Close this search box.
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

A parent’s guide to high school subject selection

High school subject selection can be tricky! Here’s how to guide your child so they don’t rule out a STEM career

Choosing Year 11 and 12 subjects usually happens in Year 9 or 10, but it’s never too early to have a chat with your child about what they might want to study in their final years of high school.

High school subject selection can have a big impact on your child’s career prospects, and ultimately their happiness. And with so many electives on offer, a thoughtful approach is required!

Understand the curriculum

A key place to start is to get your head around the requirements in your state or territory to ensure your child receives their high school certificate. In some states some level of maths and English study is compulsory, but even if it’s not, studying maths and English sets your child up for almost every job they could choose.

Helpful guides:

ACT: Senior Secondary Certificate

NSW: Meeting HSC eligibility requirements

NT: NT Certificate of Education and Training

Qld: Queensland Certificate of Education

Tas: Tasmanian Certificate of Education

Vic: Victorian Certificate of Education

WA: Western Australian Certificate of Education

It’s also worth checking prerequisites for uni degrees your child may consider. Many engineering, science and maths degrees will require Year 11 and 12 maths and science subjects. Our guide to the STEM electives required for the 10 most popular uni courses is a good pace to start! 

If your child isn’t keen on university, they can enrol in nationally recognised VET together with other school subjects. This includes doing school-based apprenticeships or traineeships.

Provided students meet necessary requirements, they can finish school with a VET qualification along with their secondary school certificate.

Encourage exploration

While you may want to push your child down a set STEM path, it’s better to encourage your child to explore a variety of subjects that cater to their interests and strengths. That doesn’t mean choosing only subjects they will find easy, but balancing subjects that might require a lot of study with others that they will more naturally excel at.

While it’s crucial to consider future career pathways, there are also plenty of non-STEM electives that could help your child in a STEM career, like drama, economics or languages other than English.

Seek guidance

Take advantage of the guidance and support services offered by your child’s school. Counselors, teachers, and career advisors can provide valuable insights and assistance in navigating the subject selection process. Schedule meetings to discuss your child’s interests, academic strengths, and future plans, allowing for informed decision-making.

Don’t feel locked in

Keep in mind that subject selections are not set in stone and can be adjusted if necessary. As your child progresses through high school, their interests and goals may evolve, prompting a reconsideration of their chosen subjects. Be open to reevaluating their choices and providing support as they navigate these changes.

Remember, the journey through high school is not just about achieving academic excellence but also about personal growth, development, and discovering one’s passions and strengths. By providing support, guidance, and encouragement, you’re empowering your child to thrive academically and beyond.

Share this post :
X (Twitter)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Signup to our newsletter

Latest Job Kit

STEM Role Models


Open Day TikTok Videos
Open Day

Sneak peeks of Open Day from TikTok

If you’re still wondering what Open Day is all about, check out what went down at last year’s events in these videos.