Have you received your GCSE results? Are you confused about what you should do next? You need not panic. More options are available now than ever before for those seeking further education. Therefore, it pays to be aware of the different options so that you can pick one that best suits your needs. Many students are opting for further education now and getting trained so that they are in possession of a range of skills and broader qualifications outside the traditional A level route.
Diploma studies involve some classroom coaching and more of hands-on practical training. These programs help you to learn a new skill that is focused on a specific career and secure a job at some level. Diplomas are offered in 10 areas, including Administration, Business and Finance; Information Technology and Media.
There are three different levels of diploma programs. These are Foundation, Higher and Advanced. An Advanced diploma is worth three-and-a-half A levels. Therefore, it is a great way to get into universities.
If you want to earn when you are learning, then it is a good idea to pursue an apprenticeship program. In this case, you will be continuing your studies in a college, but at the same time work in an industry. Apprenticeship programs are available in areas such as Engineering and Manufacturing, Education and Training and Arts and Media. Apprenticeship programs are designed in such way that you continue to work in the industry as soon as you satisfactorily complete the program.
If you are more inclined to pursuing studies in your area of interest at a deeper level, then doing an extended project may be the right option for you. This allows you to focus on the subject that interests you most and you do not confine yourself to an A level program. The Extended Project can either be an independent qualification or one that is part of an advanced diploma program and is worth one half of an A level.
Vocational qualifications are available in levels ranging from 1 to 8. While level 2 qualification is equivalent to GCSE’s A to C grades, level 3 is equivalent to an A level. Vocational Qualifications are designed to enable you to learn in a manner that is most suitable to you. You gain the skills that are required to earn a job in various areas including Hair and Beauty, Construction and Property and Business and Management.
BTEC is another popular vocational qualification. BTEC is also available in various levels: award, certificate and diploma. Just as vocational qualifications and diplomas provide you with work related skills, BTEC also endows you with skills that will come in handy in your chosen field of work.
International Baccalaureate Program
The International Baccalaureate is a diploma program that allows you to pursue studies in varied areas, including Science, Mathematics, Arts, Language, Geography and History. They all form part of the qualification. In case you fail to complete the diploma, then you will be given certificates for the subjects that you have completed. This program teaches you about your culture and other cultures in depth and you also get the ability to communicate well. This program is equivalent to A level, but is not offered by all schools and colleges. Therefore, you need to find out from schools and colleges in your area as to which institution offers this program.
This traditional route is always available to you and it takes you further in your selected study area from where you left of in your GCSE course. Depending on the school or college you choose, you get to opt for courses ranging from standard school subjects to more specific topics. It pays to talk to your teachers and school or college authorities to find out what is it that they have to offer and how different it is from the GCSE course that you have successfully completed. There are several resources that provide in depth advice on this matter. However, you must do a thorough research because there are many options and you have to choose one that best caters to your needs.