Hi, I'm sitting on AAAB AS-levels and predicted A*AA A-levels but I'm not enjoying any of my school subjects enough to justify spending 3/4 years at university studying either one or a combination of them. Any advice on where to go next? Thanks
Would I be right in assuming that you have no specific career aim in mind at present? If so it may be that you chose you’re A level subjects without giving much thought to their impact on future options. It would help if you would explain a little about your choice of subjects and the reasons for them.
If my assumption is correct that you have no definite career in mind you may have thought about a variety of possibilities without reaching a definite conclusion. If so, it would help if you outlined these for me.
When you say that you are not enjoying your subjects why do you think this is? Your AS grades and predicted grades suggest that you are performing well in your school work. Perhaps there are other factors affecting your feelings about progressing to higher education? Again, some more information would help me to advise you appropriately.
I chose Mathematics simply because I got an A* at GCSE and I didn't really mind it. I chose History because I enjoy writing essays and forming arguments, same really with Politics plus it was something new that I hadn't studied before. I cant even explain why I chose Chemistry, glad I dropped it after AS. I had no idea what definite career path I wanted to follow and I still don't but I know what I don't want to do. I've thought about going in to Law or Politics, even finance.
I just don't find any of them interesting, e.g I don't mind History but I've never once thought about doing any extra reading outside of class. I guess part of my reluctance to jump straight in to higher education is not feeling comfortable about making the decision on a course or courses for university, and having a careers advisor in school who simply says "just get an application away" doesn't exactly inspire any confidence either. Thanks
The three A level subjects are quite suitable as a basis for going on to degrees in the areas you mention – Law, Politics and Business/Finance. The only slight issue might be if you were thinking of applying to Oxbridge as they arent so keen on “non academic” A Levels like Politics.
You have considered those three broad career areas (and the first two would certainly fit nicely with your enjoyment of constructing arguments) but it might be useful to consider career options both wider and more specific than these.
The Prospects web site looks at career ideas that relate to degree subjects and these may throw up ideas you havent yet considered. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not pushing you in the direction of University. The ideas on that web site are interesting food for thought in any case.
After doing further research you may conclude that going the degree route is simply not for you. You would then be looking to enter employment in a junior capacity and working your way up the career ladder. This approach has its advantages as you will avoid student loan debts and will have begun your career several years earlier than fellow students who opt for Uni. It is also worth remembering that there is a much greater supply of graduates than there are graduate-entry vacancies.
Law and Finance are both areas where it is possible to enter the labour market as a school leaver with good A levels. You could look for advertised vacancies with firms in your area or better still write to them asking to be considered for any future vacancies. There are specialist web sites which advertise such opportunities. You should also look into Higher Apprenticeships as there are a number of large and famous companies which are using apprenticeships to grow their own talent.
Another option for you to think about is taking a year out. Spending up to a year travelling and working abroad would be a great break from the relentless grind of study and would perhaps give you the time and space to consider the future with less pressure to come up with a decision right now!
Remember that the ideas presented on the Prospects site are just suggestions. They are not a complete list and there are many other jobs open to graduates from Law, Politics and Business Studies courses. The key thing is to find one or more occupations which would fit well with your values, aspirations, skills and temperament and then make decisions about getting into that first job!