JOBS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT: 1. Social Media Manager

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JOBS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT: 1. Social Media Manager

The first in a series of Blogs on new jobs that have emerged in recent years

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

WHAT DOES A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER DO?

The job basically involves planning and developing an organisation's Social Media and general on-line presence.  It is linked in with the overall marketing strategy that a company might have. In fact, the role is sometimes combined with other marketing and communications responsibilities, particularly in small and medium sized companies. 

WHAT ARE THE DAY TO DAY TASKS?

  • Designing engaging multi-media content for all social media platforms
  • Monitoring and reporting on performance In social media platforms and using tools such as Google Analytics
  • Responding to social media posts and developing discussions
  • Developing and managing a company-wide social media strategy
  • Educating other staff on using and promoting social media
Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WHAT ARE THE DAY TO DAY TASKS?

  • Designing engaging multi-media content for all social media platforms
  • Monitoring and reporting on performance on social media platforms using tools such as Google Analytics
  • Responding to social media posts and developing discussions
  • Developing and managing a company-wide social media strategy
  • Educating other staff on using and promoting social media

WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

Opportunities are available in all sizes of companies, from large international organisations to medium sized and even small companies. For those wanting to gain experience there often voluntary opportunities within charities and small organisations

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WHAT SKILLS WILL I NEED?

  • Strong editing and writing skills
  • Creative skills for contributing new and innovative ideas
  • Organisational skills
  • Data analysis skills and ability to use statistics
  • Customer service Skills
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

HOW DO I GET INTO THIS JOB?

As this is new role there is no real set route to get into it. A degree or an apprenticeship are both possibilities:

Apprenticeship Route

There are regularly Social Media apprenticeships available. As an apprentice, you would start off as a Social Media Assistant and with the right company you could progress to Social Media Manager. On the apprenticeship website at the time of writing (May 2017), a search for Social Media vacancies in England bought up 365 Vacancies!

Make sure you research thoroughly any companies who are advertising and that the apprenticeship vacancy offers progression to Advanced, Higher and Degree level apprenticeships

University Route

Many Social Media Managers will have a degree and some companies will require this

Useful Degrees are

  • business management
  • marketing (particularly digital marketing)
  • media and communications
  • public relations.

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE?

See the prospects website for more information about this job and what it involves:

www.prospects.ac.uk

See the Institute of Digital Marketing for more information including details of professional qualifications

www.theidm.com  

Thanks to the excellent Prospects graduate website for some of this information

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CAREERS IN T.V. FOR NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK 2017

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CAREERS IN T.V. FOR NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK 2017

Getting into T.V. is not as hard as you think

Traditional Production related jobs such as Researcher, Producer and Director are competitive, often on a freelance basis and also involve long hours and weekend work

However there are opportunities for Production Co-coordinators who are responsible for making sure everything on a production goes smoothly. This includes everything from organising travel arrangements and accommodation to keeping track of filming timings and sorting out expenses. These jobs are often on longer term contracts and offer lots of progression, to areas such as scheduling  and budgeting work

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Do you have THE skills for this type of work?

You need to be energetic, good at building relations, solution focussed and able to deal with last minute changes

Other areas where there are likely to be skills gaps within television: engineering, coders, on-line platforms, social media, data security and data management, practical roles such as construction and hair/beauty and sales and marketing

Useful websites

 www.creativeskillset.org

www.prospects.ac.uk  For research into what different jobs involve, in the job profiles section

 

 

 

You don't have to have a university degree to get into production careers. It is useful to have a degree for the more technical roles such as camera operator but for production roles it is about persistence and gaining experience

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Career changers with the right skills and personality are also sought after

Tips for getting into TV:

  • You must like television and WATCH LOTS OF TV so you can talk about it at interviews etc
  • There are short schemes/ courses available, such as those run by the British Film Industry in London
  • Some independent cinemas also run their own film based projects
  • Work experience programmes: e.g Channel 4 have 60 placements  a year for people of any ages
  • Internships often lead to jobs. There are opportunities for runners and no previous film related experience is needed
Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Kay Verden from Creative Skillset and her guest speakers from Endemol Shine UK and Channel 4, for the really useful talk at the recent National Careers Guidance show in London, on which this blog was based

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Hints and Tips for Parents

Are you a parent of a teenager who is going to be making decisions around careers and courses?

Are you looking at ways to help and support them with this?

These tips and ideas will help: 

Have regular conversations about their ideas, preferably in a natural way whilst doing something else, as they are more likely to engage with this than sitting them down for a ‘discussion’!

