Talking about further education

Planning for the future is a big thing. If your child or someone you know is looking for direction it can be difficult to know how to respond or what advice to give.

Here are some ideas on how to talk things through, how to get a young person interested in the idea of further study and how to get the support of other adults.

Listen

As a parent or trusted adult, they have come to you because they trust that you will want to listen to what they have to say.  Listen to their thoughts and concerns and don’t be worried about not having all the right answers. 

Be supportive

Encourage them to explore all the possibilities. When they want to talk through their thoughts or goals further, help them to weigh up their options and make good decisions.

Gauge what stage your child is at in the decision-making process.  Do they need career ideas or have they decided what they want to do and simply need to find the right course?  

Help them make an informed decision

Once your child has some ideas, encourage them to research their options. They can look up information on websites and call people at the institutions they are interested in.  You can do this together.

Help your child to make a list of the things they need to find out about and make decisions on. Do they have a career in mind? A particular industry or job?  Do they know if their area of interest is related to a university or TAFE course?  Is there an institution they really want to go to? Work through each of these questions by reading websites, watching videos and speaking to others.

Ask the professionals

You can also get some professional advice by calling one of the many TAFE or university call centres or the Universities Admissions Centre. Going with your child to open days to get involved in their goals and learn about possible pathways.

You can encourage them to talk to their school career advisor or an advisor at one of the institutions they are considering applying to.