Last Friday we took a look at the academic options available to college leavers looking to set themselves up for a career, and there is no doubt that the idea of heading straight on to doing more study is appealing to many young people. However, others may have had enough of academia and sitting in classrooms, instead wanting to get stuck in or start earning a wage right away. This more vocational path into employment is all-too-often still seen as a lesser route and one that should only be considered by those who are somehow ‘not good enough’ to go to university. However, this notion has increasingly been shown to be untrue and if anything, there are plenty of instances where a vocational route has proven to be the better option – not just for a lack of tuition fees but also for career prospects! While university is great for some, it is not the best fit for everyone, so it is worth considering if a vocational path is better for you:
Straight Out To Work?
For many people the prospect of more learning is just too much and they will want to get out into the world and start earning a wage. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t return to do some study later should you change your mind. In the meantime, there are plenty of jobs out there designed for new employees so that you can get your career going from the bottom up. Choosing a role with a clear career path is advisable and it is a good idea to check what routes are available for progression with your employer. If you are OK with doing a little vocational training while your work, then there are options for that too – although we also cover apprenticeships below…
College Based Higher Education & Courses
If you are happy to do some more training or a college course that is directly related to employment, then a vocational college course may be the answer. These include direct vocational courses for those with a strong idea of what they want to do and Diplomas, which are usually work-related higher education qualifications such as HNDs. There are also Foundation Learning courses designed to help 14-19-year-olds to push ahead with attainment and progress and Functional Skills which can form part of other qualifications. You can check out more options for College Based Higher Education as well as looking into vocational college courses right here on NotGoingtoUni.
Certain industries award Professional Qualifications which allow you to progress to the very top of your chosen career. These qualifications are aimed at specific professions in various fields and industries. These take a varying amount of time to complete depending on what you choose to take and can be studied full or part-time. There is often a requirement to work alongside your studies to gain experience, and some may ask you to have attained other qualifications first.
Professional qualifications are offered by bodies including the Royal Society for Chemistry, the Institution of Civil Engineers, and the Health Care Professions Council. You can find out more about Professional Qualifications here.
Traineeships and Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships have been the focus of a lot of attention over recent months, and there are now a great many options for those looking to take an apprenticeship. Many careers that previously required a degree can now be accessed via the apprenticeship route. An apprenticeship is a fully-funded course which mixes real on-the-job work experience with training. With no fees to pay and a wage, many young people are finding that an apprenticeship not only makes sense for their careers but also financially.
A Traineeship offers a taste of the world of work and can help build confidence for you to go forward to a full apprenticeship. Lasting up to 6 months Traineeships are generally unpaid, but your expenses, such as travel, etc, should be covered. Traineeships also include compulsory qualifications in GCSE English and Maths if you don’t possess those already. You can find out more about Traineeships and see what’s on offer right here.