With results day just around the corner, many sixth-formers across the country are busy deciding where to spend the next three (or four) years of their lives. However, others may feel that university isn’t for them – maybe their grades weren’t quite what they’d expected or they simply feel that they’re not ready to go to uni. There are a number of students who aren’t keen on the prospect of a few more years of education and would much prefer to do something else. But what can you do? British society makes us believe that university is the only post-school option. We grow up thinking that university is the only way to get a job, though there are plenty of other things available once you leave school. These are as follows:
Apprenticeships are great for students who already know what type of job they want to do when they finish school. Apprenticeships combine study with practical training in a specific job. They enable teenagers and young adults to earn a wage whilst studying, and can last as short as a year, which is a lot quicker than a degree and therefore suitable for anyone who doesn’t really like education. Apprenticeships are very varied and can train you to become a chef, retail assistant, receptionist, sales consultant or even an engineer.
2. School Leaver Programmes
Companies such as Barclays, Tesco, Nestle and Siemens give school-leavers the chance to work and get paid. Barclays in particular has a Life Skills programmes which is designed to teach young people the necessary skills for their future careers. Nestle offers a Fast Start programme during which you can work in one of their commercial departments. They will fund your programme and pay you too, though you will need 300 UCAS points before applying. This is equivalent to 3 Bs at A Level.
3. Gap Year
A gap year is definitely something you should take into consideration when deciding what to do after school. Gap years give you the chance to take a year out of education and think about what you really want to do for the rest of your life. During your gap year, you may decide to travel the world or simple stay in your hometown and look for a job. Although travelling is expensive, and you may find it difficult to find a travelling buddy, it is something you should do at some point during your life, especially while you are young. Experiencing other parts of the world will open your eyes and help you discover who you are. You can develop new skills that wouldn’t be possible in your native country. Perhaps you will choose to climb to the top of a mountain or nurse villagers after a natural disaster. Travelling will also help you become independent, especially if you decide to visit place on your own. You may want to learn a language whilst you are abroad, which will in turn provide you with a whole new range of opportunities. Travelling the world will be challenging and I am sure that you will meet some amazing people on your journeys. STA Travel and Gap Force are two brilliant companies that can help you plan your year of travelling.
I hope this post has given you some ideas as to what you can do after school. Don’t worry if you don’t want to go to uni – you don’t have to have a degree to be successful. Look at Zoe Sugg, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg – they are hugely successful and didn’t go to (or complete, in Bill Gates’ case) uni. Don’t just do what everyone else does, or what your parents think you should do – it’s more important to do what YOU want to do!