Keep an open mind and don’t be judgmental about their ideas and about new careers and courses you may not have heard of

 

Try to get the balance-it is their decision to make but support them as much as you can, whilst leaving the final decision to them

 

Talk to teachers, careers staff and college staff and find out as much information as you can. The more information you have the more likely you will be able to make an informed decision alongside your teenager

 

Attend all parents’ evenings to keep up to date with their progress, as predicted exam grades will be important for future decisions                      

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Get Professional Advice. Their school should have an independent Careers Guidance Professional available to work with students and parents. Request a Careers Interview and go along as well if you feel it would help. If your school does not provide this, you could feedback to a senior member of staff that as a parent you would like to have this service available. Dart Careers can provide an extensive range of careers guidance services to individuals.

Key events: School 6th form open evenings, college open days and evenings, local career and Apprenticeship events. Make sure you know when these are taking place and encourage your teenager to attend these events and accompany them where possible

Extra activities can really help your teenager and give them a head start in thinking and deciding about careers. Look out for:

  • University taster/experience days (often open to students from year 10)
  •  Career fairs
  • University open days (Younger students can attend these to find out more about university)
  •  Skills shows-Lots of employers and trainers with careers and job advice, along with practical taster activities. The main one takes place in November in Birmingham, but there are regional events throughout the year. The South West event takes place at the Plymouth Pavilions on 1 and 2 march 2017
  • Large company visit/open days (e.g. Met office) 

                 

Encourage them to take up any opportunities for voluntary work or work experience, as this is really important to build up their experience and for adding to their C.V., application forms or personal statement.

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Do some research so you know important things your teenager may be talking about, such as:

  • What is a BTEC?
  • How do apprenticeships work?
  • What are the deadlines for university applications?
  • Are there alternatives to university?

Encourage them to take up both clubs and societies within school and activities outside of school. This will help build their confidence as well as providing them with useful material for CV’s and application forms later on

 

Don’t worry if your teenager does not seem to have any career ideas-this will develop in time and as long as they are doing a broad range of subjects to keep their options open, they will be able to decide later on

                                                                                                  

 Useful Websites

 www.startprofile.com

Careers information and profiling site from U-explore. Includes a careers questionnaire, which suggests career areas to consider based on responses to a set of questions

www.targetcareers.co.uk  

Lots of useful advice on careers and options for those leaving school, including a useful quiz

www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

Detailed information on almost every job available. Go to ‘career tools’ and then ‘job profiles’ and type in job of interest

www.regionalskillsevents.co.uk

Details on all the skills show events taking place around the country

www.unitasterdays.com

Lots of useful information on a wide variety of taster days, open days and other activities to help young people find out more about university

www.parentalguidance.org.uk

www.careersadviceforparents.org   

Useful general sites covering many aspects of how to support your teenager, along with information on qualifications, apprenticeships and university. 

(Image 1 courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.  Image 2 courtesy of Yongkiet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net )                       

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HINTS AND TIPS FOR YOUR CV

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HINTS AND TIPS FOR YOUR CV

There are hundreds of websites and advice sites on CV's and it is easy to get confused and bogged down about the best format to use and whether to include the paper round you did when you were 14!

These Hints and tips should help:

  • It should be no more than 2 sides and preferably 1 side, if you can fit everything in
  • Keep it simple-don't experiment with unusual fonts or layouts
  • Personal profile This section is very important, as it is where you make yourself stand out to an employer.
    • Take lots of time with this section and adapt it for the job you are applying for
    • Your profile can be used to promote yourself, whilst summarising the qualities and current position/profession you want to bring to the employers attention. 
    • It can also be used to say what you are currently looking to do
  • Skills and abilities,
    • Bullet point them to make them stand out
    • This section should focus on what you can do, geared towards the job you are applying for
  • Employment/Experience  
    • How much  past employment experience to include really depends on your situation. If you have done lots of relevant work for the job you are applying for, you probably don't need to include short-term non-related jobs from a long time ago. 
    • However, if you do not have much work history, you will need to put everything down and use what you have done to bring out your skills and abilities.
    • Don't worry if you have not done much formal paid work. It is ok to use voluntary work, work experience and informal work , such as babysitting and helping relatives out. Make sure you make it clear what skills, abilities and knowledge you gained from this and link this in to the job you are applying for if you can, or demonstrate more general skills such as communication or time-keeping.
  • Qualifications
    • If you have lots of relevant qualifications for the job you are applying for, you probably don't need to include every GCSE you took and the grades you got.
    • If you don't have many qualifications you need to include everything you have , including certificates for courses such as first aid and any other short term qualifications, such as computer courses or pre-employment programmes.
  • Interests/hobbies
    • You don't have to put this section in, especially if you have lots of relevant experience.
    • Emphasise any hobbies or interests that are relevant to the job
    • Make sure you include clubs where you have positions of responsibility or sporting achievements
    • Giving a flavour of your interests can help you seem like a well rounded person
    • Dont put in things like 'socialising with friends' or 'playing computer games' (unless of course you are applying for a job as a computer games designer!)
  • Have a look at lots of CV examples on the internet. Try www.dayjob.com . 
  • There is no right or wrong with CV's. It is finding a style, layout and format that suits you
  • If you are really unsure think about getting professional help. Dart careers offers this as a service, as do many other people.

 

 

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG No 4: JOB APPLICATION FORMS

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG No 4: JOB APPLICATION FORMS

Welcome to my 4th blog for National Careers Week.

 As we all know,  completing application forms for jobs is often a time consuming task, that many people struggle with. If you are applying for jobs, get a head start with my useful 'Do's' and 'Don'ts':

DO Put down  your whole employment history, including any gaps, with explanations for those gaps

DON'T Criticise any former employers

DO put everything in a positive way, rather than a negative way, especially if it asks you to say why you left a previous job. e.g 'Left to gain experience of working in a larger company' rather than 'I didn't like working in a small company'

DO make sure you include any qualifications taken at work or in your spare time, as well as qualifications gained at school, college or university

DO make full use of the section where you have to say why you are suitable for the job: take your time and plan it carefully. This is the section that will get you the job

DO make sure you reference all the points in the person specification, showing how you meet that specification

DO use concrete examples of where you have achieved relevant tasks or where you have received positive feedback

DO use bullet points for ease of reading

DON'T waffle-keep everything to the point and concise

DON'T hold back at promoting yourself and your achievements

DO  your research and find out as much as you can about the company you are applying to and use this information in your application

DO make sure your references are up to date

DO make sure you contact your references before sending off the application, to make sure they know you are using them as a referee

DO get somebody else to look over your application form before you send it off

FOR HELP WITH CV'S LOOK OUT FOR MY NEXT BLOG!

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG NO 3: CAREERS IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG NO 3: CAREERS IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

WELCOME TO MY 3RD BLOG FOR NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK

Today I will be looking at the creative industries, as this can be an overlooked area for people of all ages and there are many different entry routes within this field.

What are the Creative Industries?

  • Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • Animation
  • Fashion ans textiles
  • Film
  • Games
  • Photo imaging
  • Publishing
  • Radio
  • TV
  • VFX (Visual Effects)

Some jobs you may not have heard of in these industries :

  • Match Move Artist- VFX and Animation. They translate and imitate the camera movements in live action shots and match those movements in 3D. 
  • 2nd Camera Assistant-Film.  They prepare the camera, load new batteries and film, and change lenses
  • Level Editor-Games. They define and create interactive architecture for a segment of a game, including the landscape, buildings and objects
  • Garment Technologist-Fashion and textiles. They select suitable fabrics and designs for items of clothing
  • Colourist Film and TV They make sure that all shots in each scene match one another by balancing colour  and light from shot to shot

Why should I consider these industries?

  • Britain is a market leader in some of areas these areas, such as game design and VFX
  • If you are a creative person they offer an excellent paid outlet for your skills
  • Some of the areas , such as games and social media marketing are expanding industries with lots of potential future opportunity.

Do I have to go to University to get into these careers?

  • For some jobs a degree is helpful, such as Film Producer and Fashion designer. However, there are many other jobs in these industries that do not require a University degree. It is also possible to find an apprenticeship in many of these job roles

What will help me to get into the creative industries?

Each career area and job role will have specific educational and other requirements but as a general rule the following are useful:

  • Persistence in searching out a job role
  • As much work experience and voluntary  work as possible. You may even need to initially work unpaid in some areas, such as the film industry
  • Technical skills needed by the industry, such as lighting, electrical or mechanical skills 
  • Educational courses that also include a lot of practical work

How do I find out more?

The best source of information is the excellent Creative Skillset website, which thoroughly details everything you need to know and more, about the different creative industries and the job roles within them

www.creativeskillset.org

Also useful is the National Careers Service website for detailed job information on different careers

 www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

For information about apprenticeships see:

www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

Thanks to the creative skillset website for some of this information

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG No. 2: IS UNIVERSITY FOR ME?

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG No. 2: IS UNIVERSITY FOR ME?

WELCOME TO THE 2ND DAY OF MY CAREERS BLOG FOR NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK!

