Turn on thread page Beta

23, no qualifications, are my days over? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    Bit of an overreaction but it pulled you in!

    Basically, I'm 23 and the old cliche 'I'm stuck in a dead end job' applies here! I left school at 16 with awful GCSE results (about 2 A-C) the rest D's and below. Back then, I wasn't bothered in the slightest about furthering my education, I only wanted to start earning my own money in full time work which gratefully I got. I took an apprenticeship in level 2 manufacturing and textiles at a carpet factory, where I still work now 7 years on. I'm slowly starting to realise how much I hate the place working horrendous shifts and being surrounded by complete idiots. I literally cannot believe I've been there 7 years, it feels as if my life is going down the pan...

    All of my friends went to university and loved wherever they went. Some have even relocated now. Is it possible to salvage back lost time with my lack of qualifications? I have no ties where I live now other than having a mortgage on a flat! (I bought it 2 years ago under the help to buy scheme, at the time it seem'd a great idea) I would happily sell up though if it meant to discovering myself a bit and moving somewhere else, somewhere nicer. I always said I'd move away from where I live now. I wouldn't mind house-sharing etc. Is now not a better opportunity?

    Sorry for droning on, cheers!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hey Spirit. I left school at 16 years old with only 2 GCSEs B and C grade with an E in Mathematics. I worked full time until I was 23 years old whereupon I went to a local college and studied a level 2 (GCSE) course, obtained GCSEs in many subjects and now I am studying on a level 3 Access to Higher Education course. You need GCSEs to study these courses (though not always) and within 1 year you can apply to university with the Access course.

    However, the key question is, what do you want to study? If it is university you desire you need to be looking at level 3 courses such as an Access course, level 3 BTEC or A levels. Any questions, feel free to ask.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Inve)
    Hey Spirit. I left school at 16 years old with only 2 GCSEs B and C grade with an E in Mathematics. I worked full time until I was 23 years old whereupon I went to a local college and studied a level 2 (GCSE) course, obtained GCSEs in many subjects and now I am studying on a level 3 Access to Higher Education course. You need GCSEs to study these courses (though not always) and within 1 year you can apply to university with the Access course.

    However, the key question is, what do you want to study? If it is university you desire you need to be looking at level 3 courses such as an Access course, level 3 BTEC or A levels. Any questions, feel free to ask.
    Hey, thanks for your quick response. Your situation sounds almost identical to mine. I'm not entirely sure what I want to study yet, I'm just taking it a step at a time to see if it was possible to get back into university in my situation, both financially and educationally! I'm guessing I would need to get BTEC OR A LEVELS first of all then?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Hey, thanks for your quick response. Your situation sounds almost identical to mine. I'm not entirely sure what I want to study yet, I'm just taking it a step at a time to see if it was possible to get back into university in my situation, both financially and educationally! I'm guessing I would need to get BTEC OR A LEVELS first of all then?
    It is entirely possible. It wasn't easy for me but I did progress, though it was hard work working 23 hours a week and attending college full time, certainly a change of course from working in a logistics environment.

    Most colleges will have started their courses for this academic year though it is possible to enrol late; although with your personal circumstances I presume you will need time to sell your house etc?

    I wouldn't tell you which course is right as first of all you need to decide what you want to study at university, look at the entry requirements and then make a decision based on that. I want to study Arabic at university and having viewed the entry requirements and contacted the course tutors, I chose the Access course as the best route for my personal circumstances.

    As for yourself, if you do not have GCSE Maths, English or Science (if you want to study Science at university) you will need to get your level 2 Maths and English first. You would most probably be able to study these at your local college part-time or on an evening course.

    Do you have even a vague idea of what it is you want to study? Sciences? Humanities? Something more practical? Do you definitely want to go to university?
    Offline

    18
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Bit of an overreaction but it pulled you in!

    Basically, I'm 23 and the old cliche 'I'm stuck in a dead end job' applies here! I left school at 16 with awful GCSE results (about 2 A-C) the rest D's and below. Back then, I wasn't bothered in the slightest about furthering my education, I only wanted to start earning my own money in full time work which gratefully I got. I took an apprenticeship in level 2 manufacturing and textiles at a carpet factory, where I still work now 7 years on. I'm slowly starting to realise how much I hate the place working horrendous shifts and being surrounded by complete idiots. I literally cannot believe I've been there 7 years, it feels as if my life is going down the pan...

    All of my friends went to university and loved wherever they went. Some have even relocated now. Is it possible to salvage back lost time with my lack of qualifications? I have no ties where I live now other than having a mortgage on a flat! (I bought it 2 years ago under the help to buy scheme, at the time it seem'd a great idea) I would happily sell up though if it meant to discovering myself a bit and moving somewhere else, somewhere nicer. I always said I'd move away from where I live now. I wouldn't mind house-sharing etc. Is now not a better opportunity?

