Life after GCSEs - a guide to getting it right

The academic year is half way through so 15 and 16 year olds are already planning what they want to do after their GCSEs.

Get career ready at Chesterfield College.
Get career ready at Chesterfield College.

Julie Richards, principal and chief executive officer of Chesterfield College, offers some useful tips to help with the decision making process:

1. Take stock.

Work out what interests you as well as thinking about the jobs which might be available now and in the

future. It makes sense to study something you enjoy alongside knowing there are opportunities for you.

Work to your strengths and think about the qualifications and skills needed to get that dream job.

2. Get some advice

Don’t try and work it all out yourself. Our careers guidance team are available on open days and on the

other end of the phone. Learn from employers about the skills that are valued in the work place. Speak

to someone at school as well using free online guides like Career Coach to match your interests to

courses and careers.

3. Choose what works for you

The possibilities are endless. Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications are a perfect fit for practical

people who prefer to learn by doing. For those who are more academic, A Levels might be the best

option. There will be a level and study style to suit you and prepare you for the career you want.

4. Take a good look at all the options

Whether you’re staying on at school, starting college or choosing an apprenticeship, go along to open

days to find out the facts and compare what each has to offer. It isn’t just the course content that you

will learn more about, you will really get a sense of what it will be like to study or work in each place.

5. Give it a try

Getting work experience or volunteering will help you to decide if you’re suited to a job, get vital skills

and look great on your CV. February half term is also the perfect time to give college a try at the Taster

Sessions we run. Have a look at what’s on here

Remember, exploring all the options and keeping an open mind means you’ll choose well and you will make

it happen.