Career Information

Use the information below to help you research your careers choices and decisions. Whatever path you decide to investigate you don’t have to make all these decisions on your own, speak to those around you too.

What You Need to Know
  • Having a career idea can really help you to choose your next step and give you something to aim towards
  • Work experience and volunteering are great ways of finding out about different jobs.
  • There are lots of useful resources and websites that tell you about different careers and how you can get into them.
Things to Think About
  • There is sometimes more than one pathway into a career. Remember to choose the pathway that is realistic, available in your area, suits your learning style and will keep you motivated.
  • If you’re really not sure about what career to aim for, don’t worry, you can choose qualifications that will allow you to progress in curriculum subjects without having to specialise, such as GCSEs and A levels.
  • Make sure the careers information you are looking at is up to date, as some entry routes and qualifications can change each year.
  • Some entry routes into careers can be quite complicated, if you’re unsure you can talk to an adviser.
  • You may need to think about how far you are prepared to travel to get the course or career that is right for you.
To Do

If you’re really not sure about what career you want to do and don’t know where to start looking, these websites have quick quizzes you can take to get some career ideas and they show you videos and articles related to those careers. Also try

  • Buzz Test – short test that analyses your personality to see which job might suit you.
  • National Careers Service – Skills Assessment – several tests that analyses your skills and gives examples of jobs that you may like. More suitable for older students
  • Prospects Career Planner – matches your skills, motivations and desires to a career that’s perfect for you. To get even more from your results, take them to your University or College career adviser.
  • UKSP Careers quiz – quick quiz that tells you which careers in hospitality/leisure/travel/tourism would suit you

Once you have some ideas and want to find out how to get there, look at Job profiles on the National Careers Service website – they have really useful links to other websites too. You could even look at the Job profiles on the Prospects website. You will also find a lot of useful information on Careers Gateway

Exploring videos and examples of real people doing real jobs can also help you o gain an insight into careers your may be interested in. Try the following sites:

  • Careersbox – free online library of careers related film, news and information
  • Careers4u – videos on loads on different jobs and students talking about apprenticeships, uni, jobs etc
  • icould – videos of people in different occupations describing what they do

When you find a job profile that you think looks interesting, use the entry route information to make an action plan – remember to look at what courses are available in your area.

Try and gain some work experience or volunteering in the industry you’re interested in.

Art & Design
https://ccskills.org.uk/careers/advice Creative & Cultural Skills – provides careers advice and guidance, and promotes apprenticeships
Biology
https://www.rsb.org.uk/ Royal Society of Biology – detailed information on careers using biology
Chemistry
http://www.rpharms.com/home/home.asp The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain – the regulatory and professional body for pharmacists
http://www.rsc.org The Royal Society of Chemistry
http://www.whynotchemeng.com Careers information about Chemical Engineering
Computing / Information Technology
https://www.tpdegrees.com/careers/ TechFuture Careers is the place to find out all about the exciting tech roles available in companies from a range of different sectors
http://www.bcs.org/bcs The British Computer Society (BCS) is the industry body for IT professionals
http://www.bigambition.co.uk Want to work in IT?
Economics / Business
http://www.londonstockexchange.com/ Search for ‘careers’ on the London Stock Exchange site.
English
http://www.nctj.com The National Council for the Training of Journalists Online
http://www.bookcareers.com Advice for those wishing to pursue a career in publishing
http://www.journalism.co.uk Information about all types of journalism
http://www.whystudyenglish.ac.uk Find out why!
Geography
http://www.rgs.org/HomePage.htm The Royal Geographical Society
History
http://www.history.org.uk The Historical Association
http://www.museumsassociation.org/ The Museums association – information on Careers in Museums and galleries
Languages
http://www.whystudylanguages.ac.uk/ks4/ Lots of information about the true value of learning languages
http://www.omniglot.com/ Knowledge of one or more foreign languages can be useful in a wide range of careers – find out more
Maths
http://www.rss.org.uk/careers The Careers pages of the Royal Statistical Society – ideas for careers using Maths
http://plus.maths.org An Internet magazine to introduce readers to the practical applications of Maths
http://www.mathscareers.org.uk The Council for Mathematical Science (CMS) – a unique resource for young people of all ages interested in finding out about careers and opportunities that an education in Maths can present
http://www.maths-jobs.co.uk Take a look at the careers you can consider using Maths
Music and Creative Arts
 www.ccskills.org.uk The Sector Skills Council for Creative and Cultural Skills
 www.skillset.org The Sector Skills Council for Creative Media
 www.ism.org Incorporated Society of Musicians
www.musiciansunion.org.uk The Musician’s Union
https://www.musicalchairs.info/ Advertisements for jobs in orchestras, opera companies, conservatoires and schools worldwide. Vacancies in performance, teaching and administration.
www.thefms.org The FDS brings together established conservatoire training providers to develop discussion, strategy and projects around shared challenges, and to communicate to prospective students the options within and value of these training approaches.
http://www.dramauk.co.uk/ Drama UK
Physics
http://www.iop.org Institute of Physics
Psychology
http://www.bps.org.uk/ The British Psychological Society
Science
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ The Meteorological Office
https://www.renewableuk.com/ RenewableUK – supporting future energy systems, powered by clean electricity
http://www.scitech.ac.uk/  The Science & Technology Facilities Council
http://www.mathscareers.org.uk/ STEM Careers Website
http://www.bp.com BP web site
http://www.shell.com  Shell jobs and careers pages
http://www.ibms.org The Institute of Biomedical Science
http://www.futuremorph.org/ Ideas about future careers in maths or science
Stem Specific Websites (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths)
http://www.mathscareers.org.uk/ STEM Careers Website

CAREERS WEBSITES

  • National Careers Service  – This is the Government’s hub for careers advice for people of all ages where you can find help with drafting letters, CVs, exploring your skills or seeking careers advice.
  • icould – aims to help you to make the most of your potential by showing how others have used theirs, take the ‘Buzz’ personality profile quiz.
  • Careers Box – video based job profile information and skills explorer tool.
  • Success at School – gives clear and comprehensive information about a range of Career Zones (sectors), in an easy to access format. Students can create a profile to help to collate useful information. ’60 second interviews’ giving profile of professionals, provide a useful insight into specific careers.
  • How to become – offers detailed advice on how to access a range of sectors. Also offers the purchase of resources, compiled in conjunction with professionals working in these fields, designed to enable you to achieve your dream career or course. A selection of these books and online psychometric testing access have been supplied to the School by How2Become.
  • Russell Group – represents 24 leading universities, source of careers information & advice including ‘informed choices’ a downloadable guide to making post 16 choices.
  • Prospects – find out which areas you could access after a particular degree.
  • My Career Springboard – Springboard is for students. It is divided into two main sections: the Career Test and the Career Exploration Tool. In tandem, these two interactive tools allow students to find some career inspiration and gain an insight into their different career options.
  • Job Applications – this site has useful videos, demonstrating how to complete the online applications for many top companies in the UK, as well as providing detailed information on salaries and interviews. Applications forms can be printed off directly from this site.
  • Telegraph Jobs  – lots of information about specific sectors as well as advice on how to create a CV and prepare for interviews.
  • All about school leavers – displays current apprenticeship and school leaver programme opportunities, to the latest school leaver job news, and gives career journey advice.
  • StartProfile – Start is a free and comprehensive digital platform, offering schools and colleges a single starting point to help simplify and improve careers guidance in schools. They also have a home learning portal here

CAREER QUIZZES

  • Sort organises over 1000 job types based on your interests and strengths, making … for your future, and discover opportunities you might not have known about
  • Buzz Test – short test that analyses your personality to see which job might suit you
  • University of Kent – quick test that analyses your skills and gives examples of jobs that you may like. More suitable for older students
  • What’s working for you? – fun work personality test
  • UKSP Careers quiz – quick quiz that tells you which careers in hospitality/leisure/travel/tourism would suit you

CAREER VIDEOS

  • Careersbox – free online library of careers related film, news and information
  • Careers4u – videos on loads on different jobs and students talking about apprenticeships, uni, jobs etc
  • icould – videos of people in different occupations describing what they do

UNIVERSITY

  • UCAS – official site where you can search and apply for your degree
  • Complete University Guide – does what it says on the tin
  • Bestcourse4me – shows link between your course and the kind of jobs you can get/money you can earn
  • Unistats – search, review and compare courses and universities; reviews by students
  • Studential – university guide written by graduates. Includes examples of thousands of real-life personal statements broken down by subject
  • Which?University – what to study, where to go and how to get there
  • Open Days – search open days at unis
  • Push – independent and brutally honest site about life at uni
  • Prospects – helps students consider what they can do after their degree. Includes free psychometric test to determine suitable degrees.