    Sorry for droning on, cheers!
    If the objective is to go to university, then here's what you can do:

    1. Enrol at a college and study GCSEs in English, maths and a few other subjects (you should have at least five GCSEs at A* - C ideally), preferably those that interest you and have something to do with what you want to do at A-level and university.

    2. Once the GCSEs are done, you have a choice. You can either do A-levels or an Access to Higher Education course. Most universities accept both although the offer-making differs slightly because the Access to HE is split up into credits in which you can get distinction, merit or pass and most offers will ask for a certain amount of credits at distinction and a certain amount at merit.

    3. Do a degree with the Open University. The OU has no entry requirements for most of its undergraduate courses and is quite a bit cheaper than the £9 000/year you'll be charged at most universities. This might save you the most time because GCSEs and A-levels might take you another four years before you've even started university. It's your call, really.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Inve)
    It is entirely possible. It wasn't easy for me but I did progress, though it was hard work working 23 hours a week and attending college full time, certainly a change of course from working in a logistics environment.

    Most colleges will have started their courses for this academic year though it is possible to enrol late; although with your personal circumstances I presume you will need time to sell your house etc?

    I wouldn't tell you which course is right as first of all you need to decide what you want to study at university, look at the entry requirements and then make a decision based on that. I want to study Arabic at university and having viewed the entry requirements and contacted the course tutors, I chose the Access course as the best route for my personal circumstances.

    As for yourself, if you do not have GCSE Maths, English or Science (if you want to study Science at university) you will need to get your level 2 Maths and English first. You would most probably be able to study these at your local college part-time or on an evening course.

    Do you have even a vague idea of what it is you want to study? Sciences? Humanities? Something more practical? Do you definitely want to go to university?
    I love music, but 2 things putting me off taking it up as a course is finding a job afterwards, and not having work mix with leisure. Then the many computer courses I'd also be interested in.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hydeman)
    If the objective is to go to university, then here's what you can do:

    1. Enrol at a college and study GCSEs in English, maths and a few other subjects (you should have at least five GCSEs at A* - C ideally), preferably those that interest you and have something to do with what you want to do at A-level and university.

    2. Once the GCSEs are done, you have a choice. You can either do A-levels or an Access to Higher Education course. Most universities accept both although the offer-making differs slightly because the Access to HE is split up into credits in which you can get distinction, merit or pass and most offers will ask for a certain amount of credits at distinction and a certain amount at pass.

    3. Do a degree with the Open University. The OU has no entry requirements for most of its undergraduate courses and is quite a bit cheaper than the £9 000/year you'll be charged at most universities. This might save you the most time because GCSEs and A-levels might take you another four years before you've even started university. It's your call, really.
    This is what kills me. I'd have to do this part-time while working 40 hours a week around shift patterns. Not sure I'd see it through!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    I love music, but 2 things putting me off taking it up as a course is finding a job afterwards, and not having work mix with leisure. Then the many computer courses I'd also be interested in.
    Okay well, have a good think. The option is there if you want it. My friend studied a level 3 BTEC in IT and now he's studying Computer Science and he loves it.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    The good news is it's definitely not all over for you! Plenty of mature students, ranging from your age group to a lot older, have changed direction in life by going back into education.

    First key area to investigate is what you want to study. Think about what you'd find interesting enough to study for 3-4 years at university (assuming that's the direction you want to head towards).

    Second key area to investigate is how you can fund your studies. As a first-time HE student, you should qualify for SFE support for your degree (i.e. loan for tuition fee costs and loan for living expenses). You may find it a little more tricky if you do need to do an Access course to get into uni. Assuming you enrolled on an Access course starting Sep 16 or later, you'd be at least 24, so you'd qualify for the Advanced 24+ Learning Loan, which would cover your course fees. However, it's unlikely you'd get any support for your living expenses, so you'd need to think about how you would support yourself during that time (Access is usually 1yr f/t, although I believe some colleges offer Access p/t over 2 years).

    Third key area to investigate is an extension of the second one: will you need to sell your flat? I suppose that really depends on whether you really want to keep it or if you'd be happier having a fuller student experience that would be much more feasible without the burden of having to pay a mortgage off.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Bit of an overreaction but it pulled you in!

    Basically, I'm 23 and the old cliche 'I'm stuck in a dead end job' applies here! I left school at 16 with awful GCSE results (about 2 A-C) the rest D's and below. Back then, I wasn't bothered in the slightest about furthering my education, I only wanted to start earning my own money in full time work which gratefully I got. I took an apprenticeship in level 2 manufacturing and textiles at a carpet factory, where I still work now 7 years on. I'm slowly starting to realise how much I hate the place working horrendous shifts and being surrounded by complete idiots. I literally cannot believe I've been there 7 years, it feels as if my life is going down the pan...

