Your choices at 14
Keep your options open!
Although it is a good thing to start thinking about the type of jobs and career you might like to do in the future, at 13/14 young people are usually just begininning to explore their options.
At this stage, just gather information and have a look at the choices - you don’t need to make any firm decisions about your future career area right now.
Get advice from teachers, family and careers advisers too!
Be aware the law has changed!
Any student in Y10 from September 2013 will need to be in some form of education or training until they are 18.
You will not need to stay in school until you are 18. There will be a range of things to choose from:
- Full-time education, such as school or college;
- An Apprenticeship;
- Part-time education or training if you are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week
If you want to read more about the Raising of the Participation Age follow this link to a government document aimed at young people.
Choosing your Key stage 4 subjects:
GCSEs are the main qualifications young people do in key stage 4. You will have some choices about some subjects but there are some which are compulsory like: English, Maths, Science, etc.
Most GCSEs will be good general preparation for further learning and work so it’s not crucial to choose specific subjects to fit with a specific career, at this stage.
But be aware that some careers, like medicine, nursing, etc. will be looking for GCSEs in the science subjects as well as in other subjects. Find out more about how Russel Group Universities consider pre-16 qualifications.
Also, employers do want good GCSE grades in English and maths - so bear that in mind when your GCSEs get started!
If you are thinking about doing A Levels post 16 then find out what grades of GCSEs you will need. And, if you are thinking about higher education, be aware that because some courses and universities are so competitive, they will look at your GCSE results as well as later qualifications like A Levels, BTECs, etc.
Some schools will also offer vocational qualifications alongside GCSEs. Vocational qualifications offer practical learning directly related to a specific job role. These can be a good option if you have a job sector in mind or if you would like to gain employability skills linked to a specific job area. Find out more about vocational qualifications and ask your school what's on offer to you.
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