FINANCE

  • Student Finance – official site for applications
  • Care To Learn – help pay for childcare costs if you are studying and under 20
  • Student Cash Point – guide to finding financial support (bursaries/awards etc) to assist with the cost of uni
  • Save the Students – The student money website for everything student finance. Get the latest student discounts, student jobs, make money ideas and more.

GAP YEARS

  • Gap Force – How does a gap year bridge the gap between education and employment
  • Gap Year – official government information on gap year travel
  • Gapyear.com – commercial site giving information and ideas
  • Year in Industry – offers internships to undergraduates and HE students in Engineering, Business, Marketing and IT

APPRENTICESHIPS

INTERVIEWS

PARENTS & CARERS

  • Parent Adviser – advice for parents/carers about career options for their children

JOBS

SELF EMPLOYMENT

  • Livewire – support, information and advice for 16-30 year olds wanting to set up their own business
  • The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme – support for unemployed young people age 18-30 to determine if their business ideas are viable and whether self employment is right for them

STUDENT/PART-TIME JOBS

  • Natives – ski and seasonal jobs at home and abroad
  • Thebigchoice – part-time/temp/summer/seasonal jobs for students
  • Studentjob – part-time jobs and internships
  • E4S – part-time, holiday, seasonal, temporary, festival and gap year jobs at home and abroad
  • Just Student Jobs – part-time, holiday, seasonal, temporary, festival and gap year jobs at home and abroad
  • Your Rights at Work – Citizens Advice Bureau guide to working whilst studying, young people’s employment rights, minimum wage and working conditions

STUDYING ABROAD

STUDENT SITES

  • The Student Room – online student community – help with revision, statements, applying to uni etc

VOLUNTEERING

  • Vinspired – volunteering guide for 14-24 year olds. Search and apply for opportunities
  • Do It – national volunteering site, search for current opportunities

WORK EXPERIENCE

Information for Specific Jobs

Accountancy

Aerospace

Animal, Land-Based and Environment Jobs

Armed Forces

Construction

Art and Creative Media

Electrical and Engineering

Health, Social and Personal Care

Hospitality/Leisure/Tourism

  • Hospitality Guild – information on careers in hospitality. Includes a careers quiz which tells you which roles would suit you best
  • Tasty Careers – careers in the food and drink sector
  • CruiseShipJobs – information on working on cruise ships and job search
  • CareerScope – information on jobs in hospitality, tourism and leisure

Digital/Web

Law

  • All About Law – guide to degrees and careers in Law
  • LNAT – guide to the test you may have to take to gain entry onto a Law degree
  • LawCareers – comprehensive guide to becoming a lawyer

Mechanics

  • Autocity – careers in the motor industry including apprenticeship vacancies

Media TV & Communications

Medicine

  • BMAT – find out about one of the tests for entry onto a medical/dentistry degree
  • UKCAT – is the other test you may have to take for entry onto medical/dentistry degree
  • Medlink – four day course at Nottingham Uni for 6th formers on getting into Medicine
  • Gap Medics – medical work experience abroad during school holidays/gap year
  • Job Medic – the UK’s number one employment site for nurses, midwives and social and health care assistants, with a large pool of nursing vacancies across the UK

Music

Podiatry

  • Careers in Podiatry– information on entry requirements, course finders, salary expectations and useful blog posts

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

Science and Pharmaceuticals

Sport

Theatre

Transport and Logistics

Uniformed and Public Services

* This is not a list of recommended sites but a guide to help direct you to useful sources of information

Choosing your GCSE options can be tricky it can leave you wondering where to start, firstly you don’t have to make these decisions on your own, there is a lot of help and support available on this next part of your journey.

Making this decision doesn’t have to be difficult a great starting point is to think about what subjects you enjoy and are doing well in. The next couple of years are about laying the foundations to map your future, Look at the bigger picture and choose a broad array of subjects this will help keep your options open in the future.

What are GCSE’s?

GCSE’s are up to level 2 qualifications that young people are required to take, some are compulsory and others are optional. Everyone must study Maths, English and science and depending which school you go to there may be other compulsory subjects too.

GCSE’s are graded from 9-1, 9 being the highest, and grade 4 / 5 being the pass required to move onto level 3 qualifications. Having 5 GCSE passes will give you more options, If you do not pass English and Maths as a minimum grade 4 you will be required to carry on studying these subjects till you turn 18.

Different levels explained

You are currently studying level 1 qualifications, your GCSE option choices are level 2 qualifications .if you achieve  5 GCSE’s at grades 4 and above you have competed your level 2 and you will then move onto level 3 (level 3 is the equivalent of A’levels ) If you don’t achieve your GCSEs don’t worry, you still have plenty of options and can study on the level that’s right for you.

