Think about it. In a world of self-service checkouts, virtual personal assistants, driverless cars and automated factories, job security is looking like a thing of the past.
Are you going to be spending years studying and training for a job that Wall-E will be doing by the time you’re thirty?
The Guardian are a bit concerned that lecturers in financially struggling unis will soon be replaced by AI technology in digital classrooms.
That’s not all, a BBC article back in June came out with the shocking statistic that, by 2030, 20 million factory jobs alone will have been taken over by robots.
If you’re thinking of going to uni in September 2020 and you haven’t thought about which unis you're going to apply to yet, you’d better level up and get a move on.
You’ve got until mid-January to complete your application for most courses, but Oxbridge, medicine and veterinary courses have deadlines that are less than a month away (October 15th).
Even if you’re not planning on applying for those courses, all unis have already started accepting applications. Leaving it until the January deadline is like joining a long queue for a small cake.
Gap years used to be thought of as something only rich people or unreliable people did. These days, however, everyone is taking gap years, from young adults just out of high school to people in their mid-20s or 30s who want to take a sabbatical from work and travel for longer. A gap year should be seen as a way to achieve your goals, personal and professional, instead of a questionable gap in your CV.
This article will give you tips on how to present your gap year in a way that highlights the benefits and how you’ve learned from it. These suggestions can be used either in a traditional CV for job applications or in a cover letter or personal essay for students who are applying to higher education.
We know that making real-life decisions and the whole UCAS commotion is basically a year away, but before you know it these choices will be getting all up in your face and demanding attention.
Then there's all the exams, revision, coursework, birthdays/bar mitzvahs/weddings and the highly repostable memes... so it's never too soon to get focused.
Besides, what's sixth form all about anyway? If you can work out where it's heading, it gives the next two years more purpose, more focus — maybe even more fun and success.
What we're saying is that, however early it seems, now's a great time to be thinking about two of the big questions; what do you want to do and where do you want to do it?
Spending a semester abroad to study is an incredible opportunity that can change your life. It’s important to be aware of certain mistakes people make so that you can avoid them and make sure that your time abroad is as rewarding and exciting as it can be.
If you’re a new student, chances are you’ve already experienced the sweet satisfaction that comes with seeing your bank account filled to the brim when your Student Loan arrives.
It may seem like a lot at the time, and the temptation to live like a king and blow it all on pizza/alcohol/Netflix subscriptions may be irresistible. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
But, if budgeting isn’t your strong suit and you find yourself short on funds, or if your Student Loan doesn’t quite cover your living costs, you may decide to also pick up part-time work while you’re studying.
A wise move. After all, even if you don’t think you need it, a little extra cash to burn never hurt, right?
If you are looking for part-time work, there are plenty of websites out there to find the job that works for you.
Procrastination can be a serious productivity killer. It can get you into all sorts of deadline troubles, leading to frantic keyboard tapping and energy drink fuelled all-nighters.
It’s not just you – besides the most diligent and proactive of us, we’re pretty much all in this together. Picture the High School Musical number, except none of us want to dance right now. Maybe later.
So when the Independent reported on a uni student who blitzed through her dissertation project in a single night, mere hours before her deadline, we can’t say we weren’t a bit awe-struck.
And incredibly stressed on her behalf. But still. Impressive.
We talk a lot about gap years, we know. And what does that actually entail, bathing baby elephants in your brightly patterned harem pants? Volunteering your time to dig out wells, or teach disadvantaged children?
Sure, if that’s your idea of a dream year out. Go for it. But don’t worry too much about matching the stereotypes.
A year out is whatever the hell you want to make of it. Travelling and volunteering are two popular avenues, of course. Chances are you’re young and not tied down with any scary responsibilities like a mortgage and steady 9-5, why wouldn’t you go see the world?
You’ve done it. You made it through two years of intensive studies, coursework, endless revision, and one hell of an exam period. Go you!
This week, it’s finally time to reap the rewards.
If everything goes to plan, you’ll wind up with the grades you were hoping for and everything will be hunky dory. Party time. On with the plan, whether that be heading to uni, taking an apprenticeship, heading out on a gap year or going into work.
So the weather might not still be living up to the full promise of Summer, but the freedom must still be tasting sweet.
We’re not suggesting you bog yourself down worrying about the waning August days and the darkening evenings, but it’s a good idea to start getting serious about what year 13 holds for you.
It might still seem far off, but if you’re planning on going to uni in 2020, things are going to start moving at light speed. We’re talking open days and summer schools, personal statements, UCAS applications, student finance, interviews, offers, accommodation…
This third and final part starts with the end: my concluding message to young people: listen to others openly and impartially about their varying experiences after school - of higher education routes and non-higher education routes. Understand you have a choice, more than you realise, and that all anyone else can do is offer you advice and never tell you which choice is 'best', because best is something only you can decide...because no one is inside your own head and feels the way you feel when placed in different environments with different people doing different activities (place and people will affect your choices more than you know).
So, you want to go to uni next year? Great, exams are out of the way and there’s nothing more you can do on that front.
And sure, you should be out enjoying your last summer of pure, unadulterated freedom. But now you’ve got a prime opportunity to give yourself a head-start by prepping for the year ahead.
Maybe think about thinking about creating a budget. It doesn’t matter if you have no idea what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather have your teeth pulled than check your bank statement. The important thing is to know where you stand so that you can plan ahead.
And that means no nasty surprises, you savvy, forward-thinker, you.
