As higher education advisers, we’re often asked
by students and parents how important their
post-16 options are for their future education
and career prospects.
If your young person knows what career they want to go into, then it’s important that they choose the right options to get them on the right path. They can research their chosen occupation and find out what qualifications they need, working backwards to choose the relevant options for post-16 study. There aren’t as many occupations as you might expect that require specific qualifications, other than the obvious examples such as doctors, engineers or dentists – these professions require specific qualifications which need to be considered at Level 3.
There are so many options, it can feel overwhelming. Some of the most common post-16 qualifications include A Levels, Scottish Highers, T Levels and Apprenticeships.
The key is to be well-informed by undertaking
research, and the good news is that there are
a lot of online resources that can help. If your
young person wants to go to university, it is
important to note that not all degrees demand
a particular set of qualifications. However, your
young person needs to make sure that they
don’t limit their areas of interest by taking the
wrong subjects for their post-16 options. They
can use websites such as The Russell Group
Informed Choices web page which will help
them with the pathways they could take. UCAS
and UniTasterDays.com are also great sources
If your young person wants to take a science pathway, then they will almost certainly need to take at least one science subject at Level 3, whereas social sciences and arts and humanities subjects tend to have fewer prerequisites. If your young person still doesn’t know the path they want to follow for post-18 study, then it’s good advice to take a mix of subjects for their post-16 qualifications. Most importantly, they should study subjects they’ll enjoy.
Reassure your young person that they don’t need to have everything figured out right now; many students, even when they reach Year 13, still don’t know what they want to do. All you can do as a parent or supporter is be there to help them as they make their choices. It’s also important that they don’t feel any pressure about making the ‘wrong’ choice. Remind them that if they change their mind part way through their studies, or even during their career, it’s never too late to take their future in another direction.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
by Rebecca Wills
posted on 22 Feb '24
With so many graduates now entering the job market, a degree alone is not always enough. It is therefore very important that you work on developing your employability skills throughout your time at university, and university careers services are experts in offering a range of support to help you achieve this successfully. I will tell you more about some of the opportunities here.