Gateway Subjects: Planning Your Future

girl holding books

There comes a time in high school where you have to make a choice that will shape your future. Gateway subjects can help you find the right career path for you or help you find out which career path is not for you.

What are Gateway subjects?

Mathematics, Physics and accounting are gateway subjects. These are subjects that contribute to the country's economy and development. 

In grade 9, all South African learners have to make subject choices. Learners have to make a choice from a list of designated subjects. 

There are compulsory subjects, which include:

  • Mathematics or Maths literacy
  • A home language
  • A first additional language
  • Life Orientation.

There are also designated subjects which learners can choose from, usually selecting 3 subjects of their choice from this list:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Physical Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Computer applications technology
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Engineering
  • Geography
  • History
  • Consumer Studies
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Tourism
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Design
  • Religious Studies

Why choose Gateway subjects?

Gateway subjects allow you to have more tertiary study options and eventually more career options. They are good subjects to take if you are considering a career in or related to engineering, health sciences, science and commerce.

If you are in high school and you are considering applying to a tertiary institution, take a look at the course requirements for the courses that you want to take. This can help you find a balance between your capabilities and the subjects that you choose in high school.

What if I am struggling?

If you are struggling to do well in gateway subjects because you do not enjoy them, consider finding a tutor or joining a study group. If this does not work, then you can choose subjects based on what you are good at and what you can do in the future.

Take a look at possible career paths, ones that do not require you to take gateway subjects. Do some research to find out if these career paths align with your interests and capabilities.

Choosing subjects that are not gateway subjects but ones that you enjoy, can either limit your career choices or help direct you to your destined career path. The glass is half full or half empty, it depends on how you choose to look at it. 

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