Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsSo there are a few options to consider as you approach the end of you’re a levels or college course. The first option would be something around higher education – going to university – that would be a fantastic option for those wishing to continue their academic study. Also available would be a work based option like an apprenticeship route – degree apprenticeships or higher apprenticeships are increasingly popular. There are also a range of school leaver programmes which are linked very closely with employers and gaining that first-hand experience. An example might be something like a cadetship with the NHS.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 secondsYou could also think completely outside the box – so you might think I don’t want to follow any of those traditional paths and actually I’m just going to go out and get a job, a full time job and that’s what I want to do, I’m want to earn some money and I want to enter the jobs market. The last option you might want to consider again is a Gap Year. That might be something that gives you a bit of time to just look through your options and gain some experience, and it might be something that you do for yourself just to have that little bit of a break.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 secondsThere are a number of things to consider when considering higher education and going to university. Advantages would be the range of choice that’s out there – there are upwards of 300 universities with thousands of courses to pick from so whatever your area of interest is, you’re likely to be able to find something that will match your career aspiration or passion and interest. University degrees will tend to lead to higher, professional jobs which might lead to a higher salary, so that might be something you’re considering in a long term plan. There is other sides to university life as well.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 secondsThere is the element of the time it will take – it will take probably a minimum of 3 years to do that. It’s the element of debt that you may well incur at a financial level that might be off-putting to some students. It’s really up to you as an individual to decide how that fits in with your plan - whether it’s a thing you want to continue with or whether you want to look at alternative options first. But for the right student, it really is a great choice. Another thing you need to consider is which university.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 secondsDo you want to go to local, and that might be for financial reasons; do you want to go more nationally, that will be further away, and learn more about independence. A major factor you may want to consider when looking at degree subjects is whether you want to go the vocational route or whether you want to go the academic route. The vocational usually means you are committed to a particular part of the industry, the academic route is very much keeping many of your options open but it does very much depend on the degree that you are studying. For example, mathematics and sciences, these are some subject areas that keep many career doors open.

Skip to 2 minutes and 55 secondsThere’s also the option of going into employment yourself. Going into employment is something you should consider very carefully, especially the employer that you’re applying to. Have they got the right training for you, have they got the right vocation, have they got the right wages for you, and is there progression? And also, would there be the possibility that they may fund a degree for you as well, maybe part-time. You might decide that actually, you’ve had enough of education and that really what you want to do is get out into the workplace and start earning a salary.

Skip to 3 minutes and 32 secondsThat’s a perfectly legitimate decision to make and, just like every single person in the jobs market, you can decide right now, I’m going to start applying for jobs. The onus would then be on for you to make yourself employable and look at those employability skills you’ve got. What’s your CV like, what’s your application technique, are you ready for a job interview? What’s the availability of jobs within the area you want to move into, within your local area, is there availability? These are things that you need to consider.

Skip to 3 minutes and 59 secondsThere’s research that you’d need to do to set yourself up to make that decision, but if you can find the right job and you can start earning the money, the attraction is obvious.

Meet experienced careers advisers

In this step, you will hear from experienced careers advisers with advice and tips to help you get focused, consider your options, and make the right choices for you.

While you are watching the video, make notes of the key points the advisers highlight. We will be returning to these in the next step when we look at ‘turning the spotlight on yourself’.

You can watch the video as many times as you need to. When you have finished and are ready to move on, mark this step as complete before selecting ‘next’.

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This video is from the free online course:

Smart Choices: Broadening Your Horizons