Alternatives To University

Alternatives To University
Credit: Luca Iaconelli /

University isn’t for everyone. It’s as simple as that. Just because university may not be for you, however, that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. There are alternatives that colleges and sixth forms talk about, but just not in great detail – they tend to want to push students to university simply for their own status and representation in league tables and such. But don’t be pressured if you’re sure if university isn’t right for you.

However I want to make this post to give people who don’t necessarily want to go to university a greater insight into other opportunities. I’ll also link some websites to give you further information.

Getting an apprenticeship

The biggest alternative to going to university is getting an apprenticeship. Getting an apprenticeship can be very beneficial because it means you can earn whilst learning in the industry that you wish to progress in. It allows you to gain valuable work experience on the go whilst also gaining a recognised qualification. This is a great way to progress in the world of work.

There are different levels of apprenticeships. A Level 2 (Intermediate) apprenticeship which is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grades A*-C. A Level 3 (Advanced) apprenticeship which is equivalent to two A level passes. Level 4, 5, 6 and 7 (Higher) apprenticeships are equivalent to a foundation degree and above. Level 6 and 7 (Degree) specifically are equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

There are also school leaver programmes which I’ve mentioned later on in the blog post which are specifically for those in year 13 also which may be useful.

Useful Links: Find An Apprenticeship | Get My First Job | Not Going To Uni

Getting a full time job

Alternatively, you can go straight into a job full time without gaining a qualification alongside that through an apprenticeship. If you already have a weekend job then maybe you can go full time with that job until you find a new one with an industry that you’re interested in.

Maybe during the summer it might be a good idea to try and get some work experience in an industry that you’re interested in; it much just help you in terms of skills and such whilst also boosting your CV. It will also show that you’re determined too.

Useful Links: Indeed | Reed | Totaljobs | National Careers Service | Monster

School Leaver Programmes

Another option would be school leaver programmes. School leaver programmes basically give you a direct route into the world of work post-18. It basically gives allows you to start your career without having to go into university, you could end up with the same or similar job as a graduate except that you’ll be going down a different route.  They are specifically for those in year 13 (or possibly year 12’s) who aren’t planning on going to university.

Useful Links: All About School Leavers | Student Ladder | Milkround | Rate My Apprenticeship

Taking a gap year

Gap years is also another option, especially if you’re unsure about university. It means that you can boost your CV with experience and skills. By taking a gap year and working or travelling during that time, it allows you to focus on what you want to do next. Whether that’s go to university still, or something else. A gap year basically gives you time to think about your future pretty much.

Useful Links: UCAS | Prospects | The Student Room |What Uni | Uni Baggage

Self employment

Self employment could be the option for you if you are business minded and this is something that you’re ready to go into. This will take a lot of motivation however, but you could still give it a shot. Although I doubt that this is a popular option.

The Student Room is always a good place to ask other people questions if you’re still unsure. You can also check to see if your question has already been answered on there. It’s a great place to find advice from others and I’d recommend checking it out, for sure.

I hope this post is useful in someway or another, even if only one person manages to benefit from it then I’m happy with that. I’m hoping that it’ll help hearing it from someone of a similar age too.

If anybody else has any useful advice, links or websites then please leave them in the comments for others to check out!

Related: Dropping Out Of University

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