Dropped out of University, can’t move up career ladder!

Friday, May 22nd, 2009 - career management, career planning, career transition, Education, Employment

Dropped out of University

Keele Music Entrance
Creative Commons License photo credit: alexanderward12

Nick asks: I dropped out of University after two years last summer, due to the fact I didn’t enjoy my course and I wasn’t doing well. I have good A Levels – A, B, C, C all Maths and Sciences. I assumed it would be easy enough to find a trainee position and work my way from the bottom, however this hasn’t been the case at all. I have spent a year working in low paid sales jobs, as this seems to be all that is on offer. I would ideally like to work in something ICT based, but there seems to be absolutely no opportunities for people like me. I feel frustrated that despite a decent education, I appear to have no worth in the employment sector, and am currently in a role I could have been in if I had left school at 16. I am now 21 – to old for an apprenticeship or school leaver scheme, yet I would really like to get some form of further education that isn’t University based, or land a job that would offer real career development. Help!

In answer:
The government in the budget did you a huge favour: they extended the training schemes from under 21 to 25. With the number of idling recruitment agencies, many have jumped into to a scheme which allows them to become assessment centres for training agencies – not for us!

I think your experiences are starting to teach you some modern job search facts, and particularly in the IT sector. The A Levels of today are like the O levels of yesterday, and you have chosen the most qualification driven sector in which to choose to work. IT employers want long lists of qualifications backed up by recent work experience of developing/delivering that technology. Be warned, if you choose IT, then you are choosing a virtual path of continual study and qualification: but that’s why it pays so well!

I think you are being to vague about your career goal. But at present with no IT qualifications that’s not such a problem. You need a City & Guilds or HND type qualification to get into the IT industry at minimum – both are accessible on the Governments new draft scheme, but you need to check your details. You say that you can’t get a diploma because you failed your second year exams, but I would suspect you have some part credits and hence won’t need to study for two years from base.

Get to your local JobCentre+, or ring the back to work helpline in your area, and get some details. Find suitable general IT courses at your local college, and chat to the head of the course. They can probably speak to your old university to find out what exams you have passed, what credit you have got, and hence which level you would need to come in at to gain the qualification.

Good Luck!


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