This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Learn more about cookies and how to manage them.

Your careers choices

Your careers choices at 14

At 14 you will have to pick your GCSE subjects. These choices will determine what you are able to study for your A-levels or Highers. This will affect the university courses and future jobs that you will be able to apply for. This is an important stage for making future careers choices.

Pick the subjects that you enjoy and think you will do well in. There will be many more subjects offered as A-levels.

Compulsory GCSEs

  • Maths

  • English (language and literature or a single English GCSE)
  • Science (core, double or triple)

You will need double or triple science at GCSE to study science A-levels.

Find out more about your GCSE options.

Your careers choices at 16

This is another stage where you have to make important decisions about your future career. In the UK, everybody has to be in a form of recognised education or training until they turn 18.

You can:

  • stay on at school and study for A-levels, Highers or Advanced Highers
  • start an apprenticeship
  • volunteer, with part-time education or training for one day a week
  • get a job or be self-employed, with part-time education or training for one day a week

It is also good think about:

  • what qualifications, skills and personal interests do you already have?
  • what would you like to be doing five years from now?
  • what qualifications and skills do you need to get there?

Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do just yet. Research your options and see what appeals to you. If you are unsure, it would be good to cover a wide range of topics, so that you can decide later on what you want to do.

Your careers choices at 18

At 18 you can choose to apply for university, start an apprenticeship or take a non-graduate route into pharmacology. Ask your teachers and careers advisers for advice. You can explore your options on UCAS. They have information on all kinds of careers, and quizzes to help you find the right thing for you.

University gives you the opportunity to gain a globally recognised qualification. It shows you have the ability and self-motivation to learn at a higher level.

An apprenticeship is a job that combines studying with on-the-job training. Your employment starts from the day that you begin your apprenticeship.

There are also non-graduate routes into pharmacology. Some organisations take on school leavers, enabling you to start as a technician or lab assistant. You may be able to study part time to gain relevant qualifications.