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Is College / Sixth Form The Best Option for a A* / A Grade Student?

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  • View Poll Results: What is the best option for an A*- B grade student
    Full time education (College / Sixth Form)

    • Thread Starter


    Financially: it will be very difficult to maintain a part-time job and achieve financial-stability. If you want to do well in your A-levels, you'll be spending a large amount of your time learning to ensure that you don't fall behind. Many of my friends have all tried and failed to keep part-time weekend jobs -- it's simply not an option for those looking to make the most out of their A-levels.

    We learnt something quite cool in macroeconomics this morning whilst going over the causes of inequality. Employees who are in the service sector are split into two groups: high-paying jobs (bankers, consultants, lawyers) and low-paying jobs (cashiers, retail workers, cleaners). As the name implies, these two groups are differentiated by the average wage one is expected to earn as a member of their group. Today, there is effectively one way to break into the high-paying jobs: an education. This is one of the reasons why the return of education (which is essentially an investment) has increased over time: as the UK has moved from an industrial-sector country to a service-sector country, education has been used to distinguish the 'skilled workers' who deserve the high-calibre jobs. It can subjectively be said then that, by continuing with A-levels and entering a university, you will be far more likely to 'break-in' to the higher paying jobs.

    Knowing this, it's up to you whether you value an immediate source of income and more financial independence, or the opportunity to make significantly more income as you age.

    If you're certain that you want the apprenticeship, take it. However, I'd advise taking A-Levels as it'll open up more potential careers if you'd like to switch. You can easily start your apprenticeship later if you wish, but going back to do A-Levels will be more difficult and you may regret it if you find yourself in a job that you don't really like.

    (Original post by tizer7724)
    Hi, I'm in year 11 and my GCSEs are starting this week. I'm expecting mostly A*s and A's with maybe a couple of B's in English lang + lit.
    I have applied to a college and a sixth form and have been accepted by both to study: Maths, Computer Science, Chemistry and Physics.

    My question: Is studying for A levels the best option at this stage in my life? Sometimes i feel like an apprenticeship would be more enjoyable but I feel like it is a 'waste' of good grades, is this true?

    Also, I want to be able to drive etc when I reach the age of 17 with little financial support from parents, is this possible during full time education?

    If your wondering I still am not certain what career path I am wanting to take so I chose subjects that i'm good at and are respected.
    Sixth form might be better in terms of grades because it's much more heads down and focus on exams and less focus on the social side etc. But then this depends on where you're applying to.

    There are a lot of good apprenticeships based around the subjects that you want to study so it would be good to have a look at what's out there, but I know personally from my sixth form a lot of people went on to start apprenticeships and within weeks came back to a levels. You never know unless you try though!

    It is possible to carry a part time job and a levels. I currently do 8-10 hours a week of work on top of my study which is fine, and it's kind of like a breath of fresh air after a long week of revision.

    Hope that helped a bit (:

    Yeah it is a waste of good grades, you should do A levels imo, simply because that could lead to a degree that will give you more options and as more and more people get degrees, it will mean you need a degree for the top jobs.
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