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Today’s graduates can expect seven careers before they retire

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By Dr Carla Enslin, a founding member of the Vega School and National Head of Academics

Careers during the lifetimes of today’s matriculants may not be the same as it was for previous generations. The accelerating speed of technological advancements has led to estimates that today’s graduates can expect to change their careers as many as seven times throughout their lives. In this environment, is there scope for people to acquire a four-year degree of theoretical knowledge? Won’t it be obsolete by the time you finally don your graduation gown?

Matriculants need to understand they are embarking on a life of education in which career decisions are not once-off affairs. In a way, that takes the pressure off of making the wrong choice. As educationalists, what we aim to teach is the ability to be intellectually flexible, able to change as technology changes and to adapt rapidly. 

There is a rising tide of progressive education institutions of which Vega School, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), prides itself on being at the forefront. Vega delivers education attuned to the needs of business. We’re committed to making students ‘industry ready’ by the time they graduate, fully able to slot seamlessly into their chosen profession, rather than having to make another major transition into ‘the real world’.  

The emphasis of modern education has to be on a fusion of the theoretical and practical that closely mirrors the reality of the chosen industry. Through an intensive combination of working on live briefs, receiving hands-on navigation from industry veterans, relentlessly honing your craft, undergoing industry internships and experiencing the legendary Vega Brand Challenge, by the time our students leave the fold, they can be considered seasoned professionals instead of the newly-minted graduates that they really are. 

In other ways, Vega encourages an atmosphere which mimics the real world – you are encouraged to enter your assignments in professional competitions and test yourself not just against fellow students by against the best there is nationally, and sometimes internationally. As a result of this results-orientated environment, many Vega alumni have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs.

Good career choices are made gradually as you mature personally and develop career maturity. Many of our students already have a general degree, and enter Vega with a firm career in mind. 

Vega’s practical style of education attracts students from across the spectrum, for a variety of reasons. We get school-leavers wanting a viable career which still enables them to be creative. We also get students who don’t really know what they want to do, and select one of our more general options until they have decided. The IIE part time BA degrees offered at Vega also attract qualified professionals such as doctors and accountants who are looking for intellectual stimulation away from their profession, and who are genuinely interested in doing something different on the side.

For first-time undergraduates; the level of freedom you’re afforded can be exciting, but with this freedom comes the need for self-discipline, good time management and a sense of responsibility. You will make new friends, drive your own car! Nobody is going to chase you. If you miss a class, it is up to you to catch up. If your assignment is poor, your marks will reflect this. You will quickly see that you are in a learning environment in which you have to take responsibility for understanding and applying what you have learnt. Tests are no longer about regurgitating facts from textbooks, but demonstrating that you understand and can apply the subject by developing and communicating your own convincing arguments and insights.

Students are encouraged to develop a thorough and imaginative approach to creative problem solving in the context of any human environment, with an eye to solving many of the societal challenges affecting today’s projects they take on. You will soon come to appreciate our teaching style, which encourages innovation and a critical eye. 

Our classes are small – sometimes as few as 15 on a course – which encourages a participative and consultative process. We are fully geared up to help our new students cope with the demands of a tertiary institution. Staff at our dedicated student relations department are available to help and guide students to find their feet. Their office provides a daily point of contact for Vega students.

To find out more about a career in Design, Brand or Business visit www.vegaschool.com

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