Careers and employability

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Not sure about your future career or how to progress onto further or higher study? Do you feel you know what you want to do, but don’t know how to get there? Concerned you don’t know which options are the best for you? Our Student Support Services team specialising in adult education is here to help.

Which career? 

When considering your career options, you will need to carry out research into different careers and types of job sectors.  You need to spend time on this, looking at the advantages and disadvantages of different options as well as what skills, qualifications and experience is required for different careers and job sectors.   

It can be helpful to undertake an assessment of your own skills and look at what jobs match against these.  The National Careers Service is a great place to start for this and also provides over 800 career profiles detailing what jobs involve.   

Want to access Higher Education?

Applying to UCAS 

If you are planning to progress onto Higher Education after you have completed your studies at Northern College, you will need to apply via the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  As a student at the College, we can guide you through the application process.  In addition, the UCAS website provides comprehensive information and is an important tool in researching options and preparing for your application.   

Writing a personal statement 

As part of your application to UCAS, you will need to complete a Personal Statement.  A Personal Statement is really important part of your application and will be used by admissions staff to find out more about who you are, what your ambitions are and the skills and experiences you are bringing.  Check out this section on the UCAS website for some really useful tips. 

Student finance and university 

Understanding how you can finance your Higher Education studies can be daunting prospect.  You may be able to borrow money to help pay for your higher education tuition fees and also to help with living costs.  You may also qualify for further financial support dependent upon your circumstances. 

Use this section on the UCAS website to help you find out more. 


Apprenticeships provide an opportunity to be in a real job whilst working towards nationally recognised qualification, usually one day a week either at college or a training centre.  By the end of the apprenticeship, you’ll have hopefully gained the skills and knowledge needed to either move into your chosen career or progress onto the next apprenticeship level.   

There are four different levels of apprenticeship: 

  • Intermediate – equivalent to GCSE grades 9-4 
  • Advanced – equivalent to A Levels grades A-E or an Access to Higher Education Diploma 
  • Higher – equivalent to the first stages of Higher Education, such as a Foundation Degree 
  • Degree – equivalent to an Honours or Ordinary Degree. 

To find out more and look at apprenticeship vacancies, visit the websites below. 

Looking for employment  

Job hunting can be a full-time job in itself.  Use the following websites for tips and advice on where to start, what to do and where to look.   

Writing a CV 

If you’re planning to progress into employment, there is lots of information and support to help you with this.  Many employers will ask you to send you a CV along with a covering letter.  It is advisable to have your CV ready to go, though you will want to adapt it to meet the specification of the job you are interested.  Here are some useful websites with information about writing a CV and covering letter, including examples. 

Preparing for an interview 

An interview provides an opportunity to show an employer who you are and what skills and experience you can bring to the job.  You may also have certain qualifications that are specific to the role.  Being prepared for your interview will help you to feel calm and confident on the day, enabling you to answer the questions well.  There are many steps you can take to prepare for an interview.  Use the following websites to help you get that job! 


Volunteering is a great way to give back and help those around you.  It can also provide an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.  It can build confidence and help with meeting other people.  If you’re thinking about volunteering and want to find out more, take a look at these websites. 

Take your first step and start your new chapter

We have a wide range of courses to support you to secure your ideal job or build a new career. We will support you every step of the way to achieve your goals. Visit our courses page or contact us to learn more.

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