Life After A-Levels

Aug 14, 2014 | Blog, Diary of a Marketing Apprentice

It was about this time four years ago; I loaded up the online UCAS portal to find out the final outcome of my two years of Sixth Form education. After an agonising wait – due to their servers understandably experiencing a flood of traffic – I discovered my fate. I had failed to attain the required grades to become enrolled on my preferred university course.

Neither clearing nor starting over was an option. As much as I wished to persist with my educational journey, I came to the decision that I would leave its safe clutches and venture into the world of work to discover what life after A-Levels had to offer.

My chosen course was Journalism. I have a knack for being attracted by the most competitive industries, but writing is something I have always enjoyed. Over the past four years, I have been employed in companies where, although I gained a great deal of experience, they could not accommodate my writing skills and offered no desirable prospects for me.

So this year, I sought a new challenge; here I am again, back in education – kind of. I am 22 years old and studying towards a Level 3 Diploma in Marketing. I attend college once a week, and for the rest of the week I am based here at Absolute Creative as part of a Marketing Apprenticeship – as those of who have read my previous blog will be aware.

It’s not Journalism, but I’m writing; that’s what I want – freedom of expression in a format that I’m comfortable with, such as a blog. It’s an interactive role that constantly has me on my feet – thinking of new ideas and understanding our customers. It offers promise, which is more than I was getting from my previous roles. In addition to this, I’m also writing voluntary for an online music website, and hosting their monthly podcast.

This post does have an alternative course, rather than serving solely as an autobiographical piece. The most recent wave of A Level students have received their results today and, for those didn’t get the required grades, don’t be disheartened. A university degree is a handy document to be in possession of, but there are an increasing number of employers out there who have a greater interest in what you have achieved following your A-Levels. Obviously with more specialised professions – such as those in Medicine – this is not the case, but if you continue your pursuit outside of education, you’ll find that your skills can be applied to various industries.


I’ve been on the Apprenticeship course for four months, and I would certainly suggest it as an option as a means of continuing education and gaining experience in the workplace at the same time – all whilst not having to accumulate any debt. Having spoken with my employer he assures me that, upon completion of the course and with a full understanding of the business, I’ll be far more employable than a recent graduate. I’ll be holding him to that…

University isn’t your last opportunity; there are plenty more out there, and many people who will help you progress.

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