GCSE test

As many students in their mid-teens will know, the all-important General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is a stepping-stone to further education, so achieving good grades is essential if you want to have more career options. Once you have finished this set of examinations, there are a number of options available.

Stay at school

Many students choose to continue at school by studying for A-levels in a few selected subjects. This is the obvious path to take if you plan to go on to university, with the two-year program culminating in a series of exams for each subject. Your career counsellor would certainly be able to advise you on which A-level subjects to study, enabling you to enter the right university. Here is some information about post GCSE options, which looks at the choices available for young learners.

Vocational colleges

Alternatively, there are reputable colleges that offer sixth form A-level courses, where you have a more relaxed atmosphere. Many aspiring builders, engineers and chefs enroll in vocational courses that are tailored to their profession, giving the student valuable hands-on working experience, as well as classroom academics. Many reputable colleges in London, such as East London College, offer a wide range of courses to suit everyone, and a simple online search will help you source the right institution.

Part time education

Many people prefer to start work and continue their education in the evenings and at weekends. This helps with funding and also gives the young person valuable practical experience in the workplace. For those that are not employed, there are many opportunities for volunteer work, which also prepare you for the practicalities of a working career. Many volunteer programs offer free training where you study at a college once or twice a week. Here is some more information about study options for teenagers in the UK, with many links to government agencies.


This is the chosen path for many tradespeople, as it is the best way to acquire the necessary skills. A mixture of theory and practical application, an apprenticeship typically lasts for four years and culminates with a certificate of competence, which is an industry standard.

The ideal environment

If you are in an apprenticeship, you will be from 16 to 18 years old and will work for your employer no longer than 40 hours per week. You will receive a wage and on the job training, plus you will study at a reputable college for a nationally recognised qualification.

Consider your options carefully

With so many career possibilities, it makes sense to plan your future. Starting with what subjects you enjoy, you can plan your way to a great career, and with scholarships and funding available, your chosen career is within your grasp. Secondary schools employ the services of career guidance counsellors, who are trained in helping young people to find the right career and map out the path to a successful working life. There are also many reputable colleges that offer the best courses, which are designed to meet the competitive standards of our modern world, enabling the students to forge a successful career.