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  • Writer's pictureAmaka Uche

Where am I going?

I’ve always loved the month of September! It always reminds me of a mini-new year! Like many other students across the country, you may be getting ready for your educational institution to reopen for the new academic year. This may be a time of anxiety or excitement for students! A few weeks ago A-Level results were released and you still may be  faced with a decision: to go to university, or to go straight into the workplace. This can be a really daunting decision as it is one of the most important ones you will make in your life. It will ultimately shape the trajectory of your life! However fear not, as I really want to make sure you make your decision with an informed choice with as much information.

Tip 1: Make sure you talk to people around you who you trust about your future options. It could be your parents, a friend, older sibling or teacher. Having great and encouraging people around you is very important in helping you identify the right choice for you.

Tip 2: Remember not every career path entails having a degree. Of course, if you would like a vocational career such as becoming a Doctor or Lawyer, you will need to get a degree from University. However other career paths such as accountancy, fashion and engineering, now offer routes into employment via apprenticeships. I firmly believe there are multiple routes to success. The power is in your hands!

Tip 3: University is a great experience. You will learn a lot, become a lot more independent and also make a lot of friends along the way!  However the reality is, this option is becoming quite expensive as tuition fees are on the rise! In my opinion, I would not let rising tuition fees put you off as there is plenty of government assistance. In addition, you won’t need to start paying back your student loan until you are earning over a certain amount per year.

Tip 4: Whilst we are on the subject of money, have a think about if you would prefer to earn whilst you learn? If this is something that would be more suited to you, then apprenticeships may be the best route for you! It also means that you are most likely to gain full time employment with the company you trained with.

Tip 5: Going to university, or perhaps starting an apprenticeship  offer great routes into long term employment. However, I must stress it is very important for you to map out where you want to be in the future and if university or an apprenticeship will help you to get there. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? What are you personal and professional goals? Please do take the time out to consider this as it will help you make a more confident choice tailored to your own future career advancement.

There are pro’s and con’s with both routes.  There is also no one size fits all approach into education and employment. Think hard about what suits you and your future career needs! What exactly do you want to get out of your future career? Whether you exceeded your predicted grades, or didn’t achieve what you hoped for in your exam results, I still want you to get excited about your future! There are so many routes these days to become successful and you certainly have the power to decide!

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