Every day this week I will be posting some great careers hints and tips for people of all ages, from 13 year olds to mature career changers

As a Careers Adviser I find that one of the most frequent discussions I have with young people is about whether to go to University or not.  The following myth-busters should help:

It is too expensive-I can't afford it

This should never put anybody off going to university as loans are available for all students, to cover fees and living expenses. Loans are not paid back until the student is earning at least £21,00 per year. If a student never earns that  much money they will not have to pay the loan back.  Some students will also be given a maintenance grant for living expenses. Many universities also offer bursaries and other financial help.

For more info see www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance

I am not sure I want to go to University, but I don't think there are any other options

This is definitely not the case as there apprenticeships and training programmes available, that are often a good alternative to university. However, this does vary depending which career area you want to go into and to some extent whereabouts  you live. Many people are very successful without going to university!

For more info see:

www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

www.notgoingtouni.co.uk

I would really like to go to University but I might not get very good A level grades and so don't think I will be able to go

Again this is very often not the case, as there are alternatives to the standard degree courses which often require high A level grades:

  • Foundation degrees are equivalent to the first 2 years of a degree, are often more practical and have lower entry requirements. They can also often be converted to a full degree. They are run by both universities and Further Education colleges.
  • Some degree courses have a foundation year or a 'year 0' attached to them. This is an extra year at the start of the degree course, for those students who do not meet the normal grade requirements for that degree or who have the wrong degree subjects. These tend to be for engineering and computing courses but some other courses may also offer a foundation year.
  • For studying Art at University, it is often a good idea to take the Art foundation course, which is a 1 year course, run by local colleges, in-between A levels and University. This often helps get into Art courses, even if the A levels grades are not quite what is being asked for.

For more info see: www.ucas.com

I would like to go to university to study a subject of interest that is not career related. Will this affect my chances of future employment?

No, as it is still the case that around 60% of graduate jobs are for people from any discipline. If you study a subject you are passionate about and make sure you make the most of any opportunities (See the next question) then you still have a good chance of employment.

I am not sure how useful doing a degree will be, as I have heard how difficult it is for university graduates to get a job

This should not put you off taking a university degree as overall university graduates do earn more and are more likely to get good jobs. It is also worth bearing in mind that:

  • Your future employment success depends on how much you put into your studies and into extra curricula activities, such as voluntary work, campaigning, positions of responsibility in clubs and societies and part-time work
  • You can't predict the job market for few years time when you will be leaving university
  • Most degree courses provide students with general transferable skills for employment which should help with getting a job

For more info on graduate careers see  www.prospects.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG No. 1: GCSE OPTIONS

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NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK BLOG No. 1: GCSE OPTIONS

Welcome to my new Careers Blog for National Careers Week!

Every day this week I will be posting some great careers hints and tips for people of all ages, from 13 year olds to mature career changers.

I am starting off today with students in year 8 or 9 who are choosing their GCSE subjects. Students and parents are often anxious about making the wrong choices, but you can't go wrong if you follow my top tips below: (If you have already made your choices still check out these tips-it is not too late to change!)

  •  Choose Subjects you enjoy and make sure you have a good balance of subjects
  •  If you have some career ideas make sure you check out the qualifications required for this career. Work backwards so you know what A level or equivalent qualifications are needed and then you can make sure you are choosing the right GCSE’s
  •  There are some subjects that are normally important to take if you are considering:
    o    Any artistic or design based careers – Take Art or a related subject
    o    Any music based careers – Take Music GCSE
    o    Sport based careers such as PE teacher or Coach or Sport and Fitness trainer – Take P.E. GCSE
  •  If you are considering Science based careers Triple Science is useful but not essential. Get more advice on this from your science teacher if you are not sure
  • Questions to ask about subjects you are considering:
    • What will I study in this subject?
    •  How is this subject assessed? Is it just assessed on exams or coursework or a mixture of both?
    • If it is not a GCSE course what qualification will I get?
    • If it is a subject I have already been studying, how different is the GCSE compared to what I have already learnt?
    •  If it is a new subject what exactly does it involve?
  • Finally, some things to avoid doing:
    • Don’t choose subjects because your friends are doing them
    • Don’t choose or not choose subjects based on your experience of the teacher of that subject
    • Don't leave it until the last minute to make your decision!

 

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New Year-New Career!

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New Year-New Career!

Are you stuck in a rut? Do you want to make a change to your job or profession?

There are 3 main areas to consider:

1. Knowing yourself. e.g.

  • What are your skills and abilities?
  • What type of working environment would suit you?
  • Why do you want to make a change and what will make your working life better?

