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Advice for A-level students

As students open their A-Level results envelopes this morning, many will find their immediate future mapped out as they achieve the grades required for their first choice university.  For those whose results weren’t what they were hoping for, the path may feel more daunting, but these students shouldn’t panic.
UCAS will be ready to offer support, providing details about courses available through the clearing system.  In some cases, this will allow students to go to their second choice university which they will have already researched and be familiar with.  Other students may wish to consider re-sitting their A-Levels and applying again to their first choice university next year, although inevitably fewer students will feel able to take this decision this year given the increases in university fees beginning in 2012.  
University is not the only path to a successful future of course, and some students may decide to consider other options, such as employment or a gap year to gain useful experience that will be beneficial to their career prospects on return.
Today should also act as a timely prompt to AS students to seriously think about their own futures and consider all of the options open to them.  University will continue to be the right approach for many, but it is not the only route to consider.
Earlier this year for example, Deloitte launched its BrightStart scheme, offering 100 high achieving school leavers the opportunity to embark on a career immediately on finishing their A-Levels.  Students interested in the scheme will require 300 UCAS points and applications for next year’s intake which is now open.
Some companies also provide work experience and financial support to students throughout their time university.  Deloitte’s Scholar Scheme, also now open, has 50 places each year giving successful applicants a 30-week paid placement in a UK Deloitte office.  After this placement, the scholar receives a generous bursary to put towards travel or volunteering abroad to gain beneficial life experience.  Once at university, the student will receive further annual bursaries towards their academic fees, along with a guaranteed paid four week work placement during every year of their degree.  

Today is a big day for students as their future careers depend on the choices they make.  There is, however, a lot of information available to help students make the right choice and so it is important to spend the time researching the company or sector they want to work for, to be sure it excites and interests them.