The Student Room Group

A level

Hey I’m in year 9 and I’m concerned abt my a levels. I’m quite passionate abt history music drama and English but my parents want me to be a doctor/lawyer but I’m not rlly interested in those. I have no idea what I want to be but I feel like I am interested in something to do w the brain but I am not good at science, I was thinking of taking these a levels:
History
English
Psychology
Will these a levels open up any career options that pay 45k or more, or is science the only way to get to a career which pays that much?
Also is there any way to discuss this sorta stuff w strict parents who have high expectations (my brother is doing medicine)
Thanks
Also sorry if this didn’t make much sense
first of all, youre in year 9! ages yet before you have to think about a levels. focus on doing well at gcse first and getting the best grades you can to keep all of your options open.
i would say you should pick subjects you'll enjoy. its a bit pointless to force yourself to study for exams in subjects you hate doing, and even more pointless to pursue a career where you'll find no job satisfaction. think about what youre going to enjoy the most long term.
if youre not sure about career options, maybe try the website unifrog? theres options to take careers quizzes to see what youre best suited for, and really detailed job profiles listing the job descriptions, neccessary qualifications and average salary for each, as well as videos from people in that field. definitely worth checking out, theres so many useful features.

good luck, and don't stress! youre doing great.
girl you're in year 9 and worried about a levels daaaamnnnnnnn i'd say look into it career wise, try to get work experience (not sure if you're too smol) or look into online courses or whatnot to discover potential careers. who knows you might actually secretly like being a lawyer; i know after watching the series 'how to get away with murder' I deffo wanted to become one. i'm not gonna say something corny like follow your dreams but make sure the career you follow has good salary options for you to be able to support yourself financially ( this seems a lot to think about espeically being so young.) for a-level wise if you're trying to open up many career options i'd advise you to pick facilitating subjects for your a-levels. " Facilitating subjects are A-levels that are most commonly asked for in university entry requirements, regardless of the course you apply for. They are particularly useful for developing skills in critical thinking, essay writing or problem solving. " - plagiarised directly from the UCL website itself. Good luck!!!! don't think too hard about your future ( but don't completely ignore it ) enjoy your childhood and make sure to get good gcses 🙂
Reply 3
Original post by Wwww22
Hey I’m in year 9 and I’m concerned abt my a levels. I’m quite passionate abt history music drama and English but my parents want me to be a doctor/lawyer but I’m not rlly interested in those. I have no idea what I want to be but I feel like I am interested in something to do w the brain but I am not good at science, I was thinking of taking these a levels:
History
English
Psychology
Will these a levels open up any career options that pay 45k or more, or is science the only way to get to a career which pays that much?
Also is there any way to discuss this sorta stuff w strict parents who have high expectations (my brother is doing medicine)
Thanks
Also sorry if this didn’t make much sense

Firstly you should not put so much pressure on yourself to make decisions about anything, let alone A levels right now. You have plenty of time over the next two years to figure that our so for now, concentrate on your studies.

What you study for your A levels or your degree won’t necessarily dictate what career you’ll go into. You could spend 3 years in university studying law only to not end up practising and instead going into something like consulting or HR. Becoming a doctor in this country and in this economy means you likely won’t make over 45k for a very long time, unless you’re fortunate enough to get selected for higher specialist training to become a consultant. Otherwise you’re stuck like everyone else trying to work their way up through the pay scales on 12 hour shifts. Studying medicine is a huge commitment and I understand your parents may have high expectations, but if you won’t be happy studying an intense degree for 5-6 years then it’s likely that you will struggle. If you enjoy what you study you’re more likely to do well in it. Like I said, you have plenty of time to navigate careers and degrees, but if science isn’t something that comes naturally to you and you find yourself in the same position by Year 11, studying science A levels to go into medicine probably won’t be a wise choice. As someone who wanted to study biology and chemistry at A level, when I got my GCSE science grades back and I was just below the requirements, I knew that it wasn’t worth begging to be let into the course, as I was probably going to struggle. I don’t regret that decision at all and I am now coming towards the end of Year 12 studying subjects I actually enjoy (psychology, philosophy and politics).

Your A level choices seem well suited to a law degree, but you should be aware that going to study law at university does not make you a lawyer. In the same way after medical school you’ll need to complete your foundation years as a junior doctor to progress to higher training, when you finish your law degree, you’ll need to undertake further study and training to actually practice law. If you want to become a barrister, you’ll need to take the bar exam and complete a pupilage I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) and to become a solicitor, you’ll need to take the SQE and gain 2 years of qualifying work experience. I won’t go into great detail about either of these processes but just know that they are lengthy, expensive and draining pathways that you’ll have to take if you want to practice law as either a barrister or a solicitor. With law, your salary isn’t guaranteed. Some come out of university with what’s known as a training contract and start on upwards of 50k for the two year contract (if you’re at a top firm) and others end up in paralegal roles, poorly paid areas of practice (e.g. criminal law, human rights law) or doing training contracts at small regional firms and earning a lot less than that (usually anywhere between 20-30k). Essentially it really comes down to your effort and luck, so don’t expect that any graduate position you get fresh out of university will make you anywhere near 45k, regardless of whether it’s in STEM or not.

Since you’re quite interested in history, it might be a smart move to consider a career as a historian or studying history to then go onto something else. Graduate entry medicine is an option even if your undergraduate degree was not in a STEM subject at various universities, such as the University of Nottingham and the University of Warwick. Similarly, after studying history you could opt for a law conversion degree, which allows you to gain a qualifying law degree as a postgraduate student. This will open up more doors for you and you won’t struggle as much if you decide to take the bar or the SQE, as you’ll have been taught the basic content in the conversion course. Sometimes, law firms will even pay for you to do your conversion degree if you are successful in gaining a training contract. It’s way too early for you to be worrying about your future like this, despite what your parents may think. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission at the end of the day. Please do not stress yourself unnecessarily - everything will work itself out eventually and you have a lot of time to figure things out.

I hope this has been helpful :smile:

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