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Which University Course is Right for Your Teen? Compare Your Options!

The teenage years bridge the transition between childhood and adulthood. Decisions around the education paths for teens have the potential to set the trajectory for their future careers and lifestyles. This is particularly true with the subjects they study and their future university course choices. 

Choosing grade 11 & 12 subjects for university success

Education is built on a continual foundation of learning – so the knowledge your teens accumulate in grades 11 & 12 paves the way for the courses they’re qualified to take in the university. In particular, if your teen plans to choose careers that require expertise in maths and sciences, today’s subject selection at high school must be made carefully to ensure they get a strong foundation in the most essential basics. These subjects can pave the way for university entrance.

University degrees offered at Brisbane campuses

Not sure which university degree is right for your teen? We have compared these Brisbane university courses offered by the top universities:

Bachelor of Justice Studies | Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Science | Bachelor of Education (Secondary) | Bachelor of Education (Primary) | Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) | Bachelor of Languages | Bachelor of Creative Industries | Bachelor of Midwifery | Bachelor of Arts | Bachelor of Law | Bachelor of Nursing  | Bachelor of Business Management | Bachelor of Electrical Engineering | Bachelor of Mechanical EngineeringBachelor of Business Marketing | Bachelor of Civil Engineering 

So the high school subjects your teen chooses now can help them get into university and succeed in the future job market. Let’s explore the current situation in several of Brisbane’s top fastest-growing industries.


If your teens excel in the sciences and have a desire to help others, they may wish to choose careers in Brisbane’s top industry, which is healthcare and social assistance. This industry offers job seekers a broad variety of career choices, but all the best jobs in this sector are education intensive.

The following are a few examples of high-demand career choices in this sector and their academic requirements:

Phsyiotherapist: Becoming a physiotherapist typically requires intensive university study. Your teens will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, and most physiotherapist jobs additionally require the prior completion of some postgraduate study.

Dental Practitioner: To work in Brisbane as dental practitioners, your teens would need to obtain a formal qualification in dentistry. To be competitive in the Brisbane job market, it might also be necessary to complete postgraduate training, because many current practitioners operating within the state have done so.

Psychologist: There are a couple of options for career pathways to becoming a psychologist. One is to obtain a postgraduate psychology degree. The other is to obtain a bachelor’s degree and then work for 2 years under the supervision of a credentialed and registered psychologist.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

This broad sector of the Brisbane economy encompasses niches including accounting services, management consulting, advertising, market research, media, engineering, architecture and other similar types of services. The academic requirements for good jobs in this sector vary widely by niche.

In general, business courses are helpful for obtaining many of the available jobs in this sector. However, some niches require more specialised training for success. For example, architects and engineers must generally obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in their fields of specialisation, and many go on to complete postgraduate study.

Retail Trade

education paths for teens

Retail jobs historically do not require an intensive investment in education. However, well-paying jobs in this sector tend to be retail management jobs – and the best management jobs tend to require solid academic credentials. If your teens plan to choose a career path in retail trade, it would be beneficial for them to consider obtaining Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in retail management. However, this is not a strict necessity. Traineeships offer an alternative pathway into retail management careers.

In general, experts are predicting that workers in all income brackets and all industries will need to embrace the newly-important concept of “lifelong learning” in the future. This is because it seems likely that automation technologies will replace some jobs and revolutionize the essential nature of some others. This creates many uncertainties in the job market – but it does assure one thing. If your teens acquire the will and ability to continue learning and upskilling long after graduation, they will be much more marketable to employers.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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