There is plenty of well-meaning advice out there about which route you should take to land your dream career - whether that is heading off to university, taking up an apprenticeship, or even getting straight out there and into the workplace. The trouble is, how do you know which route is the best one for you? There are some important things to consider, such as the financial cost of a particular choice – with the debt incurred by university fees being a real factor to think about. But, when you really think about it, the question is not really about where you are going next (i.e. after school or college), but where you want to end up.
It is a bit like booking to go on a luxury holiday and then only thinking about the flight. In fact, perhaps it is more like booking that holiday destination and then having to think about whether to take a plane, ship, or drive.
Of course, each option will have different pros and cons, like the time it may take to get there, or even if you can get to your chosen destination that way at all! Some careers require certain qualifications, and without them it is like trying to cycle to Jamaica!
Choosing the right direction for you requires checking out the options that are available to you, and deciding which one suits you the best. Think about how you prefer to learn – do you like the academic environment, or do you prefer a more hands-on approach?
There is no doubt that different educational institutions or training providers will be trying to tempt you to take their direction. They all want to attract the best students that they can, and will all be working hard to make themselves look like a great choice. This competition exists between different universities as much as it does training providers, so try to stay open minded about what they are telling you and look at the facts.
Of course, this is all much easier if you know where you hope to end up, but what if that holiday destination isn’t quite as concrete? What If you don’t really know what you want to do when you finish?
If this is the case, then you will need to look at what general areas you are interested in. Think skills rather than jobs, both when it comes to any further training or education, and also when you start to think about where you would like to work.
There is quite a lot to think through, so do make sure you get some help by speaking with teachers, parents, or others who can offer you some good advice. You might even want to check past the ‘Advice Centre’ right here on NotGoingToUni.
However, you should remember that people rarely worry about exactly how they reached their destination once they get there. So, while your route to that dream career is important now, once you arrive it will be all about what you do next, not what you did to get there. That would be like spending all your time on holiday talking about how you got there!
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