THE BLOG

University May Not Be for Me... What Are My Options?

21/06/2013 11:40 BST | Updated 26/03/2014 12:59 GMT

With rising tuition fees, Universities culling degree courses and soaring young unemployment, the future looks bleak. There is a great deal of negativity associated with employment opportunities at the moment.

So what are your options? And how can you succeed?

University - there may well have been a 7% drop in University applicants, starting in 2012 compared to 2011, but this has, according to the Guardian, picked up in 2013 by 3.5%. Even with the tuition fee hike people are still applying to University. This is due, most likely, to the fact that non-graduates are much less likely to secure a 'skill-based' job, compared to graduates and certainly to post-graduates. So what is important when applying to University? First off, nail your personal statement, this is the best opportunity to sell yourself to the admissions people. Why have you chosen the course? Why do you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher? What inspires you? Secondly, describe why your chosen A-Level subjects are beneficial for your degree, why are you doing Maths or Biology, what makes them appropriate subjects to take? Thirdly, what work experience do you have, what jobs have you had? Have you completed any voluntary work? Finally, what are your hobbies, what do you like and, well, what are you like? In short, sell, sell, sell.

Then choose the right course and University, read up on module content, what specific topics do they entail and cover. Try and visit the University and meet some students and lecturers, to gain a more holistic opinion.

University not for you?

Get on Line! Social media and network sites can really help, Facebook and Twitter are great, and LinkedIn is even better. Again sell yourself, upload your C.V on-line and start connecting with people. The best bit - it's free! You can build relationships with anyone. Even better still, upload a video C.V, they're all the rage now. A video is a great way to show off your talents and individual characteristics, which of course a traditional C.V can't do. A fantastic site is Career Camel, it's quick and simple to use, they also offer career advice and employment opportunities, including internships and work experience.

Gaining some invaluable work experience or undertaking an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door. Finding vacancies for internships and apprenticeships is fairly straight forwards, and with the rise in tuition fees more people are considering and taking this option. So, it's imperative that your C.V stands out and really makes a difference. A video C.V can be edited and changed as and when you like, a great idea.

And if all that is too much, take a worthwhile gap year and help an underprivileged community.