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High School vs Higher Education. How to step up

High School vs. Higher Education - How to step up

Congratulations, you’ve made it! You’re finally done with high school and ready to start the next chapter. Don’t believe everything you see in movies though – higher education isn’t just fun and games. It takes hard work, dedication, and a dream for a bright future to be successful.

Why higher education after school is so important

One of the common reasons for pursuing a higher education is to develop industry-specific skills before entering the workforce. This often makes you more employable, especially abroad.  But the benefits of pursuing a higher education stretches further than just a successful career. Along your learning journey you will acquire better communication skills, critical thinking skills, a sense of self-discipline and the confidence that comes with your accomplishment.

What makes high school different from higher education?

Time management

High school: Students are reminded by teachers of any homework they need to complete.

Higher education: Students are expected to complete assignments without being reminded by lecturers or tutors.

High school: Class starts and ends at a specific time every day.

Higher education: Class schedules vary depending on the course and students must manage their own time. Distance learners must juggle work and family commitments with their studies.

Learning material

High school: Textbooks are often provided by the school.

Higher education: Students are required to purchase their own textbooks, but study guides are often provided at little to no cost.

Class sizes

High school: Classes usually consist of 35 students at most.

Higher education: Depending on the institution, class sizes can vary from twenty to hundreds of students per class. There are also higher learning institutions such as the IMM Graduate School that offer students the opportunity to study remotely and attend lectures or tutorials online.

Lecturer Support

High school: Teachers usually assist students in areas they have trouble with.

Higher education: While there is generally limited access to lecturers, they are available during scheduled office hours and students are often expected to proactively seek out assistance.


High school: Exams may consist of only a small fraction of the learning material.

Higher education: Exams are made up of all the materials covered in the semester or year.


Taking the next step

Here are six tips on how you can transition from high school to higher education.

  1. Make sure you know what to expect. Get in touch with past and current students to discuss life as a student and address any concerns you may have upfront.
  2. Don’t doubt your own abilities. Feelings of self-doubt are normal in the beginning but don’t worry, you can do it!
  3. Be ready for failure. Everyone fails at some point, it’s part of the process of becoming successful. Remember that grades don’t measure your self-worth or potential. Don’t let one failure all wo you to give up. Keep trying.
  4. Learn to balance your social life and academic life. You can work hard and play hard but find a balance between your studies and social life.
  5. Be dedicated. If you thought you studied hard in school, get ready to hit the books even harder. Higher education is your gateway to a better future. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
  6. Enjoy yourself. Student life can be a fun experience but never forget the primary goal is to get an education.

We offer support, get in touch

If you’re not sure what to study, take our online quiz. https://imm.ac.za/not-sure-what-to-study/

Start your career, or if you’re already working, boost your career with an internationally recognised qualification from the IMM Graduate School. Applications for 2020 are now open! https://imm.ac.za/