dwinnbrown
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Hi Guys,
This is my first post so go easy :P
Basically I'm just going in to year 11 and at the end of this year I will have to choose to go to 6th form or do an apprenticeship. I am likely to get 11 A* to C GCSE's but I'm not sure about a levels. I have read some other posts on here about this topic and it seems that employers are looking for experience. I don't think I want to go to uni and if I did I'd like to go later on in life doing something for fun. I would like to take an apprenticeship in London, (1hr commute on train) if the right opportunity in a creative/digital ad agency came up. I have skills with photoshop, final cut pro, illustrator etc. and have been doing freelance work since the age of about 13. Do you think this would help me get a job in such a competitive field and is it worth taking the risk of apprenticeship vs a levels. Also is it worth emailing companies offering apprenticeships this academic year and asking if they'll be doing them next year?
Thanks a lot,
Dylan
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dwinnbrown
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Thanks for the reply. I will definitely have a look at what apprenticeships I could do at GCSE compared to post A-Level. It has made me think about it a bit more. Anyway I've got a few months to think about it and apply.
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dwinnbrown
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(Original post by J-SP)
My advice would be to go on to do A-levels in subjects that will match the areas of interest you have.

You can then always go on to do an apprenticeship after your A-levels instead of going to university.

By doing the A-levels (or equivalent) it will mean much more opportunities are open to you, and will mean if you change your mind going to university will be easier.

It will depend on the apprenticeship level (how high the academic qualification is), but many apprenticeship programmes require A-levels (or equivalent) anyway, so it would also open up more apprenticeship opportunities to you too.

You might want to look at some apprenticeship job-boards (ratemyapprenticeship or the apprenticeship.org.uk) to see what you would be eligible for post GCSE vs post A-level.

What I would stress though is that whatever my advice is, if you don't agree with it, then ignore it! You have to do what is best for you and most importantly what you think you will enjoy the most.


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Thanks for the reply. I will definitely have a look at what apprenticeships I could do at GCSE compared to post A-Level. It has made me think about it a bit more. Anyway I've got a few months to think about it and apply.
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dwinnbrown
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It may also be worthwhile to know that, if possible, I have ideas for my own businesses in the future. I would rather not spend my career in an ad agency. I would just like to learn the skills which I could then use to set up on my own.
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RevisionNad
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Hi and welcome to TSR, definitely do your research now, like emailing the companies so you can plan ahead. Meanwhile, I think your decision may come with time, through year 11 your opinions on A levels or Apprenticeships may change, for example you may feel even more comfortable with doing an Apprenticeship... so at the moment only you can make that decision. Good luck!
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dwinnbrown
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(Original post by RevisionNad)
Hi and welcome to TSR, definitely do your research now, like emailing the companies so you can plan ahead. Meanwhile, I think your decision may come with time, through year 11 your opinions on A levels or Apprenticeships may change, for example you may feel even more comfortable with doing an Apprenticeship... so at the moment only you can make that decision. Good luck!
Thanks a lot for that reply.
I have also just been looking at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy which would offer a BTECH. Would that still keep doors open for the future?
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Excelebration
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One of my friends started his own business (or got into a job that allowed him to start up his own stuff along the way) and he did this instead of going straight on to A-levels. He basically started his A-levels at 17 instead of 16. I'm not sure why he changed his mind but throughout A-levels he still ran his business and is now going on to university. I'm not sure what caused him to change his plans so much and while I don't really know much about your situation, my opinion is that you should carry on to at least A-levels.

You could work/do some sort of training alongside (starting in the summer I guess) and having both would give you a broader range of options and ideas. Also, you are still young and may change your plans when you're older. Don't quote me on this but I've always been told that even if you're not sure about what you want to do with your life, at least carry on with gaining high qualifications than GCSEs (I don't mean uni, just like A-levels, IB, college qualifications). If you can gain them through an apprenticeship then great, but otherwise, have a good think.

I wish you the best of luck and also hope your GCSEs go well

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gdiherts
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Getting a good apprenticeship/placement/internship with a good creative agency is incredibly difficult. The top ad agencies get hundreds of applications for every place they have on offer. Although you might be a talented individual, you'll be fighting for these places with equally talented people who have been to university and who have been taught by specialists.

Knowing software isn't enough, you need to know how to generate brilliant ideas and that only comes with practice. Although going to university isn't your only option, rushing into a job will probably hamper your creativity in the long run. You're confidence is great to see but you'll learn a huge amount from working with professionals for a few years before setting up on your own.
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dwinnbrown
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'm going to put off the apprenticeship idea for a while. I think I may look at a level 3 btech run by the peter jones enterprise academy. With that I should still be able to get in to uni or maybe go for an apprenticeship later on. What do you think?
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Jess & Nick RMA
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How's the decisions going? What did you go for in the end? If you're still after support why not read about what these people did - they're all apprentices/school leavers but they often talk about their decision process and it might help to hear from those who have been in your situation?

Felicity
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Manty1999
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I also had the same thought whether apprenticeship or a levels but I decided to carry on and do a levels as I thought it's too soon to work and a levels would also give me a more selective choice of opportunities once I finish 👍


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Jess & Nick RMA
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Hi J-SP

Great advice and Dylan be sure to check out www.ratemyapprenticeship.co.uk

We have a ton of advice and reviews of people who have done an apprenticeship or a school leaver prpgramme in your field/ a related one.

Good luck,

Amit
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