Choosing what career you want to go into can seem like a big decision. Going from being told what you must do (go to school, etc), suddenly you are faced with this seemingly life-defining decision. What happens if you choose wrong, will you end up having to live your life doing a career that you don’t like? Thankfully, your choices are not permanent, and plenty of people choose to change their careers later on in life. However, we expect you’d rather go straight into a suitable career, so how do you choose which career you should have?
Career To Skills Or Skills To Career?
Really there are two ways of looking at you career choice – you can either look at what career you’d like to do and then work out what skills and qualifications you may need to get there. Your reasons for choosing a particular career can be down to a number of things – including how much you might expect to earn and if you have a particular interest in a certain profession. You might, for example, have always wanted to be a vet, in which case you will be looking at what qualifications you need to achieve that goal.
The other way to look at your career choice is to first look at your skills and interests and see where they could take you. This option is better for those who don’t have a solid idea of what they want to do as a career. Focussing on what you enjoy should also hone in on the things you are good at – after all, very few of us enjoy having to do things we find difficult or don’t understand. Looking at what you enjoy doesn’t just mean subjects at school or college but can also mean whether you prefer working with your hands or your head, if you like to be outdoors or if you prefer to be inside. You might also want to consider other things, such as if you like working with other people or what sort of hours you might be expected to work.
Qualifications & Routes Into Work
Some careers will mean that you have to have a university degree, but many of those that were previously only open to graduates are now becoming accessible via the apprenticeship route. So, before you send off that UCAS form, it might be worth checking to see if you can do an apprenticeship instead. Apprenticeships are a good alternative to university as there are no fees to pay and you will gain experience and a wage as you work towards your qualification from day one. Plus, many apprentices walk straight into relevant work when they are qualified.
If you want a degree then you might want to look at the option of a sponsored degree – this is where a company pays your fees for you often while you work for them part-time or during the holidays. You could also look for a degree apprenticeship as another route into your career.
Degrees and apprenticeships aren’t the only ways to get qualified for a job, as many professional bodies offer their own qualifications. These include those offered by the likes of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH), and the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). Don’t forget you can also go to college to earn diplomas, vocational qualifications, foundation degrees, and more.
Choose The Route That’s Right For You & Your Career
With so many options available you can find the one that suits you best – both when it comes to your aspirations and your learning style. If you want to get straight down to work then an apprenticeship may be the best option for you, while if you are not ready for work then perhaps some more study or even a Traineeship might be worth checking out as an option.
Whatever you choose, you can always change your mind later, so don’t get too hung up on making the wrong choice right now. The best thing, if you aren’t sure exactly what you want to do, is to chase something you enjoy with a route that suits you.