Choosing a subject/course at 16/17

What effect will the courses and subjects I study at 16 or 17 have on my choice of career?

The next step you take in education, and the type of course you study, will have a significant effect on your future options. Here are some issues you need to consider:

  • Do you have a career in mind? If you do – research the entry requirements carefully. Make sure you know the level of course you will need to achieve. Find out if any specific subjects or courses are required. We have lots of careers information on the site to help you with this research
  • Would you prefer to study for a specific career area or continue with subject study? Some jobs and careers require you to get specific vocational qualifications.
  • Find out what students who left the course recently are actually doing now. Did they continue with their studies or enter work?

Surely I have to have career or job in mind by now?

  • Not necessarily. However if you do have a job or career in mind check the entry requirements carefully. We have lots of careers information on the site to help you with this research.
  • This site also has a wide range of leaflets on topics such as Careers with Maths, Engineering etc. They are well worth checking out.

Can I start from scratch on a completely new course?

  • Yes – and many 16 and 17 year olds go on to new courses. Research is the answer.  Do you know any students already studying these subjects? Ask them what the subject is like.  Use school and college web sites to find out as much as you can. All schools and colleges run open days or information session for post 16 students.

I am confused about qualifications?

Have a look at our qualification wheel and our qualifications section.

Where do I start?

Don’t jump in at the deep end and make your choices straight away.
The best approach is:

  1. Get as much information as you can;
  2. Take time thinking things through;
  3. Listen to advice from people who know what they are talking about;
  4. Make a shortlist;
  5. Check it out again and make a choice.

What are my education or career options at 16?

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