As you enter the final year of sixth form you will hear a lot of questions including ‘what university have you applied for?’ or ‘what are your plans after leaving school?’ If you do not know the answer yet, then don’t worry – you are not alone! One of the most popular options for that a lot of students consider is taking a gap year.
What Is A Gap Year?
A gap year is when students take time out of studying, either before or during university to decide what their next steps are towards their career goal. During a gap year there are plenty of things that you can do to enhance your CV and explore the different job opportunities that are available to you!
Many young people take this time to explore the world, discover new cultures and make memories with friends! You could go backpacking in Asia or inter-railing around Europe.
2. Paid Employment
You can apply for jobs either at home in your local area or abroad in places like America or Australia, where you can save money and gain new skills.
This would be the perfect time to study courses online where you can learn new skills and explore the career paths that are available to you. There are many websites such as The Open University and Future Learn that have a range of free courses at entry level. You can also take this time to take up a new hobby including photography, cooking, or playing an instrument.
You could take this time to volunteer in your local area, teach other young people or help to build a school in a third world country. You can chat to your careers councillor in school about the programmes that are available to you after school.
5. Work Experience
If you would like to gain experience in a particular job sector or for a subject that you plan to study at university, you should consider work experience or an internship. These can last from a few weeks to a year contract. As these spaces are competitive so make sure to do your research and hand in your application on time.
Top Tips For Your Gap Year
- Make sure you take enough time to prepare in advance! A gap year can take several months to plan and to save funds, especially if you are thinking about travel.
- Do your research! Before you defer your university offer talk to people who have taken a gap year and get an insight into their experiences.
- Take this time to network and build connections. Create a LinkedIn and use this to research opportunities near you and to build relationships with those who work in professions you are interested in.