn’t easy to know that early on what you want to do when you’re finished school.

Recognised Qualifications in South Africa


Degree that takes 3-4 years to complete are referred to as undergraduate degrees, and may be followed by postgraduate qualifications such as Honours, Masters or Ph.D.

National Diplomas

A National Diploma, that combines both theoretical and practical training, takes three years to complete and is offered by a University of Technology.

Advanced Diplomas

An advanced diploma is a type of qualification designed to provide students with more comprehensive vocational or professional training.


A certificate takes one year or less to finish at further or higher education level and is offered by an accredited provider.

Where to study

In South Africa, there are three main  institutions where you can study after you leave school; universities, universities of technology and TVET colleges. Recently, community colleges have been added for people who did not finish school. Understanding the difference between these institutions can make choosing what you want to study and where much easier.

Universities and Universities of Technology

There are 26 Universities, Universities of Technology and comprehensive Universities in South Africa. Spaces to study at these post-school learning institutions are limited and competition is tough.

TVET Colleges

TVET Colleges offer National Certificates (Vocational) and Nated qualifications. The training programmes provided at TVET colleges are aimed at developing vocational skills that are needed in South African economy.

Funding opportunities for your studies

There are many people who would like to further their studies but due to their financial circumstances, cannot afford to do so. However, government is making strides in providing greater access to funding for deserving learners who would like to continue learning.


The funds are aimed at helping deserving learners pursue their studies at public TVET colleges and universities. Bursaries are available for specific fields of study, while loans cover the costs of tertiary education, both featuring low-interest rates and no need for guarantees. Importantly, portions of the loan can be converted into bursaries based on academic performance, and the repayment plan is reasonable, tied to the learner’s earnings upon employment.


To qualify for an NSFAS loan, applicants must be South African citizens enrolled in undergraduate studies at public institutions with a household income below a specified threshold.



A bursary is a type of funding that will enable you to further your studies at a higher learning institution. Some bursaries are designed to help individuals while some are designed to provide educational assistance to specific groups.


A learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to an NQF registered qualification. Learnerships are directly related to an occupation or field of work, for example, electrical engineering, hairdressing or project management.


An internship may be defined as career-specific work experience that one undertakes either during and/or after one’s studies in order to gain practical experience in one’s chosen career.