With GCSE results day here, you may be weighing up the options over which path to take, or perhaps you don’t know much about all the options available.
Whilst government legislation means that you have to stay in education or training until you are 18 years old, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay in school. There are so many alternative options out there that mean you could get a head start in your desired career. If you’re still confused as to what to do and where to go, career expert, Sharon Walpole, from www.careermap.co.uk has given some of her advice.
After your GCSEs you may feel you want to continue your studies through subject-based qualifications like A-Levels. If you’re planning on going to university in the future and want to learn more about a specific selection of subjects, this is a good path to head down. To be able to do A Levels you normally need to have at least 5 GCSE’s graded between A*-C.
A-Levels provide you with a perfect platform to go into any line of work, meaning that if you’re not convinced about what you want to do career wise, they are a safe bet as you have plenty of time to make up your mind on the specifics.
Alternatively, if academic study isn’t for you, you can take up vocational qualifications such as NVQS (National Vocational Qualifications) and BTECs. Teaching you technical skills and assessing you in a work environment. This option is perfect if you want to be thrown into the world of work straight away. Whilst A-Levels may seem like the natural path to take after GCSEs, they may not offer you a more practical way of studying which could suit you better. You can even use your BTEC and level 3 NVQ qualifications to go onto further education, such as university, should you decide you want to go later on in life.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
Offering the best of both worlds, apprenticeships provide you with the opportunity to earn whilst you learn. With such a wide range of options out there, from accounting to engineering, there’s something for everyone.
Instead of being stuck in a classroom, you’ll spend your time in a working environment, being guided by skilled employers, enabling you to develop your skills in a hands-on environment.
Similarly, traineeships are shorter term and prepare you for work or an apprenticeship. Lasting from six weeks to six months, you’ll be able to gain essential knowledge of your chosen line of work or study to best prepare you. If your GCSE results didn’t quite go to plan, this could be a helpful option to help you secure a future job or apprenticeship.
Part time study
If full time study isn’t your thing but you want to continue learning, part time study is worth considering. Colleges and training programs offer a wide range of coursed that are part time, meaning that you can get a work experience placement alongside your studies.
More information on what to do following your GCSE’s can be found in the Careermap Results Day Guide.