Nowadays there tends to be an almost tunnel-like vision towards university and gaining a degree. It is more rare to not be going to university than to be going to earn a degree, masters or PhD in a wide selection of academic studies. However, going to University as soon as school ends is not the only choice to allow you to have wonderful career opportunities. Below are some words of advice from current year 13 pupils.
‘Next year I am hoping to do a degree apprenticeship in the finance sector. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is when you study a degree, for example in my case, a degree in applied finance or economics, whilst having a full time job with a company. For me it was a no brainer as to why this was a better option – you have no university fees but get the same qualification at the end, you have 3/4 years worth of pay and the experience of working for a large company (often with a guaranteed job at the end of it). There is lots of stuff out there that perhaps many of you are not aware of, I really encourage you to research this further if you feel like you are just being pushed down the UCAS path! I am happy to talk to anyone about this, just get in touch.’
‘I am taking a gap year because I do not know what I want to study at University. On my gap year I am going to au pair in France because I love languages and I am currently studying french at a level and want to continue improving and learning it after my time at school ends. I will also go backpacking or travelling for a few months as I really want to experience other cultures and see other parts of the world for myself. I think this is a great idea for anyone struggling with what to do in the future as it allows you to develop other skills and gain new experiences.’
‘I decided I was not going to do UCAS because, as I have discovered over the past year, studying for long periods is something I have found difficult to motivate myself to do as academics is not one of my strengths. Therefore, rather than paying for years to continue in academia I have decided to join the Navy. Here I can get paid to travel the world, witnessing new cultures and gaining new experiences, whilst learning new skills and trades that can be used after your time with them. It is definitely a career option that more people should research into. You do not have to have a specific personality or skill level to join.’
‘Our society is dependent on a wide variety of skills whether it be academic of practical. Most of us are strongly pushed down the road of academia and university even if that is not where our skills lie. I would encourage everyone to review their own personal skill set and decide what is best for you based on this. Just know that it is okay to not go to university and that there are other more vocational options out there which need creative and practical people with a huge number of skills, for example hairdressing and building, To conclude I would say, do what you love because society needs everyone’s individual and quirky skills.’