Choosing your options

Whilst choosing your options you should think about what Interests you and motivates you. Questions you can ask yourself are:-

What subjects do you enjoy the most? Do you have any career ideas? How do I like to learn? you may need specific subjects if you do have career ideas and you may want to also study these at post 16.

Think of how you learn, do you like completing practical tasks? Or do you prefer to sit an exam? If you like more practical tasks you may want to choose more coursework-based subjects, these are called BTECS or if you prefer to just sit an exam the academic root may suit you better.

Your school will give you information on all your options, this may be via a booklet with all option subjects to choose from and there may be an options evening planned in, make sure you and your parents / carers attend this!

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do your research, gather as much information from your career’s lessons, from careers booklets and your schools option booklet.
  • Do choose wisely, it may feel like a long way off though these choices may affect what you do after GCSE’s
  • Do think about how you learn in class, Does the subject suit you and how you like to learn
  • Do speak to your parents, teachers and careers adviser, they are all there to support your choices.
  • Don’t choose a subject because you think it’s easy
  • Don’t leave it till the last minute to choose your option choices. Spaces on popular choices fill up quickly.
  • Don’t choose a subject because your friends are doing it, you may be put into different classes,
  • Don’t choose a subject because you like the teacher, the teacher may be teaching a different subject or key stage.

Other options

From age 14 you could look at studying at other places, your local Further education college have options at 14 -16 to study vocational / academic subjects

A University Technical college (UTC) offer vocational and academic subjects that specialise in specific subjects usually in engineering or Sciences

studio school for students aged 14 to 19 provide project-based work placements fall vocational and academic qualifications

Checklist action points

Whatever path you decide you don’t have to make all these decisions on your own, Speak to those around you

  • Your form tutors, teachers, and mentors know you well and have specific subject knowledge
  • Book a careers interview with your career’s adviser, even if you don’t know what you want to do or know where to start, they will give you the tools to make a start
  • Speak to your family, they also know you well, older siblings will have gone through this process and can support you on where to look
  • Research, use online careers portals and careers platforms, find out how to apply to other places, you can apply to more than one place and decide later where you would like to attend.
  • go to schools open evenings, taster sessions give you an insight to that subject. The more information and research you do the more equipped you are in making a great decision

When you complete your GCSE’s the law says you must continue in education or training till you are aged 18. There is an option to suit you regardless of what you have achieved so far. Staying on at school is one option, however you may decide you would like to change environments and look at a different sixth form or further education college, an apprenticeship or a job with training.

Qualifications

The whole reason you require qualifications is to open up opportunities, qualifications are required for the vast majority of jobs, employers are asking for the minimum of maths and English To gain an entry level position. The main types of qualifications are either academic or vocational you can choose from Alevels, BTECS, Applied vocational CTECS, T-levels. T levels are the newest qualification on the market.

Different levels explained

You are currently studying level 2 qualifications, if you achieve  5 GCSE’s at grades 4 and above you have competed your level 2 and you now have the option to move to level 3(level 3 is the equivalent of A’levels ) If you don’t achieve your GCSEs don’t worry, you still have plenty of options and can study on the level that’s right for you.

What are your options and what are the differences?

As we have said there are a fair few choice as to what to study and where. Things to ask yourself, is would you like to be in a new environment or stay where you are.

School sixth form / Sixth form college

Staying on at your sixth form school may be an option for you, you have been at your school for 5 years and you may like the familiarity of it. The sixth form maybe in a different part of the school and can be more formal than going to college. There could be a specific dress e.g. business dress. You will find there will be more subjects, and some different ones  that you may not have studied before. Make sure you do your research and find out about them.

If a school sixth form is not for you, you can look at sixth form colleges that accommodate year 12 and year 13’s only.

An apprenticeship or traineeship

An apprenticeship is a where you earn and learn, you have a full-time job within a specific sector and you also work towards a qualification in that sector. Apprenticeships can take 1 – 4 years to complete.

Traineeships

Traineeships are where you undertake work experience in a specific sector, you can apply for a trainee ship if you are struggling to get onto an apprenticeship, you may just need to learn some extra skills before embarking on an apprenticeship. Traineeships usually take 26 weeks to complete, and you can move into an apprenticeship after.

