Alternative routes after Sixth Form/College

So, the dust has settled a bit after tens of thousands of students received their A-level results last week. For those with their sights on University this must’ve been an intense and nerve wrecking day. The listed letters on the A4 sheet of paper hanging in the school hall determined if they would be going to the Uni of their dreams or if they’d have to go through clearing frantically searching for a relevant course or location.

This is also an extremely pressured time for the students who don’t know what they want to do… Being charged with deciding your future career at 18 is, well, a lot! But being young is also an asset. What better time to experiment, to try different working experiences, trying things out practically to see if you can find something you’re really good at or eliminating the things you aren’t interested in.


So, for those of you who want to take a minute before you dive into 3-years-worth of Higher Education or explore other options, here are some alternative routes you can look at;

  •  An apprenticeship or Traineeship(ideal for creatives, develop your skills, experience and network) Read more about them here:
  • Gap years(time out to focus on your next journey, focus on you and gain more experience and skills) Read more here:
  • Overseas studying(great to gain independence, can be cheaper and you become internationally savvy) Read more about studying overseas here:


“Not going to university was the best decision I’ve ever made. I got bored of books and didn’t like taking exams, but still wanted to be in a learning environment and get a qualification. I knew that apprenticeships would allow me to go to a college and have that freedom of not being tied down and have coursework instead. Being directly in the creative industry, I feel like progression is more attainable to achieve whilst having an income, education and experience…sounds like a no-brainer to me.” Yovan (didn’t go to Uni)

“I think going to university can be a great experience and help you learn how to live more independently if you go away to study. But if you are asking me if I used my degree in my career, I have to be honest and say not really.  As a manager working in the creative industries, I am more impressed by a young person’s work experience and seeing how you are building your network and skills through volunteering than academic qualifications.” Natalie (went to Uni)


For more support: