Skip to main content
Tag

students

university

Is University Right For Me? Things To Consider

By Uncategorized

It’s that time of year when university starts to feel like it’s fast-approaching. You’ve likely been told to start thinking about your university application but might still be unsure whether or not it’s for you. That’s understandable; university is a big leap from sixth form or college and the varied UCAS application deadlines are probably putting pressure on you to make a decision early.

The ongoing debate of whether university helps you land your dream job is still very much spoken about. Many have the opinion that university just leaves you in massive debt without much real-world experience when you could have started a job within a company and already worked your way up to a higher position. The decision lies with the individual, nonetheless let’s remember that a degree has many benefits and now many jobs require you to have one. Students that flourish at university are quite often those who know exactly what career they want to do and therefore know the exact course they need to take. The ambition is there as they want to achieve and be qualified for their dream job, many even go onto postgraduate study their undergraduate degree, so they may further develop their skills and be the best they can academically be. For some, this is the path they know they want to take. They find essay writing or exams straightforward and achieved good results in their A Levels exams. For others, those who are perhaps more hands-on, getting straight into a career after school makes more sense. This is how they see themselves becoming successful and progressing within a company.

Read More

Is a Gap Year Right For Me

By Uncategorized

Should I take a gap year – will it expand my career options?

A gap year separates life-changing experiences: It can come between senior school and university or after university and before starting your career. It can be a life-changing experience itself but it’s not guaranteed to be a force for good. Usually, it develops your skills and experience, thus expanding what options you have for your career.

A gap year isn’t just a vacation, it is actually a part of your education. It is not supposed to be a protracted holiday – really, it is a time to think about what career path you will aim for in the future and draw up plans for this along with the next stage of your education if relevant.

Historically, gap years between university and full-time employment were concealed and the resultant hole in your CV was doctored. These days, many businesses look on a gap year as a positive factor when hiring graduates; it is regarded as a chance to enrich your life experiences and as a positive for your career.

Nowadays, a gap year is not only the privilege of the wealthy; studies show that in recent years many more of us have taken advantage of the possibility. Considering the costs of education these days, it makes a lot of sense for each of us to fully understand what career would be the most suitable for us and what education choices would be best for us to move in that direction. Taking a gap year can be much less expensive than changing your university degree course.

If your gap year is planned well it can be a great deal more stimulating than your initial university year. For example, if you use your gap year to travel abroad you will gain really useful experience of another nations culture, and a basic knowledge of a different language. It will help you to develop your understanding of the world. It can ignite a passion in you that will eventually lead to a much more fulfilling career path.

What you do with your gap year makes a huge difference to your long-term career prospects.

What makes a good gap year?

  • Expanding your life skills
  • Clarifying what options you have for your career
  • Learning a language
  • Gaining work experience for a possible future career
  • Teaching English as a foreign language while living abroad
  • Becoming a volunteer

Advantages of a gap year

  • Your gap year can be a time to reflect; when the purpose of your education is put in the perspective of your career choice
  • It creates a more profound self-awareness that can be used in your future career path
  • Your career goals are clarified
  • New surroundings offer new challenges and dealing with them develops character
  • You become braver due to being challenged; obstacles appear less intimidating

Graduating This Year – Time To Think About Your Career

By Uncategorized

As graduation approaches it is time to start thinking about your career

Do you really know what is the best career for you after graduation? If not, don’t worry, it’s common enough for your age, you are not the only one.

Don’t panic, but do assess the important factors you need to consider when choosing the right career. What would you enjoy? What would suit your particular personality? What career would align with your values and beliefs? What career would you be good at?

There are a wealth of career options and opportunities and they can seem overwhelming, but career decisions need to be made.

What career is right for you?

This is the biggest question facing you. Think about what you value in your career.

Is it:

  • Helping others?
  • Money
  • Following your passion
  • Life/work balance?
  • Flexibility and freedom over what you do?

Understanding what motivates you will help you assess the best career options for you.

What are your career strengths and weaknesses?

Recognising what you are good at, and equally what you not good at, is a key factor in deciding on the best career path for you. You have to be honest with yourself. If you are not sure, get independent careers advice using psychometrics to help you. Don’t bank on friends or family who don’t know the options and who may even have their own agenda in mind rather than your best interests! This is where using a professional careers advisor is an advantage. Using modern psychological tools – career profiling instruments such as career tests and speaking to a qualified and experienced career counselor – will help you to understand your skills, motivations and personality, and get a much clearer idea of what is the right career for you.

What do you really enjoy?

No-one can stand a career they don’t enjoy. You need to think about what you have enjoyed studying and the hobbies you have practiced when you were a student as well as any work, voluntary or paid, that you have done.

Where possible, find time to trial various career roles to see which you enjoy best. Getting work experience in diverse businesses can really open your eyes to the career possibilities. Perhaps you think you want a career in media for instance, but do you really understand the realities of that career path- that route may well not suit your style of work. It’s important to get a feel for the career and the industry before you commit yourself and put your career plan in place.

Build up your career CV

When you have got to the point of understanding a bit more about yourself and what career you want to do, you need to refine your self-marketing skills to make an impact at interviews. In order to gain experience, speak to people in the industry who are knowledgeable so that you can really get a feel for the specific career.

It will confirm your career path (or alternatively demonstrate to you that this is not the correct career for you before you go too far down that road!), but in any event, these experiences strengthen your CV giving you an advantage in careers you might apply for.

This also applies to activities outside your career. So, when you’re in between work and studies, utilise your time productively to show to your future employers that you have drive and personality. You should consider joining a community group, volunteering or working on a blog or website.

Good luck!

How to stay positive and manage anxiety during exam season

Parent Worried about Your Childs Exam Results

By Uncategorized

As a parent, you are likely to be apprehensive about your child’s exam results

The imminent onset of exam results is a trying time for many families with teenage kids. The pressure on your son or daughter to achieve good results, which will give them the opportunity of getting into a good university and getting a head start in their career, can cause anxiety for both you and them! So, what can you do to relieve the pressure?

Here are our tips:

Get professional careers advice

Getting professional, objective career guidance at this stage for your teenager can be very useful. Our experienced careers advisors – who are all fully qualified Occupational Psychologists – are trained to support and help, even if your child has little or no idea of what career they would like to do.

We also understand that you may need to be involved in your teenager’s career choice, so we also offer Parent and Guardian Extension sessions – www.careeranalysts.co.uk/parents-and-guardians.php

In the teenager’s session on their own, they will focus on education choices and careers advice while in the Parents and Guardians extension you can explore the results of their consultation and talk with the career counsellor about their career choice. We find this is the ideal opportunity to talk about career recommendations in a professional and objective way and it really does add value to the careers advice programme.

Keep Calm

Passions run high in teenage years and tempers can flare. You need to realise that your son or daughter can be apprehensive about their abilities and worried about what their future career will hold. Don’t fix on exactly what your child’s career will be, but think about their strengths and weaknesses, and what would be a good fit for their personality and interests. This will help them make a final choice about their further education and career path.

Talk to your son and daughter

Discuss their future with them and keep open the lines of communication.

Try to get them to consider these questions:

  • What are my career goals?
  • What career path should I follow?
  • What career would suit me?
  • What do I want to achieve in my career?
  • What career am I capable of?

Listen to their replies and try to offer objective careers advice. This can be difficult as naturally you have high hopes for your child. Most teenagers would certainly benefit from talking to a careers advisor – their neutrality frees your child to speak openly and so allows productive discussions about their career path.

If you want to find out more about our careers advice programme of career guidance for teenagers you can read more here www.careeranalysts.co.uk/careers-advice-teenagers.php

Schools not incentivised to take careers advice seriously, say business leaders

By Uncategorized

Business leaders are backing an MP’s call for improved careers advice in schools. A letter written to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan by Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holdness, has been co-signed by The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), and EEF, the manufacturers’ organization.

The general feeling amongst business leaders is that current career guidance is too weak. As Martin McTague, policy director at the FSB, said: “Schools are under a lot of pressure to deliver on a wide range of fronts, so it’s not surprising careers advice has slipped down the priority list. But getting good, independent careers advice at the right time can transform a young person’s chances of finding a career they love and fulfilling their career potential. We think this change will provide the nudge schools need to up their game – ultimately leading to better long-term careers advice for young people.”

The letter calls for statutory guidance to be amended so that all schools are required, rather than only recommended, to work to obtain a quality award for careers advice, information, education and guidance that meets an approved standard determined by the Department for Education.

Stuart, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group for careers advice, guidance and information, states in his letter:

“The central problem facing careers education is that schools are not incentivised to take careers advice seriously. In our high stakes education system, school leaders will understandably prioritise those issues that will lead to serious consequences if they fail to deliver them. Careers advice does not fall into this category.

“Having made it compulsory for schools to meet an agreed careers advice quality standard, the appetite for high quality career guidance would leap among school leaders.”

Without quality careers advice and guidance in schools, young people end up on the wrong courses and either in the wrong career or not in work at all, leading to a lifetime of unhappiness and big problem for the nation’s economy.

Graduating this year? Time to think about your career

By Uncategorized

Do you know what to do for a career when you graduate? Don’t worry if you don’t! It’s a common feeling at this time of year, when you leave your student life and out into the career market.

It’s not a time to panic, but to assess who you are, what you enjoy, and what you want to do for your career. There are so many career opportunities and options it can very easily seem overwhelming. There are many important career decisions to be made but if you think logically about your motivations it’s easy to decide what to do for your career.

What career is right for you?

This is the biggest question you can answer, so break it down. Think about what you value in your career. Is it:

  • Helping others?
  • Money
  • Following your passion
  • Life/work balance?
  • Flexibility and freedom over what you do?

Narrowing down what motivates you to work hard will help you to evaluate the best career options for you.

What are your career strengths and weaknesses?

Knowing what you are good at, and what you are bad at, is a key factor in deciding what career is right for you. Be honest with yourself, and try and get unbiased opinions where you can. Don’t rely on family or friends who only want the best for you and may also have their own agenda for your future career! This is where using an independent careers advisor is a great advantage. Using professional tools, such as career tests or career profiling as well as speaking to an experienced, qualified career counselor, will leave you with a better sense of your personality, motivations and skills and a clear idea of what is the best career for you.

What do you enjoy?

You won’t last long in any career if you don’t enjoy what you do. Think about your hobbies and what you have enjoyed studying and doing during your time as a student or any other work, paid or voluntary, that you have undertaken.

Take time to try out different career roles to get a feel for what you like. Work experience in a few different industries can be a real eye opener. You may think you want a career in media, but the realities of that career path may not suit how you work. It’s important to get a feel of the job before you commit and get a career plan in place.

Build up your CV

Now you know a bit more about what you want to do, it’s time to hone your skills to make an impact at job interviews. Gain experience, speak to knowledgeable people in your industry and really get a feel for the career you want to enter.

Not only will it confirm your goals (or alternatively show you that it may not be the right career path for you before you go too far down that route!) but such experience bolsters your CV giving you a greater advantage in any of the career paths you might apply for.

This can also apply to activities outside of your career. When you’re in a quiet period between studies and work, use your time productively to show your future employers your drive, transferable skills and personality. Now is the time to consider some volunteering, join a community group or work on a blog or website. Good luck!

What if your child gets bad examination results

By Uncategorized

There is huge pressure on students these days to get good GCSE and A level grades in order to give them the best chance of getting a great career in the future, but the pressure on parents can also be intense. You don’t have to sit the course personally or slog through the revision; you are spared the sitting of the mocks and exams themselves but unfortunately, you are not spared the fallout from the examination results. Even if you do not have to open the envelope when it falls on the mat you are still going to feel as sick as your child if the results are less than expected or hoped for. You need serious careers advice. You have to share the disappointment, but be objective and have the correct careers advice at your fingertips.

You may be lucky and have some prior warning; it is all too easy in an examination to fail to interpret what a question was asking. Many students do not read what the question is asking but rather what they want to answer. Your child may already realise that they have done that.

But all too often there is no warning. Assuming that your child has done the course and completed the revision he or she should have attained a pass mark. However, there are lots of reasons why they might fail. The first step is to have an honest conversation with your child as to the real reasons why they have not got the grades expected.

This conversation may actually yield surprising results: some children will fail because they have done too mush revision. Our brains can cope with a great deal of knowledge, but unfortunately it has a limited attention span when it is processing information. Sitting and studying for twelve straight hours can be counter-productive.

To have studied efficiently, it is necessary to have enough sleep and a balanced diet. Some aspects of studying can be boring and seem pointless.

If the course was too academic, it may be that there is a more vocational hands-on approach that would suit your child better.

It may be that the exam results were not good enough for their first choice for higher education, but may meet the requirements of the second choice. Refer to UCAS if you require more options for higher education. Grades simply not good enough will mean either a re-sit in January or June or a career path rethink. Remember that a re-sit will only postpone the problem if your child is not studying the right subjects in the first place. Speak to Career Analysts if your child needs help in picking the right subjects.

If there are good reasons why your son or daughter has not acquired the necessary grades at A level, why not speak directly to the university and see if they are willing to hold the place open. They may offer a conditional place for the following year (conditional upon certain education requirements being met)

A gap year can provide time to consolidate options and develop essential life skills. Sometimes opportunities to go to university can be deferred. It is no accident that many distance learning opportunities start their academic years in February.

All is not lost because examination results are not up to scratch. What is necessary is to make informed decisions quickly and make the best of different education or career choices.

Your child has their GCSE results – it’s time for career and education decisions

By Uncategorized

So, your child has received their GCSE results – Good? Bad? Indifferent? However they are taking it, you must be thinking about their future career and what education possibilities there for them. Whether or not they got the grades they wanted, or know what they want to do for their career, professional careers advice can smooth this process.

Talking to a professional career counselling service, even at this young age, can really help your teenagers pick their way through the overwhelming amount of careers advice they will get. Our expert careers advisors have worked with tens of thousands of teenagers to assist them in uncovering their strengths, weaknesses, skills and goals, what A levels and degree choices would suit them best and what career they should aim for.

