Options available to avoid massive HECS debt: Shellharbour agent

Elders Real Estate Shellharbour sales director Michelle Mannex
Elders Real Estate Shellharbour sales director Michelle Mannex

With the HSC now out of the way, thousands of Illawarra students have set their sights on starting a university course next year.

Elders Real Estate Shellharbour sales director Michelle Mannex understands why university is such an attractive option for school leavers.

But Mrs Mannex agrees with New South Wales Real Estate Training College CEO Murray Macdonald, that students need to think twice before racking up massive HECS debts.

‘’Absolutely university should be an option. But it’s not for everyone,’’ she said.

‘’There are other ways young people can succeed and other options and industries to explore.

‘’Doing online courses that aren’t usually offered at university can be just as suitable.’’

Completing a NSW Real Estate Training College online course helped Mrs Mannex open up her own real estate office.

‘’After I left school I travelled and worked and I built my skill-set up by doing many intensive courses and learned from large organisations such as Censis and Domain,’’ she said.

‘’I had a background in real estate and decided I wanted to move forward.

By doing this, a lot of schools and parents are sending their students into a world of debt.

Murray Macdonald

‘’The best option for me was to study online to get my real estate license instead of doing a university degree.

‘’While you are working it is great to do online study because you are advancing your career at the same time.’’

Read more: Too easy to become an agent; Illawarra expert

Mr Macdonald agreed and added that there were plenty of great career and study options for school leavers that don’t involve spending lots of money on university degrees.

‘’A lot of schools encourage their students to go straight into university because perhaps the student didn’t know what they wanted to do or worse, they want to make their statistics to look good,’’ he said.

‘’Parents also push their kids into university degrees thinking this is the best course of action for their kids... I believe this is the wrong approach.

‘’By doing this, a lot of schools and parents are sending their students into a world of debt.  Some students rack up HECS debts of $100,000 which they are then saddled with for many years.

‘’This is no way to start life as a young adult.

‘’I advise young people and parents to look at all options including real estate and other trades.’’