Is your high schooler still wondering what to do?  

This question is common around the dinner table for students in grade 11 and 12. It’s often a source of heated discussion, frustration and disappointment.  

What are you going to do with your life?  

What do you want to be?  

What university course are you thinking of? 

Why don’t you keep your room clean?   

Usually answered with a “I dunno,” and followed up with a “well you better hurry up and decide… you’ve only got a few months to go!” It’s often a stressful discussion where the parent becomes frustrated and the kid becomes upset because they can’t decide.  

At least this is how it goes in my house.  

There are so many options for school leavers these days. Almost too many in my view (at least way more than in my day). The traditional route of going to university/TAFE, getting a trade or entering the workforce as the only options are long gone. So many other pathways exist for our young people. The world really is their oyster! We have recently been  (and still are) exhibiting at national career expos across the Country.  I can certainly tell you… there’s lots of choices for young people. 

Of course the Army, Navy and Air Force are always there as players. All the big employers; Councils, State Government Departments, resources companies are all in attendance.  They all come with hundreds of career opportunities up for grabs.  

But what if you wanted to be a private investigator? A plumbing inspector? An animal attack officer? Work as a safety officer? Investigate cyber security or help victims of crime?  

Sure, there’s always the dozens of trades – and spin-off trades – and the thousands of university courses available. Most kids in grade 11 and 12 now have the option to complete a certificate level course while still at school. Completion usually goes toward their final grading/points, depending on what State you’re in. Some of these certificates also allow a student direct entry into university. Or in the case of trade students, time off their trade once they start. Frankly, senior school students are mad not to take up the opportunity to obtain VET level qualifications while they’re still at school, through the various VET in Schools programs.   

But what if your child’s pathway doesn’t fit into a manual trade or an undergraduate degree at university? Lots of kids have an interest in the justice system (thanks modern television!) and the many and varied roles in that field. Everything from the police, corrections, border force, immigration, child protection, domestic violence, sheriff’s office, courts, private and government investigation…  

Interest in intelligence, home security, forensics and criminal psychology have exploded in recent years. Every second kid at the career expo has an interest in crime scene investigation or criminal behaviour. Let’s face it, every second show on TV – including the dozens on pay TV – are related to crime and justice. It’s fantastic that kids are interested in these careers, but I wonder how many jobs there are. And how do they stand out above the rest?  

Here at the Professional Investigators College of Australasia (PICA) we offer the perfect pathway to students interested in a career in justice. Our Certificate IV in Justice Studies gives students the foundational knowledge in the justice system including foundational law, sociology, basic criminology and effective communication skills. We’ve even got units in obtaining witness information and formal interviewing. Building on current year 11 and 12 school subjects, this certificate complements and increases their knowledge.  

Having the Certificate IV may be enough (with passes in core school subjects) to allow entry to undergraduate degrees in criminology, law and justice and other related degrees. I’d suggest it would also be useful for those wishing to enter the workforce as a police officer (state or federal), border force, home affairs, corrections or as a paralegal.  Of course, criminal psychology and forensic science will require specific further study, but this is a good start!  

Whilst nothing is guaranteed, having a Certificate IV in Justice Studies would be beneficial to a school student wishing to go further in this area. Not only that, this certificate is interesting! Social issues (think #metoo, BLM, etc) are examined, discussed and analysed. They cover the roles of both the police and corrections and critically discuss the issues in the justice system. Those completing this certificate are well placed to move to the list of candidates in the judicial system.  

PICA are one of only six colleges in the country offering the Certificate IV in Justice Studies (formerly the Certificate IV in Crime and Justice). Our innovative learning approach and student engagement is a perfect fit for senior school students. Not only that, we are driven to provide educational and career pathways in the Justice system, not just have students complete a course.  

Justice, investigation and integrity; it’s all we do. Our Career Coaches (trainers and assessors) are the best in the business and have built successful careers in the Justice system. They’ve all “walked the walk.”    

So dream big. Build your career story with PICA.