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Your choices at 18

Things to consider and all your options

If you are about to choose your options at 18 there are plenty of things to choose from.

The choices you make will be affected by many things like your financial situation, interests, your attitude to study, your qualifications, the job market, etc.

Another big factor is the job or career you have in mind and now is a good time to really get into the detail about which job sectors you are interested in, what sort of opportunities they offer and what qualifications they are looking for.

Choices you could consider at 18

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.

Higher education

If you have Level 3 qualifications like A Levels or vocational qualifications like a BTEC Level 3 or Tech Level you could explore higher-level study. If you haven't, but would be interested in higher-level study later, there are lots of ways in through Access Courses and through study alongside work.

Not Going to Uni

If you are thinking that university is not for you then you could explore alternatives, such as:

The Not Going to Uni site and Student Ladder site have lots of information about the alternatives and advertise vacancies and opportunities for the different options.

Why skills are also important

Remember - young people with qualifications are more attractive to employers than those without. Work experience and general employability skills, such as teamwork and communication skills, are also valued.

Do you want to know what skills employers want?

Complete the Skills Profile, which will help you identify your skills and promote them when applying for courses and jobs.

If you would like to get online or telephone advice from a careers adviser you can click this link to access an adviser from the National Careers Service

If you need to write a CV for a job - here’s how to do it. 

Build an interactive CV that you can send to employers.

See how qualifications can affect pay

Often the more you learn the more you earn! That's not always true but the graph below shows that in 2017, 21-30 year-old graduates (people with a degree) earned £5,000 more than non-graduates on average, and the average working-age graduate earned £10,000 more than the average non-graduate.

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