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Study General Management as a gap year programme

BY: Dr Riaan Steenberg|15 March 2019
BLOG| My future career

There are some traits that millennials and Gen Z seem to share. Firstly, a love of adventure and a quest for new experiences. Secondly, a desire to develop and grow. For Gen Z especially, there’s an unending search for the truth, a draw towards dialogue and a penchant for radical inclusion. Both generations also seem excited by entrepreneurship, and the hype of ‘the hustle’.


That’s why spending a ‘gap year’ studying general management principles could lay an excellent foundation in entrepreneurial – and leadership – capabilities. Basically, you learn something about everything! It’s the first step to signalling to the business world that you’re willing to take on a leadership role and have the requisite understanding of yourself to lead others. The strategy, systems, and people-management abilities it gives you also set you up soundly to start thinking of how you could start your own savvy side hustle or small business.


Sound interesting? We offer a one-year course in Generic Management: General Management. Let’s explore it as a ‘gap year’ option. 

Firstly, what qualification will it give you?

This qualification is recognised by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) with the qualification ID 59201 – Learning Programme 60269. On successful completion, you will have acquired 162 credits at an NQF (National Qualifications Framework) Level 5. 

Does this articulate into a degree?

On the path towards life-long learning, this qualification articulates and allows you to:

  • Enter a relevant bachelor’s degree with the NQF 5 Qualification. You should get some exemptions based on the admission and exemption policy of the respective university. Typically, this should equate to anything in-between 65 to 80 credits of the 120 credits needed in the first year of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Enter an NQF 6 Programme such as an Advanced Diploma. 

What will you be able to do once the year is completed?

You’ll be able to:

  1. Lead a team of first line managers.
  2. Initiate operational strategies, projects and action plans to improve effectiveness.
  3. Apply performance improvement for achievement of the entity’s objectives.
  4. Build relationships using communication processes both vertically and horizontally.
  5. Apply the principles of risk, ethics, financial and knowledge management to ensure sustainability.
  6. Enhance the development of team members through skills, coaching and the provision of career direction. Plus, you’ll excel at capitalising on diversity in the unit.


How is the course content created and what makes it special and relevant to you?

1. It is 100% online

It’s completely online, with a suite of world-leading lecturers delivering a relevant learning experience! The content is extremely accessible, and absolutely centered around your needs, as the student. Thirty percent of the course is multimedia, with videos, practical workplace activities and online learning coaches providing an interactive and supportive environment.

2. There are micro-modules

Micro-modules allow you to access shorter, cost-effective courses that enable you to show progression and bolster your CV in a short space of time. Plus, if your employer is funding your studies, they can do so on a ‘piece-by-piece basis’, to ensure optimal distribution of their bursary allocations. The practical activities in the course are immediately applicable in the workplace and may help foster a strong bond between you and the supervisor who is supporting your learning process.

3. Learn and earn

You can learn while you earn. The programme is designed to fit into your busy life. You can continue to work while you study, to become better in your current role and ready yourself for a potential ‘career jump’.

4. Connect

You can connect with fellow students from around the world.

5. Validate your experience

If you’re a manager who has been working with people for a long time, the course presents an opportunity to get a certificate that enhances the portability of the skills you’ve gained through experience.

What careers/roles does it lay a solid foundation for?

Studying General Management opens the doors to many careers. You can read our General Guide to General Management to see which career best suits you!

  • The diverse modules on the programme allow for specific specialisation into operations management, human resource management and general leadership of teams, providing you have the requisite experience.
  • Entrepreneurs will specifically benefit from the programme as it gives a sound oversight of the essential disciplines to run a small business.
  • The course instills general management principles that will stands you in good stead as you look to grow and progress your career.

From managing teams and managing talent to learning to think systematically and strategically, learning general management principles will give you practical, in-demand hard and soft skills perfectly suited to the digital age!

What better way to spend a year than by investing in your future? It’s the best way to inspire a love for life-long learning.


 Stellenbosch Graduate Institute General Management

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