On an advanced level course?
You are probably beginning to make plans for your future. Planning the next step takes time and effort. Starting early will give you time to do all your research as well as complete your studies.
So, what are your choices?
- Higher education - degree, Foundation degree, Higher National Diploma (HND) or Diploma of Higher Education
- Start work or training - on an Advanced Apprenticeship, through a company training programme or in a job
- Further education - developing your skills, for interest or for future job prospects
- Take a gap year - work, travel, do voluntary work, take a course ....
There is a huge range of qualifications available at hundreds of different institutions. Making your choices takes time and effort. So start your research now and avoid the panic.
Work & training
Many students decide not to continue with full-time education, choosing instead to start work and training.
There are job opportunities for entrants with advanced level qualifications, although the recession has reduced the number of opportunities and meant greater competition for vacancies that are advertised. Many opportunties encourage you to take responsibility from an early age, offering training and possibly the opportunity to study for relevant professional qualifications.
Remember more learning can greatly improve your earning potential.
Take a gap year
Everyone has their own reasons for taking a year out; you may:
- want to travel before settling down to a higher education course or career
- need a breathing space before deciding what to do next
- want to earn some money and get work experience to help your higher education course
Remember: if you are planning to apply to higher education check out admissions tutors attitude to gap year students (generally favourable) and make sure you either apply for deferred entry or that you are around during the applications cycle the following year (this may disrupt your plans if you're aiming to travel).
There are many further education courses. Here are just a few possibilities:
- a vocational course to train for a particular job.
- a short intensive courses e.g. in keyboard skills, cordon bleu cookery, foreign languages can help you develop work related skills or let you pursue an interest
- a distance learning course that allows you to develop and improve skills and qualifications
In work or training?
If you started work at 16 /17 and are now reconsidering your future you may want to talk over your plans. Changing direction is not impossible although you may need to give thought to planning and developing your skills and qualifications either through full, part-time or distance learning.
Higher education, studying full or part-time can be started at any age over 18 and mature entrants are generally considered individually on the basis of their experience and qualifications.