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The complete guide for applying for College and choosing your career - Careers

Applying for College. Choosing your career. If these are actions that scare you somewhat, don’t worry – you’re not alone. They are some of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life, so it’s natural to be apprehensive. But it’s important to remember, other people are in the same position and support is available.

At MidKent College, we understand these decisions are tough and studying is demanding. That’s why we make it our mission to help you get the most out of your College experience and enable you to reach your full potential, in whatever career you choose.

Why should I go to College?

If you live in England, you have to stay in education or training until the age of 18. So you either need to join a college or get a job where training included.

But this doesn’t mean it’s something that you don't get a say in. Quite the opposite. At College, you can choose to study what interests you and there are a number of options that aren’t available at most schools.

More than anything, though, College opens up a world of opportunities. You can study A levels to go onto university,
get an apprenticeship with industry experience or use your course as an entry route into a career. 

Choosing a career

Whatever your motivation for going to College, you’re going to have some decisions to make. If you’re not sure which career path to take or what qualification you’ll need for your ideal job, MidKent College can help. To do so, we offer:

  • One-to-one sessions
  • Advice via email or phone
  • Career planning and information
  • Career fairs
  • Labour market information
  • Help with CV writing and job searching
  • Online careers resources.

You should find plenty of information at your disposal. For example, take a look in your school library at the careers section. Your school might also have specialist career staff to advise you, or computer programmes to identify careers that match your interests.

The National Careers Service is a good point of contact, if you’d rather speak to one of their advisers for more details. Don’t forget about your family and friends too – they’ll have an insight into what you could excel at.

You could also ask them to visit open days or evenings with you, to help you get to know particular colleges better. Speaking to the staff who teach a certain programme, and the students who study it, is a great opportunity to discover whether it would be something you’d enjoy.

Once you’ve got a programme in mind, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will it equip me with the skills needed for a great career?
  • Does it teach me transferable skills as well?
  • What are the best jobs available in the industry it prepares me for?

Applying for College

If you’re a school leaver applying for College, you can apply through UCAS Progress. You can also apply to MidKent College directly through our website. With any application, make sure you take your time and show off your best side. This means no typos or missing information.

When applying, follow these top tips from UCAS Progress:

  • Do your research
  • Check the entry requirements of the college courses you're applying for
  • Check the courses you are applying for fit with your career or job aspirations
  • Check your spelling and grammar on your application
  • Check you've put the correct contact information on your application
  • When writing your personal statement, think about what you want to say about yourself and what the college, sixth form, or training provider needs to know about you
  • Once you've completed your application, get someone to check it for you before you submit it.

Writing a personal statement

You may have decided what programme you’d like to do, but you need to be able to explain why in your personal statement. It’s your chance to sell yourself and make a good impression.

To make sure you cover everything, UCAS Progress suggest answering the following questions in your personal statement:

  • Why are you applying for your chosen course(s)?
  • Why does this course interest you?
  • Why do you think you are suitable for the course(s)?
  • Do your current studies (such as GCSEs) relate to the course(s) you have chosen? If so, how?

Your skills and achievements, hobbies and interests, work history and career plans are all also of interest and definitely worth including in your personal statement.

When should I apply?

You can apply to study at MidKent College as soon as programmes appear on our website. Our courses are popular and some fill up quickly, so please apply as soon as possible to avoid the disappointment of missing out. You can also apply for two programmes– your main choice, and a back-up choice.

If you’re applying through UCAS Progress, applications open on October 1, but please check their website for deadlines.

What can I expect after applying to MidKent College?

After applying, you can expect to hear from the College within 10 working days. We will send you an invitation for an interview and/or assessment with the programmetutor. Please let us know if you change address or telephone number. 

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