Advice on your options after College

college students

Further study, work experience, volunteering, find a job… check out your options.
Leaving education is like the end of an era. Gone are the days of carefree learning and socialising with friends in the corridors. Now you need to decide what you are going to do with the rest of your life and that’s no easy task. Many teens see academic study as a chore but trust us when we say, no amount of wealth, family or success can match up to the excitement of your school days. It may seem clichéd but when you hand in that last assignment you face the real world and how that plays out is down to the choices you make. 

So let’s take a look at your options. Where do you want be? What options do you have after education? It all depends on your career plans and how fast you want to achieve them. While some people have their future mapped out as early as the first year of high school, others are in complete confusion about the world of work. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to your options as each decision you make will spell sacrifice. Here’s a list of paths taken by college grads – yes, there’s plenty more options but these are the most common: 

Work Experience

This is a great way to test working in a sector you’re passionate about. Work experience usually involves a short term, unpaid employment plan negotiated by yourself and the employer. Typically you’ll work for the duration of two-three weeks. This may sound like the "easy” option, but it’s important to make a good impression. To get started, research the businesses or companies in the industry. This will give you a head start with information making you memorable for all the right reasons. Once you have a list of places, you can start contacting the HR Coordinator over the phone, email or mail with the question of work experience. Be confident and open to suggestions – remember that any experience is good experience and can be added to your CV. If you impress there’s always the offer of full time employment to consider, although this isn’t guaranteed. 


This not only prepares you for employment, but also teaches you work skills and gives you the chance to network with people in your chosen industry. Many charities and community schemes are open to graduates of all ages. Voluntary work is unpaid, showing employers that you prioritise work over a pay check. Check out Volunteering England to get started. 


This is the ultimate goal for any student after their academic life draws to a close. Paid Employment gives you the opportunity to meet new people, pick up industry skills and adapt to the working environment. After years of study, picking up different learning styles and techniques is commonplace, but in the place of work there’s usually just one way to get the job done. Before applying you need create a high quality CV because let’s face it, you’ve not looked at the original for some time. There’s newspapers, online websites and community fares that advertise jobs weekly, so keep a look out for that. It’s also important to network with your family and friends asking if they know of any vacancies. Start your job hunt with realistic aspirations that match your skills and interests. The first job you get probably won’t be your dream vacation, but it’s step in the right direction. Sign up to Indeed, Total Jobs, Reed and Jobsite and receive weekly recommendations.  

Further Study

The number of students planning to continue their academic study has increased in recent years. Unfortunately, this means the competition is getting higher and the chance of securing a place on the course of your choice is difficult. There are services available to support you with the transition to student life and most schools have a system for disabled students looking to progress to further study. If you’re looking for an approved programme where you can learn at your own pace then distance learning is for you. We offer more than 250 courses covering a wide variety of subjects from teaching assistants to animal care. Our courses are designed with the freedom to work in the comfort of your home. 

Distance Learning Centre wishes you the best of luck with your exams. For information on what we have to offer see our courses and sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates and deals.


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