You don’t need a degree to be a success


MANY young people will have received their A-level results a few weeks ago.

Some will have attained what they need to get into university whereas others may have gained places on apprenticeships or been offered employment.

Others may be wondering what to do next, and it is a difficult time which can be traumatic.

But rest assured that there are plenty of opportunities for those either not wanting to take the degree option, or those who can’t for whatever reason.

Nowadays, what with uni tuition fees and a reluctance to commit to further education when a job seems a better option, there are careers which pay well for non-degree holders.

Indeed, according to teen magazine Future-Mag, more than half — 54 per cent — of graduates say they would think again about choosing university as the best way to find a job.

They don’t fancy another three years of study, cannot face the debt, or don’t think they would get the entrance grades.

Indeed, with so many young people getting degrees these days, the idea they will all walk into well-paid jobs and glittering careers is something of a myth.

But there are plenty of new routes into careers that were once the preserve of graduates.

Many of these new opportunities are thanks to a rise in apprenticeships since government and business invested more in professional training.

Now three in four UK businesses believe more young people will choose these earn-as-you-learn routes in the next five years, according to research.

Here, we look at 11 top jobs that don’t require a degree:

1 Air Traffic Controller
What do they do?
24 hours a day, they help to keep some of the busiest airspace in the world moving. The work is challenging and demanding, but it’s immensely rewarding too. Air traffic controllers give information and advice to airline pilots to help them take off and land safely and on time.
Getting there –
You have to be over 18 and have at least five GCSEs or equivalent at Grade 4 or above (previously A-C) or Scottish Nationals 5 Grade A-C or equivalent, including English and Maths. As well as having a good level of physical and mental fitness, you must satisfy the basic medical requirements set down by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) has developed a series of games to help gauge whether you are right for this career.
Pay: £17,000 to £50,000

2 Solicitor
What do they do?
TV series Suits has a lot to answer for – never has law looked so sexy. In reality, solicitors advise their clients on the law, and can specialise in a host of areas, including commercial, criminal and family law, and much more.
Getting there –
You can now become a solicitor by training on the job since new solicitor apprenticeships (level 7) which were approved in 2015. This isn’t an easy route – you will need to pass a series of tough exams. You will need good A-levels and it can take five to six years to complete.
Pay £25,000 to £100,000

3 Junior 2D artist – visual effects
What do they do?
They help artists produce all the whizzy visual effects (VFX). They assist senior VFX artists and prepare the elements required for the final shots. Eventually they will be employed by post production companies working on commercials, television series and feature films.
Getting there –
You could do a practical short course at London’s MetFilm School (Ealing Studios) and try to get into the industry that way, or do an apprenticeship via Next Gen
Pay: from £18,000 to £50,000 once qualified

4 Laboratory Technician
What do they do?
Lab technicians work in many areas from forensic to medical science, nuclear and more. They might set up experiments, record data, collect and analyse samples and do all the day-to-day jobs of laboratory work. Attention to detail is critical.
Getting there –
Any relevant science A-levels will help, and you can apply for a two year apprenticeship scheme through relevant employers.
Pay: £15,000 to £30,000 plus

5 Police Officer
What do they do?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a “bee in his bonnet” about the need to recruit 20,000 police officers. If you’ve been considering this as a career, now could be the right time to apply. Police officers keep law and order, investigate crime, and support crime prevention.
Getting there –
There is no formal educational requirement for direct application but you will have to be physically fit and pass written tests. Or, you could start by doing a police constable degree apprenticeship. You will usually need: 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A-levels for a degree apprenticeship.
You can get a taste of what it’s like to work with the police by volunteering as a special constable.
You could also get paid work as a police community support officer (PCSO) before applying for police officer training.
Pay: £20,000 to £60,000

6 Environmental conservation officer
What do they do?
Monitor the outdoors, encourage others to enjoy the environments around them, manage wildlife habitats, monitor rivers prone to flooding and coastal areas
Getting there –
Try volunteering and apply for an environmental conservation apprenticeship – Landex has a map of providers.
From £18,000

7 Professional Services
What do they do?
A whole range, from auditing, consulting, financial advisory work, internal client services, to risk advisory and tax consulting. They will work with clients from a variety of industries and will develop valuable business advisory skills – even management consultancy is an option.
Getting there –
Big companies such as Deloitte and PwC offer professional services higher apprenticeships which help A-level students gain a range of professional qualifications.
Pay: £18,000 to £80,000-plus depending on specialism

8 Computer forensic analyst (cyber security)
What do they do?
Investigate and thwart cyber crime. They might work for the police or security services, or for computer security specialists and in house teams. They will follow and analyse electronic data, ultimately to help uncover cyber crime such as commercial espionage, theft, fraud or terrorism.
Getting there –
Cyber security professionals are in high demand in both the public and private sector in the wake of high level breaches and perceived terrorism threats. And there is a severe shortage of qualified professionals. Cyber security higher apprenticeships (level 4) are offered by major infrastructure and energy companies and – excitingly – the security services.
Pay: £20,000 to £60,000

9 Nuclear Engineer
What do they do?
Ensure the safe running of nuclear power stations, or development of defence capability. They cover a whole range of tasks linked to nuclear power, from helping design and build new plants to monitoring radiation to planning safe disposal of nuclear waste.
Getting there –
Unsurprisingly through professional training – the National Nuclear Laboratory offers apprenticeships and the Ministry of Defence has a new nuclear undergraduate engineering apprenticeship. More broadly, there is a massive national shortage of engineers and companies are pushing on-the-job training in many sectors.
Pay: £24,000 to £70,000

10 Youth worker
What do they do?
Work with young people and help them develop personally and socially. They might work with local services, youth offending teams or voluntary organisations and community groups. They might help organise sports and other activities, or be involved on counselling and mentoring, or liaising with authorities.
Getting there –
Many enter youth work as a volunteer or paid worker, but you can now qualify via a youth work apprenticeship.
Salary £23,250 to £37,500

11 Royal Navy officer
What do they do?
Undergo leadership training before choosing from a wide range of specialisms, from navigation to submarines, intelligence or mine warfare.
Getting there –
You will typically need 5 GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) or above and 2 to 3 A-levels. If you’re an A-level student, you will have to take aptitude and ability tests, pass a fitness test and interview before a more rigorous assessment to see if you are capable mentally and physically.
If successful, you can begin officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
Pay: from £27,300 to £46,000

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