The prospect of going to university doesn’t always appeal to school leavers. There can be various things that put people off, and some people feel that university simply isn’t for them. Not everyone will thrive in a higher education environment like a university, but they might still be interested in furthering their education or training. If you or your children are leaving school soon, you can explore the alternatives that are on offer. Many people feel that there isn’t much choice, but there are options out there for anyone who might want to learn more before starting work or learn while on the job.
Not all learning has to take place in a classroom. Online education can be a great fit for some people, and it’s easy to fit around other commitments. You can work during the day and study in the evenings or fit online studies around shift work. There are various organisations that offer online study. Some are specialist providers and others more general. LSBF Online provides accountancy, finance and business courses. The Open University allows people to do whole degrees or to take single units or short courses. Some online resources even offer free courses and qualifications.
Take a College Course
At 18, you might already have completed A Levels or taken other qualifications, such as NVQs. However, perhaps you’re thinking of continuing your education to build on your current qualifications. Or you might have changed your mind about what you want to do, so you want to look for a new course to complete. Local colleges are often the best place to look if you want to keep learning. You can find vocational qualifications that help you focus on a specific area, and courses at different levels up to the same level as a bachelor’s degree.
Foundation Degrees and HNDs
If you’re considering further education, but you don’t want to do a full degree, there are other options. A foundation degree is one choice available to you, and it’s equivalent to two-thirds of a bachelor’s degree. Full-time, they last around two years but can be three or four when studied part-time. After doing a foundation degree, you can choose to “top up” your degree to a full degree. There are also Higher National Diplomas, which offer a vocational qualification over two or three years of study. They help you get into a specific industry by building the skills you need.
Do an Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular choice too, especially as they allow you to earn as you learn. The minimum wage for apprenticeships is lower than for other jobs because you’re still training, but some employers do offer higher wages. Apprenticeships can help you to gain qualifications up to degree level, so you can study a range of skills and subjects as you work. There are also traineeships, which are short courses with work experience, and employer-designed school leaver programs.
University isn’t the only option available to you after school. There are other possibilities that will help you keep learning and even start earning.