With students across Sussex receiving their A-Level results last week – and GCSE results set for collection this Thursday (August 24) – the magazine is looking to highlight ten jobs that students can take up without going to University.
If you don’t fancy another three years of study, can’t face the debt, or don’t think you’d get there, don’t worry. There are plenty of new routes into careers that were once the preserve of graduates.
Here are the magazine’s top picks:
What do they do?: TV series Suits has a lot to answer for – never has law looked so sexy. In reality, solicitors advise their clients on the law, and can specialise in a host of areas, including commercial, criminal and family law, and much more.
Getting there: You can now become a solicitor by training on the job since new solicitor apprenticeships (level 7) which were approved in 2015. This isn’t an easy route – you’ll need to pass a series of tough exams. You’ll need good A levels and it can take five to six years to complete.
Pay: £25,000 to £100,000
What do they do?: Lab technicians work in many areas from forensic to medical science, nuclear and more. They might set up experiments, record data, collect and analyse samples and do all the day-to-day jobs of laboratory work. Attention to detail is critical.
Getting there: Any relevant science A levels will help, and you can apply for a two year apprenticeship scheme through relevant employers.
Pay: £15,000 to £30,000 plus
What do they do?: A whole range, from auditing, consulting, financial advisory work, internal client services, to risk advisory and tax consulting. They’ll work with clients from a variety of industries and will develop valuable business advisory skills – even management consultancy is an option.
Getting there: Big companies such as Deloitte and PwC offer professional services higher apprenticeships which help A level students gain a range professional qualifications.
Pay: £18,000 to £80,000 plus depending on specialism
Computer forensic analyst (cyber security)
What do they do?: Investigate and thwart cyber crime. They might work for the police or security services, or for computer security specialists and in house teams. They’ll follow and analyse electronic data, ultimately to help uncover cyber crime such as commercial espionage, theft, fraud or terrorism.
Getting there: Cyber security professionals are in high demand in both the public and private sector in the wake of high level breaches and perceived terrorism threats. And there’s a severe shortage of qualified professionals. Cyber security higher apprenticeships (level 4) are offered by major infrastructure and energy companies and – excitingly - the security services.
Pay: £20,000 to £60,000
What do they do?: Ensure the safe running of nuclear power station, or development of defence capability. They cover a whole range of tasks linked to nuclear power, from helping design and build new plants to monitoring radiation to planning safe disposal of nuclear waste.
Getting there: Unsurprisingly through professional training – the National Nuclear Laboratory offers apprenticeships and the ministry of Defence has a new nuclear undergraduate engineering apprenticeship. More broadly, there’s a massive national shortage of engineers and companies are pushing on-the-job training in many sectors – BAE Systems Maritime recruits nuclear apprenticeships to support the design and build of nuclear submarines.
Pay: £24,000 to £70,000
Public Relations executive
What do they do?: Masters of spin, they manage the public reputation and face of companies, brands and people. This might mean creating a public relations campaign through to writing and exploiting social media.
Getting there: Apply directly to PR companies and larger employers with an in house team for a higher level public relations apprenticeship (level 4), which could see you train up as a press officer, junior account executive or digital communications wizard.
Pay: £18,000 to £100,000
Environmental conservation officer
What do they do?: Monitor the outdoors, encourage others to enjoy the environments around them, manage wildlife habitats, monitor rivers prone to flooding and coastal areas
Getting there: Try volunteering and apply for an environmental conservation apprenticeship – Lantra has a list of providers.
Pay: From £18,000
What do they do?: Work with young people and help them develop personally and socially. They might work with local services, youth offending teams or voluntary organisations and community groups. They might help organise sports and other activities, or be involved on counselling and mentoring, or liaising with authorities.
Getting there: Many enter youth work as a volunteer or paid worker, but you can now qualify via a youth work apprenticeship.
Pay: £23,250 to £37,500
Junior 2D artist – visual effects
What do they do?: They help artists produce all the whizzy visual effects (VFX). They assist senior VFX artists and prepare the elements required for the final shots. Eventually they’ll be employed by post production companies working on commercials, television series and feature films.
Getting there: Apply for Junior VFX apprenticeships through Next Gen (applications closed for this year)
Pay: from £18,000 to £50,000 once qualified
Royal Navy officer (General Entry Officer)
What do they do?: Undergo leadership training before choosing from a wide range of specialisms, from navigation to submarines, intelligence or mine warfare.
How do you get there?: If you’re an A level student, you’ll have to take aptitude and ability tests, pass a fitness test and interview before a more rigorous assessment to see if you’re capable mentally and physically. If successful, you can begin officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
Pay: from £33,442 to £62,000