Wherever you are, school’s pretty much out for Summer now. You might have another week or so, but no one really does anything with that time anyway. You’re on the home stretch.
So, how are you going to max out your time off?
First thing’s first: relax. Yeah, you heard us. You won’t get many more opportunities in life to bliss out quite like this. Sure, there are some big decisions looming, and maybe some important exams in the not so distant future, but that’s tomorrow’s problem. Today’s for chilling.
Tomorrow though… it might be a good time to start looking for some part-time work to keep yourself busy.
You’ve got the next six weeks of freedom ahead of you – use it wisely! Whether you’re thinking of going away to uni, taking an apprenticeship or just getting your own place sometime soon, learning to cook is an incredible life skill.
Trust us, the instant noodles get old real quick. (And we’re not talking expiry dates. Monosodium Glutamate will outlast us all.)
So now that you’ve got the time, why not learn something new? This summer is a great opportunity to help out in the kitchen, learn some recipes and techniques, and test drive a few dishes.
Nothing is safe in the digital age, and recruitment is no exception. Gone are the days where employers rely solely on face-to-face traditional interviews.
Now you’ve got phone interviews, conference calls, Skype interviews, online or virtual aptitude tests and cognitive tasks.
So, how do you prepare?
The sun’s (sort of) shining, but September is going to roll around quicker than you think. So if you’re moving away from home, start to consider who you might want to live with in the next academic year.
Going to uni for the first time?
If you’re moving into halls as a fresher, no need to worry about picking a roommate. That’s all done for you.
Granted, they may not be your dream roomie – most unis try to at least do some sort of compatibility matching when they lump people in together, but it’s rudimentary at best and no one expects everyone in a flat or hall to be besties.
I was always passionate about scuba diving and even considered joining the Royal Navy (my dad and granddad used to do a lot of UK scallop diving in Dorset), but this idea was talked down quickly in my school not by words, but through a lack of them: if I mentioned them, no one really knew how to respond to it so just politely smiled and nodded. It was the same when I had the idea of applying to drama school. I ended up choosing from a choice that wasn't mine: filling out my UCAS form and narrowing the choices down to Nottingham University and Queen Mary University of London. I at least chose London because of the wider pull of the city.
More on that in part 3. Coming up next month..
90% of apprentices in England stayed on in employment after completing their qualification; 71% with the same employer (so says the Government). That's great news, but if you're considering degree-level apprenticeships at a college or a university (yes really), you'll need to know the realities of them. In short, they are just like level 3 (advanced) apprenticeships: quality of skills on offer, healthy balance between course/work, wage paid and no guarantee of a full-time job at the end of the course.
There's 3 other factors that are huge, which the company funding the apprenticeship will rarely mention, particularly for apprenticeships at degree level: the brutal level of competition, the ease of access from you geographically, and most importantly of all: your genuine level of passion for what they offer (a mix of your curiosity, attitude, what you want from life, and your motivation).
If you're heading to uni, in just about three months’ time you'll be packing up your life to continue it somewhere else for the next three plus years. The weeks between getting your results and starting term scoot by and unis start allocating their housing the moment the grades are out.
There are four basic housing choices for students – living at home, living in, living out or private halls.
The first thing I was told in my sixth form wasn't "do you want to go to university?" it was "ok everyone, here's the date when we'll be prepping your UCAS forms." At the time, this all felt completely normal, because you don't question what you don't know. And for most of the less-brave of us, from figures of authority. No one on the Taylor side of my family had ever undertaken an education course past the age of 18, which didn't help when being told "here's the university application form. Let's fill it out".
Chances are, at some point, you’re going to have to head out into the wonderful world of work. Cash in your pocket, and a rewarding career you enjoy. Win-win. But you have to earn that dream job, and the biggest hurdle is the interview.
The “I” word is enough to fill anyone with dread, but don’t panic. To start, try to forget everything you think you know about interviews, and instead flip it on it’s head – sure, you want to impress, but you’re interviewing them to make sure the job is perfect for you.
If you’ve heard from all your unis, have made your decision and told them about it, then you’re done with application process for now.
Congrats. Breathe a tiny sigh of relief.
But don't take your foot off the pedal just yet. Now you need to get your grades or meet any other ‘ifs’ and ‘buts' your chosen unis may have asked for. You may not be in Year 12, but take a look at the revision tips above.
Whether you’re writing your very first CV and cover letter, or working from an old one that’s full of ‘hobbies’ you’ve only ever done once, or questionable ‘work experience’, you’re now at an age where having a strong CV and cover letter is extremely important.
After all, who doesn’t want to earn some extra cash or, most importantly, get experience that’s going to impress companies when you leave school or graduate.
Nearly all employers require a CV and cover letter as part of the application process. So, it’s important that you understand the basics of drafting them. To help you out, we’ve pulled together our advice on how to write a CV and cover letter.
So, you're settled into the swing of sixth form. In the future is Christmas and your next proper break. Sadly, that’s not all it holds: the future’s creeping up on you like a scary clown. The difference is your future's not a goofy fourteen-year-old in a mask.
Good student finance is difficult. It’s not like riding a bike. And if it was it would be the worst bike in the world, with pins sticking out of the seat and no pedals.
A typical student will be living away from home for the first time. There’ll probably be no financial safety net as you booze your way around town racking up debt.
There’s a simple answer to this problem - start as you mean to go on. Embrace student life, but make sure your head is screwed on before you take the plunge.
Our guide teaches you 5 habit-forming tips that will work wonders for your meagre budget, freeing you up to focus on study, and of course having fun…
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