English: GCE Advanced Level logo by University...
GCE Advanced Level logo by University of Cambridge International Examinations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following a recent post on this blog about an alternative way to look at your exam results, here is another view from a guest poster to the site, Joshua Danton Boyd.

With GCSE and A-Level results recently coming out, there have been some pretty disappointed people around. Unfortunately, for some, it means they may have to rethink their plans when it comes to university. It is drummed into us from quite a young age that university is the route to success, so it may seem all doom and gloom for those who didn’t do too well in their exams.

Not going to university isn’t necessarily the end of the world, and here’s why.

First of all, as more and more people get degrees in general, they have become less valuable. Coupled with the fact that so many people are looking for jobs, having spent three years at uni doesn’t make you stand out any more. It’s the experience you’ve got that will give you the edge.

This means that while your mates are off at uni for a few years, you can be working, bringing in some money and gaining some invaluable experience. This puts you in great stead for finding work and makes your CV look excellent. You can progress pretty far in three years if you’re really willing to try and, as your friends come out of uni, you’ll be way off in front. You’ll also won’t be saddled with a huge student debt either.

Arms of the Open University (400 × 397 px; 256...
Arms of the Open University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course it’s entirely reasonable that you’re not willing to simply accept your fate as is. You want to be able to do something that involves getting an education. Well, university isn’t the only route, or at least full-time university isn’t. There are plenty of options to do part-time courses, with the Open University offering a great way to work and learn at the same time.

Importantly, the Open University are incredibly helpful when it comes to loans and grants meaning that, depending on your earnings at the time, you can get the whole thing for free. This is especially handy for those struggling to get work and are on the dole.

You can take control of your education as well with this. You could choose to do an Open Degree, which means you’re able to pick and choose your modules how you please. Of course, studying part-time means it’ll take longer to get a full degree, but you have the flexibility to take a break and picking things up again when you need to. You’re much more in control and therefore tailor your course to your own needs.

English: Salman Khan, famous for the Khan Acad...
Salman Khan, famous for the Khan Academy, speaking at TED 2011. Cropped from the original. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You also have plenty of online and free resources to learn new skills. Things like Coursera, Khan Academy, Duolingo and Code Academy all enable you to pick whole new skill sets for nothing. All it takes is a bit of hard work and dedication and at the end you can find yourself a well-trained and valuable potential employee.

So, if you didn’t make it into uni, don’t give up just yet. There’s more than one route to success, and, depending on the kind of person you are, there are much better ones.

Joshua Danton Boyd is a copywriter for the small business accountants Crunch.

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