A-Levels are still the go to qualifications for most aspiring University candidates. Those all-important UCAS points really limit the range of options for those who are seeking access to Higher Education. But this does not mean that the A-Level should be seen as a one-size-fits all qualification. If you’re someone who wants to get on in the world of work without going through the degree route, then there are a whole range of online and distance learning courses with a more direct, vocational application.
UK Distance Learning & Publishing offers a large selection of A-Level courses, from English Literature to Biology, and we receive dozens of enquiries every day from students interested in enrolling as a way of boosting their CV. For many, this is exactly the right course of action, but there are whole swathes of people for whom there are more subject-specific, cost-effective, and simple courses to study.
For example, if you’re looking to get a job in childcare, is it really worth studying a tangentially related A-Level subject, like sociology, with all the attendant examination costs, over two years, when you could take an ABC certificate course? An ABC course in childcare may be of a ‘lower level’ than an A-Level, but it can be studied over a time-frame of months rather than years, with zero additional exam costs. It will also be directly applicable to the career that you’re pursuing, teaching you relevant knowledge and skills that you can direct a potential employer towards during the application and interview process.
The same principle can apply if you’re already in a job, but need something to help you stand out from the crowd when going for promotion. If you work in an administrative job, are your superiors really going to be won over by an A-Level in Geography, or would they be much more impressed with a qualification from the business, management and office catalogue? The certificate might not carry the same name recognition as an A-Level, but it would be a damn sight more useful to someone looking for promotion within a business!
Another thing that A-Levels aren’t much use for are people who want to become self-employed (there isn’t a great call for self-employed Philosophers or Mathematicians — check the Yellow Pages if you don’t believe me). At UK Distance Learning & Publishing though we’ve got a whole raft of courses than help you to get qualified for various self-employed roles, and plenty of things that will assist you in the process of actually putting together the infrastructure you need to run a successful business. This includes our Starting Your Own Business course, which walks learners through the various logistical and legal hurdles you need to deal with as a self-employed person, and our selection of Web Design and Social Media courses, which can really help if you need to build a business website and market your new company.
In terms of the courses we have that can actually qualify you to work for yourself, one of our best options is undoubtedly our range of bookkeeping courses. These range from the Level 1 Bookkeeping Certificate (best suited to those who have little or no prior experience of Accountancy), to the Total Bookkeeping Level 3 Certificate. These courses will be helpful to you if you set up any kind of business, as understanding how to manage your finances is an incredibly important part of running any kind of commercial enterprise.
In short, then, an A-Level course can be a fantastic way of pursuing your dreams, or of just learning something new and interesting. However, we have to appreciate that pursuing this entirely academic route is not always the right choice for every person. UK Distance Learning & Publishing is determined to offer a course that can help every single person, regardless of what their ambitions are, and we refuse to push people into chasing a university education if it isn’t necessary or suitable. The beauty of online and distance education is in its flexibility, and this doesn’t just apply to your study hours. For us, flexibility means being able to offer courses in a wide range of subjects (wider than the vast majority of schools and sixth form colleges), because we don’t need the physical infrastructure to deliver our training programmes.
So, if you’ve just got some disappointing A-Level results, by all means come and study with us to prepare for your re-sits, but before you make any decisions, sit down and have a think about what it is you really want to do. It might be that we have a distance learning course that’s perfect for you.