A-Levels are advanced level qualifications that act as a gateway to higher education at university. A-Level study is usually where people find real joy and fulfilment in their learning. This is because you have the power to choose the subjects that interest you and will set you on the path to your goal. Whether that be a career you are passionate about, undergraduate studies or both.
By studying A-Levels, you can unlock doors that may have been previously closed to you, shaping your future in ways that may otherwise not have been achievable without A-Level study. Besides its pivotal role in accessing higher education, A-Level study also gives you the essential skills you need to flourish academically and professionally.
Choosing to study A Levels is choosing to enhance your life and abilities in more ways than one. Find out why they are so important and what you can do with them below.
A-Level Study is Important for Work
Whether you decide to go to university or not, A-Levels will remain highly beneficial. In instances where they are not required as a minimum for a role, by having A-Level qualifications, you are demonstrating your ability to apply yourself to achieve success.
Not only that, they equip you with tools that will be essential to your working life. For instance, analysing information and thinking critically, to build and present well-structured points of view that you can communicate verbally or in writing to your colleagues or senior team. These skills and many others will all be explored and practised regularly within your A-Level study.
Many professional careers impose strict A-Level benchmarks, as well as degree requirements. With the competition that can be experienced in the job market, it is always wise to investigate what subjects and grades are required in your preferred line of work. By studying the relevant courses and gaining the highest grades possible, you will position yourself as a strong and capable candidate for the job.
Since many undergraduates try to gain employment in their desired field prior to graduating, A-Level study is also useful to determine their ability before they qualify, but what grades do you need to do A-Levels? While traditional education institutes may require you to have GCSEs, our distance learning A-Levels at learndirect do not require any entry requirements, although it is favourable to have GCSEs in related subjects.
A-Level Study is Important for Higher Education
A-Levels or equivalent level qualifications remain crucial to enter university, with most requiring specific A-Levels, particular combinations of A-Levels or alternative Level 3 qualifications.
While it is important to study the relevant subjects that allow you to get on to your course, enjoying your subject matter is just as important.
A-Levels allow you to channel your passion since you can choose to study subject-specific qualifications. This means that during A-Level study you can focus your energy on excelling in your areas of interest. Studying topics you are passionate about makes you less likely to view the work as a chore, hopefully resulting in a better mark.
You can also study the subjects that will be most beneficial to your career, putting you on the pathway geared to get you to your end goal. So, if your aim is to become a midwife, A-Level Biology will help you prepare for your midwifery degree.
Not only that, as they are accepted and recognised worldwide, you can continue your education anywhere you like. If you dream of living and studying abroad, performing well at A-Levels can help you get there.
With competition to study at degree level showing no signs of slowing down, A-Levels and equivalent qualifications continue to be the key to unlocking this level of study.
What To Do With Your A-Levels
While progressing from A-Levels to university study is common, it is not the only route to a successful career.
A-Level study equips you with the knowledge and ability to succeed both academically and professionally. Gaining these qualifications can offer many opportunities in various engaging careers that don’t always require undergraduate studies.
So, if you’ve just received your A-Level results recently, or some years ago and aren’t sure what to do next, here are some options you can consider.
Go onto Higher Education
The obvious choice but it is so for a reason. There are many careers that can only be accessed by studying at the undergraduate level. Jobs in Medicine, Nursing and Dentistry, for instance, require you to study a related degree as it provides you with the essential knowledge needed to carry those roles out correctly and safely. Other roles and senior positions are dependent on postgraduate qualifications such as a master's or PhD.
While there are focussed paths through higher education that lead to specific careers, there are others that offer more flexibility. A degree in Business, English and Computer Science, for example, provides in-depth knowledge that can be applied to many professions and industries. Allowing you more options to explore once you graduate.
If you decide that university is the best next step for you, it’s important you choose a subject you enjoy and that will help you reach your goal. If you aren’t sure what that is, consider accessing career advice services.
If you like a particular subject, you can either browse UCAS’ course directory or contact specific universities directly and request a prospectus. Exploring job sites and graduate career options can also give you an idea of what you may want to do.
You can also study a more modern alternative to a traditional on-campus degree A learndirect degree pathway enables you to graduate quicker, side-step the hefty student debt, and study your degree online when it suits your schedule.
Many people use their A-Level qualifications to go straight into the workforce.
There are a great number of careers you can explore that don’t require degrees. Some may ask for related A-Level subjects. Though, since A-Level studies equip you with essential skills such as analysing information, critical thinking, constructing and presenting evidenced points of view and effective communication, many will take non-related subjects into account.
Again, it is wise to research this so as to avoid disappointment. Explore the job profiles, industries, and employers offering the roles that interest you. A few examples of potential roles you could explore are:
Marketing Assistant - Apprentice roles are offered which typically require A-Levels in Business Studies or similar. However, some companies are willing to train people with no experience.
Recruitment – Again Business A-Levels or equivalent qualifications are preferred, though entry and progression in recruitment is often down to the individual’s tenacity and drive to meet targets.
IT – GCSEs, A-Levels and a good working knowledge of Microsoft and related software can help you start work within IT. Many companies provide continued training to stay up to date with the latest developments so there are opportunities to develop and progress.
Accounting - Good GCSEs and A-Levels can help you start a career in accounting, especially those in Maths, Statistics or Business. There are many opportunities to progress from an Accounts Trainee. QBE Accountants are those Qualified by Experience, meaning they have gained their level of expertise on the job without taking any formal qualifications. You can also study AAT exams without having a degree, which can significantly accelerate your progression.
Apprenticeships are still an option for those with A-Levels. As they come in different levels, those with A-Levels or Level 3 vocational qualifications such as an NVQ can qualify for Higher Apprenticeships.
They are an excellent option for those who are reluctant to choose between a job or a degree. In doing a Higher Apprenticeship, you receive training that results in an industry-recognised qualification while earning a wage and gaining work experience. Some apprenticeships provide you with a full degree-level qualification.
So, if you have A-Levels and don’t like the idea of full-time study at university, you can take a more hands-on approach to your next qualification with a Higher Apprenticeship. There are also no degree fees to pay, so you can continue to learn without acquiring student debt.
Retrain in Something Else
You may have taken an A-Level in a subject you felt was right at the time only to find your interests or career ambitions have changed.
Or you may have already begun a career but now want to change path. Don’t look at this as a failure or negative, because it isn’t. You have still gained valuable skills, experience and knowledge that you can now apply in a different area.
Through your studies or subsequent role, you may have discovered an interest in a new – potentially unrelated – subject area. For instance, you may study science and through your essays realise a love for writing which leads you to pursue a career in journalism.
If you realise your desired career requires different knowledge and skills, you can simply go back into education to realign your qualifications with your goals. Studying and working within one avenue before deciding to retrain in another you thoroughly enjoy, can give you a new appreciation for learning. It is also a chance to indulge your interests and re-boot your career.
Finally, it can put you in a unique position which can enable you to carve a niche in your career. Someone with qualifications in both Science and Journalism for instance could specialise in science writing or healthcare advertising.
Should you be looking to retrain in a particular avenue, you could explore our range of Access to Higher Education Diplomas. These provide education in a specific area, allowing you to gain detailed knowledge and understanding of that profession. So, you can qualify and enter the job market or go onto higher education quicker than you would by taking A-Levels that relate to your new subject area.
Take Your Next Step Today
learndirect is a leading UK online course provider. Should you wish to study A Levels that will help you reach your goal, you can do so online without interrupting your lifestyle.
Studying online courses means you can learn at a time and place that suits you. Giving you the freedom to qualify around a job or busy family life.
All our online course materials are diverse and engaging. Plus, every student is assigned a dedicated tutor to liaise with, should they need assistance.
Choose a study option that puts you in charge and start working your way towards your ideal career. Browse our many online A-Level courses by clicking the link below.