The advice came at a career information session last week, presented by School of Economics lecturer Lekima Nalaukai from the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji.
Titikaveka College principal Gaylyn Lockington said having tertiary lecturers visit the school was a great way to motivate students to see the possibilities for them beyond high school.
“This is a good way to inspire them to pursue their studies. We want to help our students make career decisions,” she said.
The USP’s Nalaukai told the students there were many job opportunities in the Cook Islands within the tourism industry, but the question remained as to what they were going to do about it as resource owners.
“I have seen a lot of foreigners working in the resorts and I am not so sure what your thoughts are in all those things, but in order for you to work in hotels you need to have proper qualifications.
“It may not be an issue now, but in 15 years time it will become an issue and we want you to know that USP offers a wide range of tourism and hospitality qualifications, you are resource owners and you need to think about this.”
He advised students to start planning their tertiary studies now, because planning in year 13 would be too late.
“Some students think there is nothing after secondary school or college, that they will miss all the fun. But they do not realise there is more fun in tertiary institutions and more exciting ways to learn and study.”
Meanwhile, Nalaukai has held classes with USP economics students on Rarotonga and has been visiting schools around the island, encouraging students to explore what USP has to offer.
“Islands in the Pacific don’t always get all the information they need from USP so they must take advantage of our visits,” he said.