Just for Careers

Clarity about your future

In a fast moving world - a friendly, reliable source of advice and guidance about your options and direction of travel

Just for Careers

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A trading style of SmithMartin LLP

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Options at 18


At 18, you might be thinking about university, having a break from studying or keen to get out into the “real” world and earn some money.


Here’s a summary of your main choices:-


Higher Education: -this could mean leaving home to do a 3 year degree course at university or you might consider studying nearer to home at a local college full or part time.  There are hundreds of courses to choose from and several different ways to get a higher level qualification.  Remember to make up your own mind – it’s not necessary to go to university at 18 – it will be still there in a few years!


Your first step will probably be looking at the UCAS website.  You can use this site to search for degree courses and apply.



Don’t forget to also look at your local college to see what courses they offer and the Open University if distance learning seems an attractive idea. 



Gap Year: - a break from studying might be an ideal way to help you make up your mind about future career plans. It might also be essential to gain work experience.  Although there are many companies offering a traditional “gap year experience”, spending time in the UK working and/or doing voluntary work can also be a rewarding (and less costly) exercise.


For more information on gap years and volunteering



http://www.do-it.org/ - volunteering in the UK


Further Study – you might decide to continue your studies at a local Further education college.  There will be many courses on offer at different levels that could provide you with the additional skills you need to progress in your career.  For example, a practical training course in catering, horticulture or business admin skills - or maybe you might need more time to get all the qualifications you need to apply for university.  Courses could be full or part time and suitable for a wide range of abilities and interests.


Follow this link to find details of courses in your local area



Apprenticeships   - If you prefer a hands- on approach to learning, an Apprenticeship could be the ideal solution for you.  It’s not an easy option and you will need to be organised, motivated and determined.  However, it will enable you to gain qualifications whilst earning money and getting a start on the career ladder.  Employers are often very keen to recruit 17/18 year olds with a bit more experience.   

For more information go to the Apprenticeships website www.apprenticeships.org.uk


Employment – if you are looking for work, see if the company offers training – ideally with some sort of accreditation – so that you can add to your qualifications and progress within your career.


Read more {add link here to jfc jobseekers page}


But remember, if you are still confused, you can book a guidance session with JFC Careers that might help you make up your own mind.