By James Timpson
- The 6th form years bridge the gap between compulsory education and passion. Choosing your A-levels was likely the first important decision that you had to make in life; and while it can have significant bearing on your career choice, it’s by no means a be-all and end-all.
If you’re planning on leaving education and stepping into the real world after 6th form, there’s absolutely no need to panic if you don’t have a job lined up. It can take years to figure out what career path to take, and there are plenty of ways to land on your feet, even without degree-level qualifications.
These 7 career options could be worth pursuing if you’re still trying to figure out what to do after you complete you’re A-levels.
Starting a business is no easy task. It requires determination, capital, planning, and above all, patience. While it’s possible to start your own business straight after 6th form, the chances of failure are significantly reduced if you acquire training. If you’re in the process of choosing you’re A-levels and want to take this approach, then consider taking a business course. A business A-level will apply to any sector and will teach you everything you need to know about finance and marketing. Some universities – such as the University of St Albans – run part time evening courses, which can be very beneficial if you need to work in order to finance your studies after secondary school.
Writing is one of the few professions that does not require any qualifications. Employers will rarely ask for a CV and as long as you can demonstrate good written English skills and have a solid portfolio, you’ll be able to start your freelance copywriting career the second you leave school. Both English literature and English language A-levels look perfect on a copywriter’s CV and could be all you need to tilt the scales in your favour when applying for jobs. Websites such as ProBlogger and PeoplePerHour are a gold mine for writers and with a little bit of luck, you could land your first client within a few days of signing up.
Labour workers are highly in demand. The plumbing profession can be very well paid and doesn’t require a large investment in time or money – unlike degree-level programs – making it the perfect post-6th form career path. Oaklands College in Hertfordshire runs a full time 1 year plumbing course for £1,665. Upon completion you will be awarded a L2 Diploma in Basic Plumbing, which will leave you in a position to seek work, be it through another company or as self-employed.
The beauty of teaching is that you can turn almost any hobby or qualification into a paying position. If you want to train others in a hobby such as music, yoga, martial arts or dance, there are plenty of opportunities available in virtually every town. While 6th form won’t give you the qualifications required to teach in an educational establishment, having a few A-levels could provide the perfect platform for a backup career if teaching your hobby doesn’t work out.
According to Career Cast, investment banking is the most highly paid job you can get straight out of university and has an average starting salary of £75,000. An A-level in business or mathematics can provide a path to a further education course within the investment banking sector. While the competition will be high after you graduate, there are plenty of positions available if you can make the grade. However, if you value your free time, look elsewhere. If you want to make it as a stockbroker you’ll literally have to live and breathe the industry.
If you’re confident using technology or have decent graphic design skills, then website design could be your perfect career choice. Nowadays ICT and graphic design classes begin at GCSE level, and 6th formers make more than capable candidates for up-and-coming tech companies. The salary of a web designer can significantly vary depending on whether you work as a freelancer or take on a contract position. Qualifications aren’t essential if you have a good portfolio of work, which can be attained quite easily during A-levels.
The Internet marketing industry is constantly changing due to variations in Google’s algorithm. For this reason courses often go out-of-date very quickly. If you can spend some time building a body-of-work during your 6th form years, then jobs in search engine optimization and email marketing are plentiful. At present, the business is rapidly expanding and as long as the Internet is around, there’ll always be a demand.
While qualifications will certainly help you in your quest for employment, they won’t guarantee work. One of the primary benefits of attending 6th form is that it will leave the doors open for education if you want to change your career path in the future; therefore, you should always strive for the best grade possible. Follow Justin Craig’s Revision Guide for tips on how to perform better in exams. A-level examinations aren’t easy or stimulating; however, the result of just a few hours could significantly impact your future.