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Not sure if going away to university is the right option for you? - Starting College

It’s not for everyone so don’t panic! You may want to stay close to home, or circumstances may restrict going away to university, whether financial or person. Or you may just want to consider other options then that type of study – which is absolutely fine.

Have a peek at what you could do:

1.An apprenticeship

Apprenticeships aren’t just for 16 year olds in the construction trades. That suits some young people, but in recent years there’s been a boom in apprenticeship opportunities, information and opportunities. Also, you now have the option to a higher apprenticeship, which is designed for sixth form leavers, who want a degree, but want to be employed at the same time. Higher apprenticeship areas range from everything including Construction, Engineering, HR to Accounting. You’ll attend College one day a week for your studies, and gain key industry experience in your workplace. Find out more about apprenticeships.

2.Higher education

Higher education is designed for students aged 18+ and can include a degree, but that’s not all. Higher education courses include Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Foundation Degrees and full degrees – and each are qualifications in their own right. Generally you can also study locally to where you live too, and they can be more affordable than the potential £9000 a year university tuition fee.


Some of you just want to head straight on into employment and start earning a wage! Have a think about the industry area that suits you, and the prospects within it. Depending on your existing qualification, you’ll probably be able to enter at entry level to begin with, and work your way up with experience. You may also be able to gain other qualifications too, allowing you to progress or specialise. These can include professional training (like for accountancy and HR), or higher education like the construction, engineering or healthcare sectors.


For some careers (like teaching or the medical sciences) you will need to achieve a relevant degree. It is becoming more common in job adverts to request a degree in other industry areas, but some employers are more open-minded if you can prove yourself in other ways such as through gaining relevant industry experience through placements or internships. Head to a few university open days, UCAS fairs or check out your local study options to see whether university is for you, and whether a degree is necessary for your future employment.

So don’t worry, if all of your friends have chosen a certain option, that does not mean you have to do it too! Check out online about the different career options available to you, and the best way to enter that career. Talk to your friends and family, or one of the impartial careers advisers at the College.


If you're looking for somewhere closer to home, MidKent college offer university level and professional courses in Kent for all students.

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