During student years, young people need to make important education and career decisions. Their A level, degree and career choices will have long-term effects on personal happiness and long-term financial success, so it is crucial that career decisions are made rationally, and with full reference to their interests, personality and abilities. We can help them identify these specific factors and apply them to potential career paths.

Making decisions post-GCSEs, with a specific career path in mind, can smooth the process of successfully completing A levels and university, and move them forward into their dream career.

However, not every teenager will automatically want to go on to pursue further education, A levels and degree. Depending on your child’s skills and interests, they may want to follow a more vocational path, rather than a more academic one. Your child will gain more confidence and motivation pursuing a route that most suits their abilities, personality and career goals.

Our careers advice programme for teenagers considers what career would suit your child, their personality, skills and strengths. All teenagers are different, and our Occupational Psychologists have many years of experience working with many thousands of teenagers, including those with special needs, such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Our careers advice programme takes all circumstances into account.

We can help your teenager decide on suitable and fulfilling career pathways after their GCSE results, and involve you in the process. Find out more about our careers advice for teenagers programme here https://careeranalyst.wpengine.com/careers-advice-teenagers.php

Bad exam results. What does that mean for career options?

By Uncategorized

Parents can think that bad examinations results mean the end to good career prospects. This is far from the truth; bad exam results do not mean a lifetime of failure. They may mean an end to a university education, but not everyone thrives working towards a degree in a university environment. Sometimes the perfect career for you is sitting in front of you now, without taking further education.

Failing examinations can be a shock, but it can also be a relief and a fantastic motivator. Many a career path has begun at a low level. Sometimes the alternatives to a university education can offer even greater rewards from career challenges. When some of the career options are removed, it can clarify the mind on what is actually possible for a career path.

Failing exams does not mean the end to the dream of a university education – in some cases it can mean postponing it. Distance learning has now become a part of mainstream education, to the point that the Open University in Milton Keynes educates more university graduates in psychology than any other university in Europe. Brian May, formerly with Queen, was awarded a doctorate in physics in August 2007, thirty-six years after leaving school.

Today, according to Prospects UK, psychology is the third most popular degree choice, though achieving that degree holds many career opportunities and only fifteen percent go on to become chartered psychologists.

Leaving school can also an opportunity to embark on the path to independence and some people want that at an earlier age than others. In the business sector a masters in business administration (MBA) is a highly sought after qualification, employers love it. However, a natural entrepreneurial flair may be more useful to those who wish to embark on a career in their own business. Sir Richard Branson had only three “O” Levels to his name, but at seventeen he had begun a successful student advisory service – and look what he did after that! Bill Gates never graduated, nor did Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

For help in making the right career choices and deciding whether A levels and/or a degree would suit you call us for careers advice on 0800 999 7778.

Exam Results – What are the next steps in your teenage child’s career path?

By Uncategorized

The arrival of GCSE and A-Level results is a testing time for families. The pressure on your child to do well, and give them the best chance of starting their career positively, can cause major stress for them and you! So what can you do to lighten the load? Here are our top tips:

1) Talk to your teenager

Keep communication open by discussing their future.

Ask them to think about these questions:

  • What career would suit me?
  • What career am I able to do?
  • What do I want to achieve in my career?
  • What are my career goals?
  • What career path should I follow?

Listen to what they say and attempt to offer objective career guidance. This is difficult for parents as naturally your hopes for your child are high. Most teenagers would benefit from speaking to a careers advisor – their neutrality allows the teen to speak freely and so opens up constructive discussions about their career path.

2) Keep Calm

Emotions can run high in teenage years and tempers can flare. Understand that your son or daughter may be apprehensive about their capabilities and worried about what their future career path will hold. Try not to fix on exactly what your child’s career will be, but think about their strengths and weaknesses, and what would be a good fit for their personality and interests. This will help them make a final choice about their career path and further education, if relevant.

3) Get professional careers advice

Getting professional career guidance at this point for your teenager can be very rewarding. Our experienced careers advisors – who are all fully qualified Occupational Psychologists – are trained to help and support, even if your child has little or no idea of what career they would like to do.

We also understand that you may wish to be involved in your teenager’s new career choice too, so we offer Parent and Guardian Extension sessions – https://careeranalyst.wpengine.com/parents-and-guardians.php In the teenager’s session on their own, they will focus on careers advice and you can use the extension to explore the outcomes of their consultation and talk about their career choice with the career counsellor. We find this is the perfect opportunity to discuss career recommendations in an objective and professional manner and it really does add value to the careers advice programme.

Want to find out more about our careers advice and career guidance for teenagers? Read more here about our programme https://careeranalyst.wpengine.com/careers-advice-teenagers.php