Many, if not most of us, automatically think of going to university once we leave school and end up joining a programme. In some cases, we may start realising that a particular course wasn’t for us, or that university as a whole wasn’t the best option at the time. It may be because of the climate, the level of difficulty, or simply because the skills you want to acquire aren’t taught.
Some may already know that their intention is not to go to university and might be contemplating other options. In both cases, knowing what’s open to you is very important if you want to start your career path on the right foot. There are tonnes of great alternatives to university which will suit your needs and aptitudes the best. Here are three of them.
Pursue an apprenticeship
More and more young students are considering an apprenticeship instead of going to university nowadays. While apprenticeships have been frowned upon by some people in the past, they are becoming increasingly popular amongst students who don’t want to pile up thousands of pounds of student debt and instead want to join the workforce as soon as possible.
Apprenticeships aren’t only for manual trades either, contrary to popular opinion. Apprenticeships are also available in fields like medicine and law for instance. They are a great way to get some pre-university knowledge in the field, which could facilitate your chances of getting to something like law school later on. If you want to check apprenticeship information on various apprenticeships in your area, visit cityandguilds.com.
Consider starting a business
Starting your own business could be another viable alternative, and the best part is that you don’t even need to pursue higher education to start one. More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs nowadays, and the new economy is making this easier than ever. In fact, some of the most successful entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, have never even graduated from college.
Also, starting a business has never been cheaper. In fact, there is a plethora of great businesses that can be started with basic savings and funded with a part time role. Whether you’re using the web to showcase your portfolio, or start a small resale business from home, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Others decide to set up a small storefront using services like Shopify and Etsy and start selling and showcasing handmade crafts. Making money from your skills and passion is possible with the right tools and discipline, and by understanding your market as well.
Take a gap year
Not everybody understands the benefits that taking a gap year can give you, but there are plenty that shouldn’t be overlooked. First of all, if there was one time where you should be taking a gap year, it’s now. You’ll have no responsibility once you leave secondary school/college and this will be a great time to reflect on what you really want to do instead of rushing into a programme just because.
This could also be a great opportunity to explore other options as well. You could try your hand at starting a business to see if that works for you, or you could even get a high paying entry level job. You may find that a good entry level job gives you all the benefits you need, and you might have great chances for advancement. Take your gap year as a time for reflection, this way, you’ll be clearer on what your career path should be once you enter university if you ever do.
University isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to getting the career of your dreams. While holding a university degree might seem prestigious, you should focus on where you want to get to first and consider other options that could get you there if you want to increase your chances of finding your true calling.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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