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5 ways to prepare for A-Level Results Day

It’s a nerve-wracking time and your emotions are running high. Try not to agonise – we’re here to help you prepare as best as you can as the day draws near.

  1. Prepare yourself mentally

There is nothing you can do about your grades at this stage, so try to enjoy the remainder of your summer holidays. Try to take your mind off your results by doing things you enjoy – see friends, read a book, go for a walk etc. Although it’s natural to be nervous, don’t let yourself get too worked up about something you can’t change. If you’re feeling anxious, confide in your family so they can support you.

  1. Consider every outcome

It is sensible to prepare yourself for every eventuality. Think about different circumstances and how you’re likely to react. If you miss your grades, will you retake or will you apply via Clearing? If you do better than expected, will you apply for Adjustment? If you do well in a certain subject, will you change your course? If you feel your results aren’t accurate, will you challenge them?

  1. Have a contingency plan

No matter how confident you feel, it pays off to have a back-up plan in place. Do some research on which universities you’d like to go to in case you require clearing. Write down three points about why you like each university, you can then refer back to these if you end up applying via clearing.

  1. Explore all your options

Remember that university is only one pathway to higher education. If you don’t do as well as expected or you have changed your mind, don’t panic. There are different and more flexible ways to get a degree which may suit you better, from apprenticeships to distance learning programmes. If you’ve struggled with A-Levels and do not wish to resit, then you might want to consider applying for a Higher National Diploma (HND) course, which does not have an exam component and may allow you to skip 1-2 years of a University degree course.

  1. Treat yourself

Whether your results were what you were hoping for or not, you still had to sit through months of revision and exams, which means you deserve a reward. It’s highly likely you’ll have reached a conclusion about your future by the end of the day – have a treat waiting for you to celebrate this significant event!

How to decide if university is the right choice for you

You can be forgiven for thinking that all roads lead to university. However, university is not the right choice for everyone, there are plenty of other options to consider. So, to help out, here are five factors to consider whether university is the right choice for you – or not.

  1. You have a passion

If you do what you love, you’ll love what you do. The purpose of a university education is to give you the time and space to study something that interests you. Most of your time spent at university will be studying, so if you don’t enjoy it you will be miserable. If you don’t know what drives you or where your natural strengths lie, it may be worth taking a gap year to work it out – you don’t want to invest your money and time in something you’re not sure about.

  1. Your end goal

Why do you want to go to university? What are you hoping to do when you finish? Understanding your end goal can help you explore other options and work out if university is your best route. Some people choose university because they don’t know what else to do; make sure you are clear about your motivation for a university education.

  1. Your career prospects

One of the main reasons for going to university is to put yourself in line for a better job and make yourself more employable, so career prospects should be a top consideration. Be sure to research the field you want to study; you don’t want to go through years of studying to find no jobs at the end.

  1. Your return on investment

The average graduate is shouldering £50,000 worth of debt, while the average graduate salary is currently £28,000. Take some time to research the average salary for the profession you hope to go into post-university. If your dream job pays lower than the national average, and the tuition fees leave you in lots of debt, you will need to assess if going to university is worth it.

  1. The cost of the entire university experience

There are many different costs associated to university. In addition to tuition fees, you have to cover accommodation, living expenses, travel, course books and a laptop. It can get expensive quickly so you need to decide how valuable the experience will be to you.

Can you do things differently?

All you need to decide is whether university is the right choice, right now. If you aren’t sure, then take some time to figure out what you really want. Don’t follow the crowd and go to university because that’s what everyone else does.

Nowadays there are plenty of other choices for those who want to further their career. Make sure you research all your options before you apply as this will help you to decide if university is a worthwhile investment.

There are different and more flexible ways to get a degree which may suit you better:

  • A part-time degree – you can combine studying with other commitments.
  • Degree apprenticeships – you can enjoy practical on-the-job training alongside studying.
  • Distance learning courses – you can study at a time and pace to suit yourself.

Top-up courses with Online Business School

Earning a full Degree or MBA is a simple and low cost option with Online Business School. We provide students with the opportunity to earn their diploma online and then top up to a full Bachelors or MBA degree through distance learning or on-campus through at a UK university. You can read more about our university pathways here.

Top 10 Student Discounts for August

The way we here at Online Business School see it, hardworking students deserve to get something back for their dedication to those long study sessions. So, we have put together a list of our top 10 student discounts for you to enjoy in August.

