What are you going to do with your future? Yes, as questions go, it’s huge.
It’s probably the biggest decision you’ve ever had to make and that can be exciting, scary and confusing – all at the same time. 

But, for all of you, whichever path you choose is bound to be life-changing. 

As you get to grips with your A-level courses, sitting your exams and getting the results you want are most likely not the
only things on your mind.

It may feel like you are standing at a crossroads wondering which route is the best one to take to get you where you want

to go. 

You may already be looking into university courses or researching apprenticeship schemes.

Some of you might be considering swapping the classroom for the workplace or moving to another part of the country to study or you may even have your heart set on taking a gap year and travelling the world. 

Or, like many other students up and down the country, you may not even have a clue what you want to do after school or know where to even begin.


If you want to continue studying then you can opt for higher education courses at college or start working straight away towards a degree at university.
For some careers, a higher education qualification is essential and there is much evidence that a university degree increases your earning potential and gives you greater job choice as well as helping you to develop life-long skills. You can go down the academic route with subjects such as History or English or pick a course specific to your chosen career.
Vocational courses will give you more
hands-on experience outside of the lecture hall.
There are many advantages for whichever way you decide to study. Going away to university can help you to become more independent, choosing a course closer to home while having a job to fund your studies can keep costs down and provide you with work experience. A higher education vocational course can help you to get the specific skills you need for industry.


More and more students are choosing apprenticeships and they have received huge government backing in recent years in a bid to increase the opportunities available.
They fast track you into the workplace and give you the chance to be paid while you are trained on the job and are working towards industry specific qualifications.
Employers are keen to recruit apprentices who they can train to develop the necessary skills for their industry.
As well as many other benefits, some apprentices have seen it as a good way to avoid being saddled with student debt.
Higher and degree apprenticeships are available for more than 100 different job roles across approximately 75 industries.

apprenticeship schemes for ex students


If you don’t feel ready for higher education or work, then a gap year can be an attractive alternative. While this is often referred to as a ‘year off’ from studying, it’s not to be viewed just as an easy option and you need to consider how to make the most of the time. It can be the chance to get valuable life experiences which will benefit you in the future whether you resume your studies or start looking for work. A gap year can also be a time to earn much-needed cash to pay for your degree or allow you more time to decide on which course you want to study or which university you want to attend.


Once you are ready to start looking for jobs you need to be able to write the perfect CV. It’s important to present it in a way that really makes you stand out from other applicants. When you are invited for a job interview, you need to make the best impression to help land you the job of your dreams.


You may already have a chosen career in mind or you may not have decided what you want to do for a living. Considering what you are good at and what you are interested in can be the best place to start.

Whichever route you eventually go for, you need to make sure it’s the right one
for you.