What options do you have after Secondary School? - Cambridge Regional College

What options do you have after Secondary School?

Now that your GCSEs are in, the options of how you wish to pursue your career are endless! 

If you haven’t decided what to do in September or your plans need to change after receiving your results, the best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed is by having a firm understanding of what is available.  

     G C S E s

Maths & English Grades

There is a big focus on maths and English GCSE results for all future study options but we understand that not one size fits all. That’s why we offer Functional Skills like English, maths and ICT as an additional course that can be studied along side all of our  courses. This means that no matter your results, you wont be held back from perusing the career you want. You get to study a subject you are passionate about at the same time as developing those functional skills if it’s needed. 
It is likely that your secondary school would have encouraged you to go on to take A-Levels, especially if they have their own Sixth Form. This is an academic option which is heavily theory based and assessed by exams. Traditionally people believe this to be the only route to university, however that’s not true.  

     B T E C

Studying a Vocational Course

BTEC qualifications are popular amongst people who wish to peruse a career which is particularly hands on, for example; construction, engineering, health and social care, hospitality or in the beauty industry. There is a HUGE range of BTEC courses available, over 100 of which are available here at CRC! BTEC courses are assessed through coursework and practical assessments throughout the course. This is ideal for people who panic under the pressure of exams as your grade is based on your overall performance. We offer a range of levels with varying entry criteria that suits all learners, so no matter your results we have a course for you. Find out more at: https://www.camre.ac.uk/16-courses/

     A p p r e n t i c e

Becoming an Apprentice

Here at CRC we’re big on apprenticeships! From GCSE level all the way up to a degree, you could bag yourself a fully funded apprenticeship – in fact your employer will be paying you to learn! Loads of practical and digital industries are giving passionate individuals the opportunity to start their career in a way that balances on the job and off the job training. Typically, apprentices attend college one day a week, to learn the theory which will help them understand their role. CRC works with over 1,500 employers and is the largest provider of apprenticeships in the region. This means we have apprenticeship opportunities available in many industries. Discover the current vacancies here: https://www.camre.ac.uk/apprenticeships/apprenticeship-job-vacancies/

Making Your Decision

So, what factors do you need to consider when deciding your next academic step? Firstly, do you know what you would like to pursue a career in? If so, how academic is this industry? Do you need to know a lot of content and learn in a classroom environment? If so, perhaps A-levels are for you. However, if your chosen role consists of mostly hands on work and customer interaction; perhaps a BTEC course or apprenticeship would suit you better. 

Further Advice & Support

If you don’t know what you would like to do, think about how you perform in an exam environment. How have you found full-time education? Are you keen to earn your own money and gain independence? This can all play a role in what option you decide to take in September. 


If you are still unsure, our Career Advisors can assist you at an Advice Café, details available at: https://www.camre.ac.uk/apply-enrol/results-day-advice-cafes/ .

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