    All of my friends went to university and loved wherever they went. Some have even relocated now. Is it possible to salvage back lost time with my lack of qualifications? I have no ties where I live now other than having a mortgage on a flat! (I bought it 2 years ago under the help to buy scheme, at the time it seem'd a great idea) I would happily sell up though if it meant to discovering myself a bit and moving somewhere else, somewhere nicer. I always said I'd move away from where I live now. I wouldn't mind house-sharing etc. Is now not a better opportunity?

    Sorry for droning on, cheers!
    What's your ideal job(s)? Once you know that you can work backwards and see if you need to go to uni to get there. But don't go just for the sake of it, as it seems as though you're not bothered about the academic side. Besides to increase job prospects that's the only other reason to go to uni.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jimmy_looks_2ice)
    The good news is it's definitely not all over for you! Plenty of mature students, ranging from your age group to a lot older, have changed direction in life by going back into education.

    First key area to investigate is what you want to study. Think about what you'd find interesting enough to study for 3-4 years at university (assuming that's the direction you want to head towards).
    Will look into this but I have a good idea!

    Second key area to investigate is how you can fund your studies. As a first-time HE student, you should qualify for SFE support for your degree (i.e. loan for tuition fee costs and loan for living expenses). You may find it a little more tricky if you do need to do an Access course to get into uni. Assuming you enrolled on an Access course starting Sep 16 or later, you'd be at least 24, so you'd qualify for the Advanced 24+ Learning Loan, which would cover your course fees. However, it's unlikely you'd get any support for your living expenses, so you'd need to think about how you would support yourself during that time (Access is usually 1yr f/t, although I believe some colleges offer Access p/t over 2 years).
    For the access course I have some savings, and if I sold my flat I'd have a little to play with. Granted, it'll be a lot of money but I'm sure I can find it from somewhere. I take it the access course full time 1 year would be my key to HE? (Sorry, I am completely new to all of this!)

    Third key area to investigate is an extension of the second one: will you need to sell your flat? I suppose that really depends on whether you really want to keep it or if you'd be happier having a fuller student experience that would be much more feasible without the burden of having to pay a mortgage off.
    I would happily sell off this flat (as long as I didn't go into negative equity) in order to achieve my long term goals. I wouldn't say I regret buying at such a young age, but I really wish I'd have thought it through a bit more first!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by justag)
    What's your ideal job(s)? Once you know that you can work backwards and see if you need to go to uni to get there. But don't go just for the sake of it, as it seems as though you're not bothered about the academic side. Besides to increase job prospects that's the only other reason to go to uni.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Seeing as I'm getting asked a lot; Psychology, Digital Media, Music, Film all stick out for me. Are there jobs there afterwards though?

    IT is also a safe bet but there's loads at first glance so I'd need to have a closer look!
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Seeing as I'm getting asked a lot; Psychology, Digital Media, Music, Film all stick out for me. Are there jobs there afterwards though?

    IT is also a safe bet but there's loads at first glance so I'd need to have a closer look!
    Get work experience in psychology to see if you like it. There are too many psychology graduates relative to jobs in psychology; becoming a clinical psychologist is extremely competitive and you'll need post graduate qualifications to boot. It's a long road so you should check if it's worth the effort.

    Digital media - any degree will do (not required though), A level maths will help.

    Film and music don't require a degree at all necessarily, but most employees have them.

    But I'd advise against going to uni if you have no interest in studying unless the job you want absolutely requires it. The only one you've mentioned is psychology.

    So the conclusion seems to be don't even bother with uni and just apply for jobs you want now/gain relevant work experience.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by justag)
    Get work experience in psychology to see if you like it. There are too many psychology graduates relative to jobs in psychology; becoming a clinical psychologist is extremely competitive and you'll need post graduate qualifications to boot. It's a long road so you should check if it's worth the effort.

    Digital media - any degree will do (not required though), A level maths will help.

    Film and music don't require a degree at all necessarily, but most employees have them.

    But I'd advise against going to uni if you have no interest in studying unless the job you want absolutely requires it. The only one you've mentioned is psychology.

    So the conclusion seems to be don't even bother with uni and just apply for jobs you want now/gain relevant work experience.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Why so against university?
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    For the access course I have some savings, and if I sold my flat I'd have a little to play with. Granted, it'll be a lot of money but I'm sure I can find it from somewhere. I take it the access course full time 1 year would be my key to HE? (Sorry, I am completely new to all of this!)

