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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsSo there are a few options to consider as you approach the end of your A levels or your college course. Your first option would be something around higher education - going to university. That would be a fantastic option for those wishing to continue with their academic studies. Also available would be a work based option like an apprenticeship route - a degree apprenticeship 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 of this might be an internship with the NHS. You could also think completely outside the box. You might think "I don't want to follow any of those traditional paths.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsActually, I'm just going to go out and get a job. A full time job. I want to earn some money and enter that jobs market". The last option you might want to consider is a gap year. That might be something that gives you a bit of time to look through your options and gain some experience. It might be something you do for yourself just to have a little bit of a break. There are a number of things to think about when considering higher education and going to university.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 secondsAdvantages 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'll match your career aspiration or passion and interest. University degrees 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 - there is the time it will take. It'll take a minimum of 3 years to do that and it's the level of debt that you'll incur at a financial level that might be off-putting to a number of students.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 secondsIt's really up to you to decide how that fits in with your plan. For the right student, it's a great choice. Another thing you need to consider about where to study in particular is which university? You might want to stay more local to home for financial reasons, or you might want to study further afield because you want to be a bit more independent. A major factor when looking at degree subjects is how you want to study. Do you want to study through a vocational route, or do you want to look at the academic route?

Skip to 2 minutes and 34 secondsVocational learning in simple terms means that you're looking to learn specific work skills, focussing on particular professions or occupations such as a dental hygenist, a computer programmer or a hairstylist - the list is absolutely endless. If you're thinking about the academic route, it's much more about attending lectures and seminars and producing theory based work. If you're unsure about what to do at the end of your degree, academic study can give you much broader options. If we take an example like politics it also covers law and economics. Alternatively, public relations could also cover marketing and communications so it gives you a broader choice at the end of uni. You may be thinking of going straight into employment.

Skip to 3 minutes and 28 secondsA few things to think about here. Make sure there's training involved, and what the training is for the job role that you're going to be in. Think about whether there is career progression opportunities and how you can make that next step up. Salary is quite important too. Make sure you do your research and compare salaries with similar jobs in similar sectors too.

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