Employment with accredited training voluntary work with training

You can decide to gain employment, either employed or self-employed or hold voluntary work for a minimum of 20 hours a week, however you must also study towards an accredited nationally recognised qualification at the same time

More information can be found in the further education tab on the website

Calendar To Do list

In the Autumn term (September to December)

  • Research all your post 16 options find out what courses interests you, go to open days, look online at schools and colleges websites, check entry requirements.
  • Check to see where you make the application, you may apply through a careers platform or on separate applications, speak to your careers adviser about this.
  • Create an email address that looks professional enough to share with external companies, colleges and schools. You will need access to this so don’t loose your password.
  • Attend post 16 assemblies and tutor time where post 16 options will be discussed
  • Check deadlines with your school, this is really important, you may only have this term to complete all your post 16 applications especially for A’Level courses
  • Write up a personal statement, you will need this to apply to some places, you will also need a section of this statement for a CV
  • Be prepared for a post 16 interview. Your colleges or other schools will want to interview to see if you are suitable for the course you have applied to.
  • Have a Plan A and a plan B

In the spring term (January to April)

  • Check your emails regularly, you will have had invites for interviews, and you may need to confirm these
  • Have you made enough applications? It’s ok to change your mind however you still need a back up plan, the longer you leave it the less choice you have and you may not get a place on that course.
  • Are your grades on track? If you are falling behind you need to speak to your teachers sooner rather than later, your school may put on extra catch up lessons.
  • If you want to apply to Further Education college you should also be putting in your applications.
  • It’s a great time to create a CV especially if you are interested in an apprenticeship, you will see more apprenticeship vacancies start to appear.
  • Attend any apprenticeship events, go and network with employers and speak to them about your goals, remember they want you on board too.

Summer term (April – July)

  • If you have not made any applications you need to go and speak to your careers adviser, they will help you get something in place before you leave.
  • Keep checking your emails and online applications and confirming your choices. If you don’t confirm your choices you may loose your place.
  • Now is a great time to do some work experience or voluntary work, speak to a teacher or careers adviser about this.

Checklist action points

What ever path you decide to investigate you don’t have to make all these decisions on your own, Speak to those around you

  • Your form tutors, teachers, and mentors know you well and have specific subject knowledge
  • Book a careers interview with your career’s adviser, even if you don’t know what you want to do or know where to start, they will give you the tools to make a start
  • Speak to your family, they also know you well, older siblings will have gone through this process and can support you with where to look
  • Research, use online careers portals and careers platforms, find out how to apply to other places, you can apply to more than one place and decide later where you would like to attend.
  • Look at FE websites, go to open evenings, taster sessions give you an insight to that subject. The more information and research you do the more equipped you are in making a great decision

Your choices at 18

Now that you have completed year 13 your next part of your journey is:

  • Doing a higher education level course – either full-time, part-time or by distance learning, at a university or a college
  • Doing an Intermediate, Advanced, Higher or Degree Apprenticeship
  • Getting a job that offers training
  • Doing a vocational course at a Further Education College
  • Taking a year out (a gap year)

As always, getting advice and support from those who know you or are career specialists is very important, as is finding out about the different employment options available to you and the qualifications and skills you need for a particular career.

What You Need to Know
  • There are times in your life when you will need to decide what to do next such as making option choices throughout school and deciding what to do when you leave school.
  • It can be difficult to make the right choice, especially when there are so many options available.
  • It’s important that you have the right information about each of your choices so that you can make the right decision.
  • It can help to have some career ideas as this can help you decide which route to take
Things to Think About
  • Make sure you have all the information about each option including how you can progress, as some options may limit what you can go on to do afterwards.
  • Make sure you choose a route that suits your learning style – look at how each option is taught and assessed and how you will learn. For example, Apprenticeships are competence-based and involve you carrying out tasks in a real work environment.
  • Pathways can be complicated, if you are unsure, speak to an adviser.
  • Don’t just apply for one option, apply for as many as you can, that way you will have longer to find out more and make up your mind.
To Do
  • Find out all your available options in your school or area:
  • If it’s school options – read through the options booklet carefully.
  • For after Year 11 – get all your local sixth form and college prospectuses and register on the Apprenticeships website.
  • If you’re 17 or 18 – register for the Apprenticeships website, find out about jobs and look on the UCAS website for Higher Education courses.
  • Attend options events and open days to help you find out about what is available and where they’re delivered.
  • Make applications in good time so that you can confirm your places and concentrate on final exams and coursework. Some places may even have a specific closing date you need to be aware of.
  • Find out who to speak to in your school if you’re unsure what to do.

Pathways

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