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Choosing a Course

With so many courses and careers available, sometimes it can be confusing deciding what you want to do, or how to get where you want to go! That's where our dedicated careers advisers can be really helpful. We have qualified specialists in the field of education and careers with vast experience working with a range of school leavers to graduates. They are impartial and confidential meaning you can talk to someone for free in complete confidence at any point - even before you've applied for college! Furthermore, seeing a careers adviser is different to talking to your family or friends. They know what is really happening in different industries and universities and, as they don't know you, they are non-judgemental and don't make assumptions on what you could do.

We asked our advisers for their top tips for choosing a course at college. Here is what they said:

1. Try a course

The college offer FE Life days where you can experience college first-hand. These are for school leavers and are booked through your school careers adviser. We'll visit your school and sign you up for tons of tasters with fun activities on the day. You can then attend a course, try it out, experience college life and begin to get a feel for vocational subjects. We recommend you attend these days to try a course to see what it's really like.

2. Do your research

When we are unsure about something it often means we just need more information. So get researching! This has never been easier due to lots of careers websites being available. We would recommend starting at the National Careers Service Job Profiles page. This is a great, easy to understand section of the National Careers Service website where you can read unbiased and clear information about different jobs and the routes into them. It also includes links to relevant websites, job vacancies, labour market information about the future of jobs and more! A great place to start getting a clue into different careers.

3. Explore your interests

Not sure what you think you will enjoy? Think about subjects you enjoyed in school, any extra-curricula activities you've liked or what you enjoy doing outside of education. A great way to explore your interests is to take a personality quiz. Here you can begin exploring who you are and what jobs may suit your personality type. People are often happier doing something that fits with who they are, so start to explore your interests and link them to a subject!

4. Speak to industry insiders

Still unsure on a course? Talk to someone who really knows what it's like! It's never been easier to speak to industry staff about jobs or to contact staff in college about their courses. We offer appointments and tours and you can even access a free careers talk with our advisers or (if over 19), the National Careers Service right here in college. We're available throughout the year and even over the summer if you want a chat before you start. With LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more social media channels, follow people in your industry and start to build your awareness and network as soon as possible.

5. Don't be afraid to make a decision

Coming to college is a big decision but you'll be supported by the college every step of the way. You'll have student services, your tutor and a welfare and retention mentor attached to your department should you want to talk to someone about your subject. We're here to support your decisions so if you need to move to another course in college, we can move you in the first six weeks of your studies. And if you decide to go to another provider, we'll happily support your move. Making big decisions can be difficult, but were here to make your journey into college is as supportive and natural as possible.

Should you want to speak to an adviser you can contact them at any point via our contact page or phone on 01429 295000

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