The main options available to you after sixth form are:
You can explore your options and find out more below.
A university degree is essential for several career pathways and is often the foundation for a stable financial future.
Despite the high fees many universities can charge, you can enhance your employment prospects by going to university. Graduates are more likely to be employed than those with a lower standard of education (Office for National Statistics) and over a 40-year working lifetime, a graduate will earn £415,320 more than those who have not studied for a degree (Labour Force Survey).
Studying for a university degree gives you the chance to specialise in a particular subject that you enjoy or excel in. At university, you will be taught by lecturers and professors who share the passion for the subject you choose, resulting in a greatly rewarding and mentally stimulating experience. Whatever course you choose, you will study it for at least three years, but courses may be longer if they include placement or sandwich years.
Students at Windsor Sixth Form apply to university via UCAS and are fully guided through the application process, which begins in the summer term of year 12. We encourage all of our students to apply for university because even if you are thinking about exploring other routes, a place at university is always a valuable choice to have secured.
Apprenticeships are ideal if you want to continue learning while working and allow you to gain a qualification and get paid at the same time.
Gaining an apprenticeship means taking on a real job with a contract and holiday leave in a particular career. Whilst you earn you learn, multitasking between the responsibilities of your job role and studying towards a qualification.
Apprenticeships are therefore very demanding, but they increase your work experience, allowing you to earn a salary and potentially fast-tracking your employability skills.
There are four types of apprenticeship programmes (shown in the table below) and depending on the level of apprenticeship you take on you could gain a degree at the same time.
|Type||Level||Equivalent educational level|
|Intermediate||2||5 GCSEs at grade 9-4|
|Advanced||3||2 A Level passes/Level 3 Diploma/International Baccalaureate|
|Higher||4, 5, 6 and 7||Foundation degree and above|
|Degree||6 and 7||Bachelor's or master's degree|
A great place to start when searching for apprenticeships is to register with the ‘Find an apprenticeship’ service. On this website, you can search for apprenticeships by location, industry/sector and level. You can save your searches and sign up for alerts to get notified when relevant apprenticeships become available.
There are several other routes you should consider when searching for apprenticeships. This includes:
If you are serious about taking on an apprenticeship after sixth form you need to start searching as early as possible (August before year 13) as places for apprenticeships can be very competitive. Be aware that apprenticeship providers tend to publish their vacancies at key times in the year including September, January and April, but they can advertise them at any time with any start time!
Some students choose to take a gap year before starting university to get the opportunity to travel, volunteer, gain work experience or earn money.
If you’re not quite ready for further study but want to go to university, then a gap year could be for you. You would still apply to university, but you would select to defer your entry.
You can find out more on gap years here:
You may decide to go straight into full time employment after sixth form.
An essential document to create in preparation for both apprenticeships and full time employment is a curriculum vitae (CV). Templates for CVs are available on the Sixth Form Careers Hub on Google Classroom for you to adapt.
To support you further, you may wish to book an appointment with Mrs Brookes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Brookes can proof read your CV, discuss key interview questions and techniques and ways to search for jobs in particular sectors.
Further information can also be found here: