School’s out! What’s next?

9 August 2017

The end of high school is fast approaching. What’s next? Here are some tips to help with your decision making.

Skipping out on the last day of school is a milestone that probably feels like it’s been forever in the making. But before you pack away the homework, there’s one more thing to do – decide what happens next.

Decisions decisions!

Think of what you like doing the most. What your goals and aspirations are and what you’re good at.

These can help you decide what you might want to do after school. From here you can work out if you need to do further study, complete an apprenticeship or enter the workforce.

The Department of Employment’s career quiz may give you some direction. You can also talk to friends and family, your teachers and career advisors.

Use myfuture to learn about different careers that might be right for you.

Further study

You’ve been studying for the last 12 years so doing more of it might not appeal to you right now. Tertiary study is a little different to high school though, so give it some thought.

It doesn’t have to be a traditional classroom environment and whatever you’re studying, you’ll be doing it with like-minded people.

Undergraduate university applications are open now.

Universities Australia has links to all tertiary places of study as well as links to the tertiary or university admission centres across Australia.

Check your local TAFE for information about course and applications.

Australian Apprenticeships

Australian Apprenticeships are available in over 500 occupations. You’ll have the opportunity to train, study and earn an income across a range of traditional trades as well as some qualifications you might not have thought about.

When you finish, you’ll have a nationally recognised qualification. It can take you anywhere in Australia and many overseas countries as well.


If you want to join the workforce once you finish school you’ll need to get your resume in order.

You may want to register with an employment agency or recruitment company. You can do your own job seeking on jobactive or other job search services.


While we can’t help you make that final decision, we may give you financial support.

Youth Allowance is a payment supporting people 16 to 24 years of age, who are:

  • doing full time study, or
  • taking on an Australian Apprenticeship

Youth Allowance also supports young people 16 to 21 years of age, who are looking for work.

First, check if you’re eligible for Youth Allowance. Then, if you are, you can claim using your Centrelink online account through myGov. If you’re a student, make sure you claim early.

Read more about other payments for students and trainees or payments for job seekers.

Next steps

Whether you’re thinking of further study, entering a trade or looking for work, we have information to help you choose your next adventure.

If you have any questions, you can ask us at Student Update on Facebook or tweet @StudentUpdateAU.

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Page last updated: 31 August 2017