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It’s important to do as much research as possible so that you choose the right course for the right reasons. Before choosing you should bear these important points in mind:
• What are your interests, ambitions or which subjects are you most passionate about?
• What courses are out there?
• Does the course you are interested in require specific skills/qualifications? Do you have them?
• Where are they based? For example, can you study from home, in the workplace or will you need to move to another town or city?
• How do you apply?
• How long will the course last?
There are several web resources you can use to search through courses available and possibly career options:
Kudos is a computer programme which helps you to match your skills and interests to careers avenues and helps you to explore what you may want to do in the future.
You can access Kudos from your school or college (check with your teachers to see if it is available).
This site features over a thousand video accounts by people in a wide range of occupations to help young people think positively and imaginatively about the directions their lives could take.
Adult Directions Online is an innovative career and skill matching tool to help adults with their career decisions. Call in to Star House, Sheffield City Centre and you can use the programme for free.
The UCAS website lists the entry requirements for every full-time higher education course, so you can see what you may need to achieve before you apply.
The Careers Advice database also has details of over 900,000 courses in the UK.
If you are unsure about which qualifications you will need to do a certain job, you can visit the Connexions job database for more information on particular careers.
Connexions Job Database – Jobs4U
It’s also worth investigating the particular institutions you are applying to. What sports/activities/clubs are available, how much is the average rent for private housing, where can you go to socialise etc…?
Ask your school, college or learning institution if they have a copy of the Virgin Alternative University Guide. This book gives details on the social aspects of each institution in the UK and is written by students for students.
Why not conduct some of your own research on the web, or talk to people you know who may have already been to university.
Visit our Careers Advice section for more information