Whatever stage you are at in your education, there are always important decisions coming up about the choices and plans you need to make about your future.
There are lots of websites including this one that give you the opportunity to explore your career ideas and consider the choices and pathways available to you. It will also support you in your next steps with helpful advice about local opportunities.
Have a look at the below flowchart to help you get started with your career planning.
Qualifications: what do the different levels mean?
A qualification shows employers, teachers and learners what you have learnt and what you can do as a result of that learning. There is a large variety of qualifications available so they are grouped together into levels to show how they compare and what other qualifications they can lead to.
In the UK, most qualifications taken through work, school, college or university, fit into one of nine levels (12 in Scotland). The higher the level, the harder the qualification. The levels are based on the standards of knowledge, skill and competence needed for each qualification. Qualifications at the same level can be very different in terms of content and the length of time they take to complete.
Knowing about the different levels means that you can compare qualifications and identify what you need for your chosen career.
Four qualifications frameworks are in use within the UK:
- Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) for England and Northern Ireland
- Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW)
- Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
- Framework for Higher Education Qualifications for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ)
The table below shows some examples of qualifications at each level under RQF and FHEQ, the main frameworks for Northern Ireland. The list is not exhaustive.
Look out for your CareersInc advisers in school for more help and advice when you need it!
Speak to your Teachers who can help you to arrange a meeting with your adviser to discuss any career related questions that you may have.