Advice On Finding A Career or Further Education

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Leviathanzzz
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#1
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Couldn't really figure out what forum I aught to post this to, I don't think it really falls under any of the already existing ones, but please correct me, or advise me which forum I might get a better response on.

So, right now I'm out of education, and I'm looking for advice on where to go with my life from here. A bit of context at about my situation before I go further into what I'm looking for. I'm 17 (18 in March), living alone in Greater Manchester, an Irish Citizen, British Resident since August 2019. I haven't got a National Insurance Number right now, but have applied for one and should get one relatively soon. I'm not on nor have I applied for any sort of benefits. I don't have GCSEs, I have a Junior Cert instead, which is an Irish Certificate, apparently slightly below a GCSE equivalent < -This is important, because as I understand it, it means I'm not technically qualified to sit A Levels-. My JC wasn't anything exceptional, 2 B's, a D, an E (in Irish) and the rest were C's, all at Higher Level. I think that's it about covered, but do message me or ask if you need to know more. My interests are generally in the areas of Philosophy, English, History, Social Studies and Politics. The two things I've been told are my primary skills are my writing and public speaking/debating.

So now back to my question. I'm unsure where to go in regards to a further education or a promising and fulfilling career. I'd love to go on to Uni, but I don't know how that's possible. The obvious and only discernible route is to get my GCSEs, then go onto A Level and then Uni, but wouldn't that mean 3 more years, even if I could manage to stay in full time education? That's a daunting prospect, so if I'm wrong, if there's a shorter way, do let me know.

I've considered the Royal Navy, but I'd have to get into far better shape for that, I'm not sure if I'm cut out for that sort of life and my political affiliations and conscience make it difficult for me seriously consider.

I don't know if I'd be eligible for any sort of apprenticeship, I really don't even know what kind of apprenticeships are out there either.

It would be very difficult for me to move from Manchester at this point, but possible, if I had sufficient motive, an enticing opportunity in another part of the country.

For the sake of the question, let's pretend expense isn't a concern (it most certainly would be but perhaps I could find a way). If there's an option that you know would require a great deal of luck, work or leniency on someones part, let me know anyway, I tend to do quite well in those ways.

Thanks in advance and feel free to message me if you need to know more about my situation to give a full answer.
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CoolCavy
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Hey have put this in careers for you, you're right in that this thread doesnt really fit perfectly in any forum but hopefully here you will get more specialised answers than in chat

shadowdweller may be able to give you advice about careers or further education
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Leviathanzzz)
I don't have GCSEs, I have a Junior Cert instead, which is an Irish Certificate, apparently slightly below a GCSE equivalent < -This is important, because as I understand it, it means I'm not technically qualified to sit A Levels-. My JC wasn't anything exceptional, 2 B's, a D, an E (in Irish) and the rest were C's, all at Higher Level.
I'm not sure this is right. I think the Junior Cert is considered close enough to GCSEs that it counts for progression to A levels. It's the Senior Certificate that is considered about 2/3rds of A levels. You should ask around some Colleges/Apprenticeships.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Leviathanzzz)
Couldn't really figure out what forum I aught to post this to, I don't think it really falls under any of the already existing ones, but please correct me, or advise me which forum I might get a better response on.

So, right now I'm out of education, and I'm looking for advice on where to go with my life from here. A bit of context at about my situation before I go further into what I'm looking for. I'm 17 (18 in March), living alone in Greater Manchester, an Irish Citizen, British Resident since August 2019. I haven't got a National Insurance Number right now, but have applied for one and should get one relatively soon. I'm not on nor have I applied for any sort of benefits. I don't have GCSEs, I have a Junior Cert instead, which is an Irish Certificate, apparently slightly below a GCSE equivalent < -This is important, because as I understand it, it means I'm not technically qualified to sit A Levels-. My JC wasn't anything exceptional, 2 B's, a D, an E (in Irish) and the rest were C's, all at Higher Level. I think that's it about covered, but do message me or ask if you need to know more. My interests are generally in the areas of Philosophy, English, History, Social Studies and Politics. The two things I've been told are my primary skills are my writing and public speaking/debating.

So now back to my question. I'm unsure where to go in regards to a further education or a promising and fulfilling career. I'd love to go on to Uni, but I don't know how that's possible. The obvious and only discernible route is to get my GCSEs, then go onto A Level and then Uni, but wouldn't that mean 3 more years, even if I could manage to stay in full time education? That's a daunting prospect, so if I'm wrong, if there's a shorter way, do let me know.

I've considered the Royal Navy, but I'd have to get into far better shape for that, I'm not sure if I'm cut out for that sort of life and my political affiliations and conscience make it difficult for me seriously consider.

I don't know if I'd be eligible for any sort of apprenticeship, I really don't even know what kind of apprenticeships are out there either.

It would be very difficult for me to move from Manchester at this point, but possible, if I had sufficient motive, an enticing opportunity in another part of the country.

For the sake of the question, let's pretend expense isn't a concern (it most certainly would be but perhaps I could find a way). If there's an option that you know would require a great deal of luck, work or leniency on someones part, let me know anyway, I tend to do quite well in those ways.

Thanks in advance and feel free to message me if you need to know more about my situation to give a full answer.
Check to see what your existing qualifications are classed as.
One thing you dont know is how academically bright you are and how well you will cope with your studies. If you rate yourself then you can do an access course and any missing GCSEs at the same time- normally English and maths but you may or may not meet that criteria.

You can then go to most unis if your grades are good enough. Most degrees are 3 or 4 years and its what 95%+ of undergrads will do.
A few unis offer accelerated degrees which are 2 years, but in most cases I would do the normal length degree.

You will get home fees.

I am unsure whether you will get a maintenance grant and whether that comes from Irish student finance or UK. You should be able to access the working migrants scheme.
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avocado1
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I'm not sure this is right. I think the Junior Cert is considered close enough to GCSEs that it counts for progression to A levels. It's the Senior Certificate that is considered about 2/3rds of A levels. You should ask around some Colleges/Apprenticeships.
It's actually each subject in the Leaving Cert that is considered 2/3rds of an A level - most Irish students do 6-8 subjects as opposed to UK students doing 3 A levels, but the actual Leaving Cert itself is the same level of qualification as A levels

But yeah the Junior Cert is considered the equivalent to GCSEs, shouldn't be any reason why OP wouldn't be able to study for and sit A levels in the UK
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Leviathanzzz
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Thanks for the answers everyone, to clarify, I did go to a few Colleges when I first moved, and what I got was that the Junior Cert was slightly below the GCSEs and I couldn't get enrolled in that basis. They looked it up on some website or database, I can't recall it's name now. Seemed like there was some sort of standard for certificate conversion and equivalents they all used. But basically I'd have to have done some kind of Level 2 Vocational Course and then move on to Level 3, or just get my GCSEs. It seemed there was some leniency, one was going to let me do my English and Math GCSEs with them while my A-levels, but after reflection I didn't really feel the course was for me.

Rght now I'm looking at the Open University, and it seems to be a good option expense wise, and without prior qualifications. Perhaps this warrants a post of its own but maybe I could get a couple quick answers. I don't NEED GCSEs or A-levels for most courses with them, right? Also does the degree really hold weight? It's just been so drilled into me than I would need some sort of secondary education to get into Uni, it seems like there has to be some sort of catch, even if it is a 3/4 year full time degree. Are there any other reasons I should consider against signing on with them? -Their BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics would be my first choice, if that's worth anything-.

Once again, thanks in advance.
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