Where Next?

Academic VS Vocational?

You’ve had the big day and results are in, but what next? Choosing your own pathway for the first time can be fun, but also an intimidating prospect. There are so many options, but which is best for you?

After GCSEs or National 5s, you could continue studying subjects you like, take vocational qualifications, an apprenticeship, work or volunteer and study part-time.

  1. Study Fulltime.

A Levels and other subject based qualifications such as an International Baccalaureate are a good option if you have subjects you like and want to study further or progress into university. You normally need at least 5 grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent.

Work- and job-related courses such as BTECs and Cambridge Technicals are also a full-time study option. These courses combine hands on, practical learning with studying subjects and technical skills. They are specialist courses which relate to particular jobs, sectors, or subject areas. Depending on what qualifications you take, you can go on to further education, training, or employment, or you can go to university.


  1.  Apprenticeships and Work Experience.

Apprenticeships are where you work for an employer and train for a particular job at the same time. It creates a balance of hands on, practical experience and official training. There are over 280 types of apprenticeships for over 1500 job roles- anything from engineering to accountancy to nursing, and much more.

  1. Work or Volunteer whilst Working Part Time.

Already got a part time job that you love? You can combine studying or training for a qualification with work at the same time. It doesn’t have to be a paid job; you can volunteer on a project or with a charity or get a work-experience placement in a career or job area that interests you. Colleges and training providers offer a wide range of training courses that are part-time, including A levels and work-related qualifications like BTECs or NVQs.

Now you have the information you need to make an informed decision; the choice is yours! Remember to visit more of What’s Next for inspiration!

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