Remember to sign up for a Student Beans account – it’s free with your NUS card and gives you access to exclusive student discounts at over 10,000 stores online.

 

Burton Menswear – Get 10% off clothing all year round.

Domino’s Pizza – Receive a massive 35% online student discount at Domino’s Pizza when you spend £25.

Dorothy Perkins – All students get an exclusive 10% off.

Hotels.com – 10% student discount at Hotels.com with Student Beans.

KFC – Get 15% off when you spend £5 or more at participating stores.

Las Iguanas – Enjoy 25% off your food bill. Offer valid Sunday – Thursday for up to 6 people.

Ted Baker – 15% student discount on full price items.

The Body Shop – Enjoy 25% off your purchases.

The Co-op – Get 10% off your food shop. Become a member, and you’ll earn another 5% – as well as giving 1% back to local causes.

Uber –  £15 off your first journey with Uber.

 

To find out more about registering for an NUS card with Online Business School, click here. Don’t forget that the NUS card comes with a free ISIC card, so our international students can still benefit from thousands of discounts.

Five typical jobs for IT graduates

Whether you’re coding sites or developing software, the IT sector is dynamic. If you’re technically minded, then a career in IT can be financially – and personally – rewarding.

Here are five common roles you might find yourself in as a IT graduate.

  1. Software developer

A software developer plays a key role in the design, installation, testing and maintenance of software systems. You will develop a range of software solutions, from operating systems and databases to mobile applications and games. You will find employment across many industry sectors, from finance and retail to engineering, transport and public organisations, so the projects you work on can be highly varied.

  1. IT Consultant

An IT consultant works to improve the efficiency of IT systems in various organisations. You will provide technical expertise and strategic guidance to industrial and commercial clients. You may be responsible for designing and installing new systems, repairing computer problems and training new users. The main appeal of consulting for many people is that you work on new and different projects all the time.

  1. Web developer

A web developer builds a website fashioning everything from the home page to site layout and function. Responsibilities include coding and modifying the site, fixing bugs and running performance tests. This type of work is particularly rewarding for those who want to balance technical challenges with creative work.

  1. Network engineer

Network engineers are responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining communication systems for an organisation, both internally and externally. Tasks may involve installing new software, overseeing security of all the accounts and fixing network faults. This is one of the more demanding IT jobs as it is a highly technical role.

  1. Systems analyst

A systems analyst examines an organisation’s current computer systems and designs new information solutions to improve business efficiency and productivity. Typical duties include undertaking product development, overseeing the configuration of new systems and conducting testing. This role requires a mix of business and technical knowledge.

 

Check out our Undergraduate Level 4/5 IT and Computing Diploma. This course is designed to equip you with the skills you need to top up to a full Undergraduate Degree and go on to become an IT professional.

Five questions to ask yourself before choosing a career

Choosing a career path is one of the most important decisions we have to make in our lives.

The average person will spend 72,000 hours at work over a 40-year period, so it’s absolutely essential to find a career that is the right fit for you.

Before making any career decisions, consider:

  1. What are your interests?

You may have heard it before: ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ The people who are most satisfied with their jobs are usually those that enjoy what they do. When you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be more motivated and feel more fulfilled.

  1. What are your personal strengths?

Consider careers where you could best utilise your skills and strengths. What are you naturally good at? Investing in your strongest skills will help you choose a job wisely and excel in it. You’ll more than likely enjoy a job if you’re good at it.

  1. What education or training do I need?

Education credentials often guide our career choices. Consider what qualifications you’ll need to pursue your desired career path. If it is likely that you will need additional training, think about how much time and money you’re willing to invest. There are plenty of inexpensive options such as online learning programmes to expand your career prospects beyond those defined by your education.

  1. What is the job outlook?

It’s important to know your job prospects before entering a profession; you don’t want to go through years of studying to find no jobs at the end. You want to avoid entering a dwindling industry, think about your long-term possibilities. Pursue a career with projected job growth, not one that will be obsolete years from now.

  1. What are your salary needs?

Salary shouldn’t be the deciding factor for a career choice but earning potential is a factor to consider. See if your salary expectations can be met within your career field so you can make an informed decision before embarking on a career path. Use a site like PayScale to figure out the average income of mid-career professionals.

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