    I would happily sell off this flat (as long as I didn't go into negative equity) in order to achieve my long term goals. I wouldn't say I regret buying at such a young age, but I really wish I'd have thought it through a bit more first!
    Apologies, I skipped over the GCSEs aspect in my first answer. I think the crucial ones are English & Maths at grade C or above, but you might need Science ones at grade C or above if you're intending to go down that road. That shouldn't be a deal breaker - as stated earlier by another poster, you can probably do those part-time/on an evening course and still keep your job during that period.

    You need to work backwards, really. Say you'd really like to do a Sound Production degree (or whatever) - what do you need to get on one? The GCSEs are almost certainly required (Level 2 qualifications), but you may need to have a Level 3 qualification as well. This is where A-Levels/Access/BTEC come into it.

    I wouldn't want to influence you too much on your decision about your flat. If it comes down to one or the other, I'll take the pursuing my interests at uni option over owning a property. However, it's entirely up to you to decide on your priorities; there are sound reasons for taking the 'safe' option and not selling it. It's just that it's much more difficult to study if you've got to earn enough to pay a mortgage off at the same time.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Why so against university?
    Do you like studying?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Bit of an overreaction but it pulled you in!

    Basically, I'm 23 and the old cliche 'I'm stuck in a dead end job' applies here! I left school at 16 with awful GCSE results (about 2 A-C) the rest D's and below. Back then, I wasn't bothered in the slightest about furthering my education, I only wanted to start earning my own money in full time work which gratefully I got. I took an apprenticeship in level 2 manufacturing and textiles at a carpet factory, where I still work now 7 years on. I'm slowly starting to realise how much I hate the place working horrendous shifts and being surrounded by complete idiots. I literally cannot believe I've been there 7 years, it feels as if my life is going down the pan...

    All of my friends went to university and loved wherever they went. Some have even relocated now. Is it possible to salvage back lost time with my lack of qualifications? I have no ties where I live now other than having a mortgage on a flat! (I bought it 2 years ago under the help to buy scheme, at the time it seem'd a great idea) I would happily sell up though if it meant to discovering myself a bit and moving somewhere else, somewhere nicer. I always said I'd move away from where I live now. I wouldn't mind house-sharing etc. Is now not a better opportunity?

    Sorry for droning on, cheers!
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Bit of an overreaction but it pulled you in!

    Basically, I'm 23 and the old cliche 'I'm stuck in a dead end job' applies here! I left school at 16 with awful GCSE results (about 2 A-C) the rest D's and below. Back then, I wasn't bothered in the slightest about furthering my education, I only wanted to start earning my own money in full time work which gratefully I got. I took an apprenticeship in level 2 manufacturing and textiles at a carpet factory, where I still work now 7 years on. I'm slowly starting to realise how much I hate the place working horrendous shifts and being surrounded by complete idiots. I literally cannot believe I've been there 7 years, it feels as if my life is going down the pan...

    All of my friends went to university and loved wherever they went. Some have even relocated now. Is it possible to salvage back lost time with my lack of qualifications? I have no ties where I live now other than having a mortgage on a flat! (I bought it 2 years ago under the help to buy scheme, at the time it seem'd a great idea) I would happily sell up though if it meant to discovering myself a bit and moving somewhere else, somewhere nicer. I always said I'd move away from where I live now. I wouldn't mind house-sharing etc. Is now not a better opportunity?

    Sorry for droning on, cheers!
    BTW if you are thinking of doing GCSE make sure you do the linear courses they will be less of a hustle because all you have to do it pass 1 or 2 exams at the exam session unlike modular which also has a big of coursework ,
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    I've just dug up my results and at first glance they are not as bad as I first thought, still bad though!

    GCSE's:

    Maths - D
    English - C
    English Lit - C
    Food Tech - D
    German - D
    History - E
    Science - C
    Additional Science - D

    GCSE Short Course:

    Citizenship Studies - C

    Any ideas where I can go from those results? 3 GCSE's A-C (4 including short course) but only a D in Maths.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Maybe unrelated but my dad also left school at 16, no gcse or anything equiv back then... But determination suddenly made him a project manager in a shipyard. And his advice is, qualifications are overrated, passion and determination, thats what matters most... So yea, just find something you're really good at and stick with it, chances are you'll like that one thing that u are really good at
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thatsthespirit)
    Why so against university?
    Probably because it's a lot of work and these days an awful lot of money in loans.
 
 
 

University open days

  1. Norwich University of the Arts
    Postgraduate Open Days Postgraduate
    Thu, 19 Jul '18
  2. University of Sunderland
    Postgraduate Open Day Postgraduate
    Thu, 19 Jul '18
  3. Plymouth College of Art
    All MA Programmes Postgraduate
    Thu, 19 Jul '18
Poll
How are you feeling in the run-up to Results Day 2018?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.