These days the average school leaver is walking out into a very different job market to the one that our parents encountered, with changes in industry, global outsourcing and increased automation in many sectors then it’s more important than ever to get the choice right of what to do after leaving school.
Let’s look at what options are available to the modern school-leaver.
Look For A Job
Looking for a job after leaving school is an obvious first step and although many might argue going straight for employment rather than looking for training or educational opportunities is not the right move but there are also various advantages. You might need a break from training or education as you have been in education as long as you can remember, this time can be well spent earning a living, learning to be self-sufficient, and even giving you time and head space to figure out your long term goals, these might be more apparent to you after a bit of a break away from learning and some real-world experience. Traditionally we would say look in the local paper, the Guardian here in Warrington is great for finding local jobs.
It was once the traditional route into many careers and jobs such as trades and other associated professions, but while these traditional version of apprenticeships are still around there are a huge variety of vocational courses that are on offer these days. The advantage of this is you are working and studying towards a qualification at the same time, so unlike college or university you are able to fund yourself as you study. It’s also not a poor substitute for an academic education as there are many high profile and prestigious organisations offering apprenticeships as we saw when local high school student Alice McMahon made the final cut for the BBC scheme with over 3,000 applicants.
College Or University
Higher education is a great route to gaining further qualifications and skills much sought after by employers these days. You have the choice of various types of courses, from a full 3 year degree programme to a more short term one year choice of HNC Courses. It’s important to research what type of jobs you can expect to get at the end of the course and get in touch with course leaders to get any of your questions answered before you make a final decision.
Many students these days are opting to take a gap year in order to get some valuable life experience before settling down to study or work. This can be in a variety of different ways, you can do voluntary work, travel independently or tale up a work placement abroad. If chosen correctly the experience can help if they are related to the subject or field you intend to work or study in.
If you are looking to make a career in a particular area then it might be an idea to look at some work experience in the area you are hoping to work in, and this can give you a good insight if this is the line of work you would ultimately be interested in before you commit to the expense and time of a degree course. For example if you are interested in animal welfare you could get voluntary experience somewhere like the National Animal Welfare Trust.