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first steps to furthering your education

Tertiary education can be expensive, but there are many affordable ways to further your education.

Want to upskill yourself or work towards getting that degree you never got around to? Making your education a priority is a great investment in yourself and your future. Any training, knowledge, skills or insight you gain is an opportunity to improve your chances of finding a job or being promoted. It can also help you start or run a business. 

There’s no point in setting unrealistic and unaffordable goals, so start with deciding how much time and money you can spare for your studies. It might also be a good idea to start with short-term study goals and then work towards getting that MBA for example, over the long-term. Knowing you have a longer-term plan will also help you stay motivated.

Whether you have a specific qualification in mind, or simply want to do a short course to improve your computer skills, you need to be sure you can manage the workload and that the cost of the course won’t empty your pocket.

So before taking the plunge, use our checklist to make sure that you are properly prepared to further your studies:


Are you currently working? 

  • Yes 
  • No

Tip: If you are working full-time, consider applying for affordable, low-interest credit with Capitec to fund your studies or those of a dependant. Read more here.


Will you be studying full-time or part-time?

  • Full-time 
  • Part-time

Tip: If you plan to work full-time and study, a course that is offered part-time may be a better and more affordable option for you. While it may take a little longer, the advantage is that you won’t make unnecessary debt and you can keep growing your career while you study.


Why do you want to further your studies? 

  • To get a promotion 
  • To change career paths 
  • To increase employment opportunities 
  • For personal enrichment

Tip: If you are studying in line with your job for a promotion at work, speak to your employer to see if they can help with paying for your studies. Many companies have bursary programmes to help upskill their staff. If not, some companies also agree to pay for studies provided you work back a specific period to “pay” the amount off.


What is your highest qualification? 

  • Primary school – Grade 7 or below 
  • High school – Grade 8, 9 or 10 
  • High school – standard Grade 12 certificate High school – Grade 12 with a university pass 
  • Tertiary – undergraduate tertiary degree or diploma 
  • Tertiary – postgraduate degree or diploma

Tip: In a competitive job market, every skill you learn can help advance your career goals, and in our current digital age, computer literacy is often a prerequisite. So if you don’t have a tertiary qualification and are on a tight budget, consider starting with a basic computer course to upskill yourself. 

Once you’ve done this, it will improve your chances of finding a suitable job and you can study further when you’re settled. If you already have a tertiary qualification, a postgraduate course can help you climb the ladder and get a higher-paying position. 


Have you decided what you want to study? 

  • Yes 
  • No

Tip: If you answered “No”, chat to friends, family or colleagues who know your strengths and weaknesses, and ask them for recommendations on how you could improve your current skill set and/or qualification/s.


How many hours per day can you spare for studies? 

  • 2 – 4 hours 
  • 5 – 7 hours 
  • 8 – 12 hours

Tip: Be realistic about the number of  hours you can dedicate to studying. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, rather start with a basic, part-time course and avoid overcommitting yourself. If you work or are a parent, you also have to consider whether you will have enough quality time to concentrate on assignments and meet tight deadlines. 


How much can you afford to pay towards your studies each month? 

  • R500 – R2 000 
  • R2 000 – R5 000 
  • R5 000 – R10 000 
  • R10 000 +

Tip: Part-time and online studies are usually the most affordable options. If you are looking to upskill after completing school and have a limited budget, apply for internships – you get to learn new skills on the job. If you are already working and have a bit more to spend, choose a course that can formalise any skills you've picked up as part of your job and give you the most value for money.


 Have you saved any money towards your studies? 

  • Yes 
  • No

Tip: Use one of the 4 free savings plans you get with your Global One facility to save towards your studies, you could earn from 4.75% interest. You could also use a savings plan to save for any added costs, such as text books, a computer, transport or accommodation.


Do you intend to work part-time to pay for your studies? 

  • Yes 
  • No

Tip: Read this great article with career-building advice from some of SA’s most successful self-starters.


Would you be willing to study online? 

  • Yes 
  • No

Tip: Online studies offer flexibility and are often also more affordable, as long as you have access to a computer and a decent internet connection. Capitec clients get 50% off Educate24 courses and R4000 off their course fees with GetSmarter. Read more here.


Action your big goals

Setting realistic goals and targets is a great way to help build the life and career you want. The more practical and informed your approach, the more likely you are to achieve your dreams. We’d like to help you reach at least one goal this year, so we’ve created a 3-part series of handy checklists for 4 major financial goals. Whether you want to save for your education, a dream holiday or buy a car or home, we’ve got you covered.

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