2. Research!

  • The internet can be useful but use it carefully.
  • Network with as many different people as possible - don't be shy about asking people about their jobs.
  • Attend free shows such that run through the year, such as the Skills show (Taking place in Plymouth in March or  in London and Birmingham in November) or the National Careers Guidance show (London in March).
  • Talk to your local college or adult education provider about courses that could provide you with more skills.
  • Can you gain some different experience through voluntary work?

3. Decision Making

  • Everybody does this in different ways-some do it intuitively but for others it is long drawn out process!
  • However, the more information you have the more likely you are to be able to make an informed decision, that will hopefully be the right one for you.

IF ALL THIS SOUNDS DAUNTING THERE IS HELP OUT THERE:

  • The National Careers Service Website contains lots of useful careers information, skills tests and much more on changing careers. See www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk   

  • Consider a face-to-face Careers Interview with a professional Careers Adviser who can take you through the whole process.  If you live in the South West see my website page on help for individuals, or see the Career Development Institute's register of professionals to find a Careers Adviser in your area in your area:   www.thecdi.net       

  •  Consider an assessment such as Morrisby that can help to identify your skills and aptitudes and suggest careers you may not have thought of. Dart careers can provide this or see the Morrisby website for more information: www.morrisby.com

  • Look out for my monthly blogs on different career areas for more ideas!

(Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

 

 

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UCAS APPLICATIONS

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UCAS APPLICATIONS

IF YOU HAVE NOT YET MADE A START ON YOUR APPLICATION DON'T WORRY-YOU STILL HAVE TIME!

THESE TIPS MIGHT HELP:

PERSONAL STATEMENT:Starting to write it is a stumbling block for many. Try:

  • Making notes of all the important areas, such as why you want to study that subject and how your experiences and achievements mean you would be suited to it
  • Think how you are going to make yourself stand out
  • Set aside a specific time each day to work on it
  • Write a first draft and get someone to look at and then keep re-working the drafts until you are happy with it
  • Lots of help and advice on-line. Try the 'Which University' website

WHICH UNIVERSITY TO CHOOSE-If you have more than 5 choices you are considering. 

  • Weigh up all the pros and cons and use some of the comparison websites
  • If you have visited the university you are considering, how did you feel when you were there?
  • Talk to other people about it but make your own decisions
  • Go with your gut instinct
  • Don't forget you have to be completely happy going to any of your 5 choices
  • Don't worry if you didn't get a chance to visit, as if you get an offer you will be invited to an applicant visit day

FINALLY-DON'T PUT IT OFF ANY LONGER-START TODAY!

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Tips for University open days

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Tips for University open days

Having spent yesterday at the Worcester University open day, here are my tips for getting the most from your open days and visits, to help with those tricky university decisions.

  • Prepare a list of questions and areas to find out more about,  before the day
  • If there is a pre-published  programme of events, spend some time before the visit planning your day to ensure you don't miss anything! 
  • Ask lecturers of courses you are interested in what they like to see on Personal Statements.
  • Make sure you talk to student ambassadors or representatives, who are working there on the day and ask them lots of questions.
  • Find out about opportunities to gain experience outside of the course, such as study abroad, paid work placements, student vacation bursary schemes, voluntary work and community involvement.
  • While the amount of research the lecturers are involved in demonstrates their knowledge of the subject, it is also important to find out about actual  teaching: i.e.  how much feedback is given, how are students helped to develop, are there practical sessions as well as lectures to help embed learning.
  • Finance-check for extra costs associated with the course. For example, for courses with field trips some universities include the cost of them in the fees and some charge extra for them
  • Make sure you find out about:
    • Course links to industry and employer involvement
    • Class sizes
    • Contact time per week, including classes, lectures, lab work, practical work and tutorials. (This varies from 4 hours to week up to 20 hours a week)
    • How the course is assessed
    • How flexible are the entry grades
    • Graduate employment
    • Clubs and societies
    • accommodation options
  • Lastly don't forget to sample the catering facilities-eating lunch early or late can help avoid queues!
  • Enjoy your day!

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A level and GCSE results

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A level and GCSE results

With A levels results coming out on Thursday 13 August and GCSE results next Thursday 20 August, this is an anxious time for many students and parents, including myself  as I have one son receiving his A level results and another receiving his GCSE results!

Hopefully you will be jumping for joy, but if not, the most important thing to remember is: don't panic!

Universities, colleges and 6th forms are often more flexible than you think and many students gain university places through clearing or are offered different, but just as relevant courses at school or college.

If things have gone completely pear-shaped there are always other options available, such as taking a different educational route or looking at employment based training options.

Having access to impartial and independent advice can really help decide on your best course of action: Get in touch by e-mail for some initial free advice and a free quotation for any further help that may be needed

 

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