The ever-growing possibilities and channels for the modern-day teenager to explore and develop themselves both educationally and financially is continuously provoking the same question- what next?
Life as a student studying A-levels can pose challenges to everyday life due to the high demands of dedication required to thrive in the sixth form/college environment. However, the possibility of furthering their education and eventually progressing to higher education aspires students to meet the demands of further education head-on.
The subjects of Applied Business, Sport studies and English Language and Literature have allowed me to dovetail my passions and also the qualifications I will require when progressing to higher education and also when pursuing a career further in life. They provide me with a mix of specialised skills in different areas of each subject while also allowing me to develop more basic skills such as communication and teamwork skills which will become extremely useful when attending higher education.
The transition from secondary school to a sixth form or college can be daunting to students due to the significant changes in school life as responsibility is completely transferred from teacher to student. Students must take complete accountability for the work they produce as if it is not up to standard then the only person at blame is themselves. The work demands increase significantly as the standards from GCSE life increases to the precise and rigid compulsions placed on an A-level student.
The ability to complete work experience provides students with an insight into the working environment and supplies them with more of an understanding into the direction they want to explore in terms of higher education and what field of expertise they would enjoy working in. My personal work experience consisted of a week in the software development company Collabco who are the provider of myday which is a student dashboard used by copious amounts of respected universities and colleges around the UK. The week inspired me to want to pursue a career in business after my development of the knowledge of how the company operates in all aspects from product development to marketing and sales.
Once the demanding journey of A-levels is over, the next stage in life for the student can come in various forms whether it be university, apprenticeships, working or the new degree apprenticeship programme in which students can work in cohesion with a university and an employer to gain experience in their respective field while also gaining a degree through part-time studying with a university. The benefits of the degree apprenticeship are already compelling considering the ability to gain a full bachelors or masters degree and being able to gain years of experience in the field that the student wants to pursue, however, the fact that a yearly salary is also included acts as a major component in to why more and more students are aiming to gain a degree apprenticeship. All of these contributing factors however therefore also increase the exclusivity of the degree apprenticeships and make it exceedingly harder to find one matching their credentials.
The more typical route of attending university however still strives, as during 2017-2018 roughly 2.34 million people attended higher education institutes in the UK. The opportunity of earning a degree will not only allow you to venture into the specific fields you are passionate about, but financially reward you as workers with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree earn more over their careers compared to someone who’s education ended after secondary education or further education.
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