After A-Levels - Work or University

April 22, 2016

After A-Levels: Work or University?

Are you going to college or work after A-Levels?

On the run up to finishing A-Levels, or a vocational equivalent there is usually a lot of talk about your 'next steps'. Your place of learning may be pushing for you to apply to University, your parents may be mixed and you may just want to get out there and earn money. So how do you choose?

University Pros

University can be a wonderful experience; you get to move out, meet new people and challenge yourself in a new learning environment. You can choose a course which develops you mentally and gives you room to consider what career you would like to go into. A University degree can open doors for you and also teach you to be independent in many ways.

University Cons

One of the biggest concerns most people have about University is the cost, you need to look at how much you will be spending overall. This is a discussion you need to have with you parents, if they cannot help you do not be deterred, there are lots of loan plans that are set up - get advice here. University is generally a time to branch out academically, if you are not keen on studying hard (and often independently) this may not be for you.

Work Pros

Getting into the working world straight from sixth-form or college can be a great idea. If you want to get some real working experience or want financial independence this could be for you. Begin with writing a CV and job hunting in your area.

Work Cons


When you go straight from Further Education into the working environment it is likely you will be starting at the bottom, this may mean working a job that is not very challenging and the pay might not be great either. Working a 37-40 hour week can be a bit of a shock to the system also so be aware some social activities may suffer.


Your Path, Your Choice


Ultimately you must remember your decision after Further Education is completely up to you. If you choose University, you may come across some hurdles such as finances but you may also be completely suited for University life and thrive there. If you choose work, you may find it unrewarding or you may love it. There are lots of things you can do so weigh up your options carefully, speak to those around you about what you want but remember to choose your own path.

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