Choosing a subject/course at 14
What effect the courses and subjects I study in years 10 and 11 have on my choice of career?
Your choice of GCSE subjects will have some effect on what you can do in the future. However choosing subjects that suit you and your abilities is most important. If you have a career in mind you need to check out what subjects you might need. You can do that by looking up a career on our site.
If you do not have a career in mind – that’s fine. Your school must offer you a broad and balanced choice so if you have the opportunity to choose between subjects go for a good balance. This will keep your career options open later on.
This site also has a wide range of leaflets on topics such as Careers with Maths, Art and Design after year 9. You can find these here. They are well worth checking out.
Why must I study certain subjects?
In years 10 and 11 you must study Maths, English, Science and Welsh. This usually means GCSEs, but these subjects will also be available at other levels e.g. entry level.
Skills in number and communicating are vital to help you progress at 16. English and maths are the subjects most often required for courses and careers. Doing as well as you possibly can in maths and English now will definitely improve your chances of getting a job or course later in life.
The world of work in is becoming more technical. Science helps you understand the world around you and teaches you very useful problem solving skills. Employers in particular regard these skills as really important. Many jobs require an understanding of science. Check out any career ideas you may have to find out if you need specific science subjects.
Many public organisations in Wales offer services in Welsh. If you would like to live and work in Wales a working knowledge of the Welsh language can be a great asset.
Help! My school is offering subjects and courses I have never heard of!
Then find out more! Ask subject teachers and your tutor for more information. There may be students in year 10 or 11 already studying these subjects – ask them what the subject is like. Check out your school web site - it may already have some information about subjects. If your school holds a year 9 options evening make sure you go along and find out what you can from subject teachers.
What subjects will I be able to do in my school?
Each school will offer a slightly different range of subjects and courses but you will be offered a wide and balance choice. You will be given a list of subjects and told what choices you can make. If this hasn’t happened in your school yet ask your tutor when you will be getting more information. When you are given your options information make sure that you understand what you need to do and what choices you can make. Speak to your tutor or head of year if you are confused.
I am confused about qualifications?
Where do I start?
Don’t jump in at the deep end and make your choices straight away.
The best approach is -
- Get as much information as you can;
- Take time thinking things through;
- Listen to advice from people who know what they are talking about;
- Make a shortlist;
- Check it out again and make a choice;
Use our Are you ready’ checklist?
Your school will give you lots of help but get involved for yourself.
Can you get a green light in every section?