Not another "where do I go from here" thread!

Soldato
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I've seen a few threads recently about going back to college or university, and thought instead of jumping in on the OP's threads I would start my own.

Basically, a short introduction to where I was & at now.

I am 31 years old & disabled. I left High School with poor GCSE results because of my condition (due to a lot of time off, essentially a problem carried on as early as Primary School), but I put the effort in to catch up as much as I could in the first 1-2 years in HS.

I left with English D - Maths E - Science C - French D - Business Studies D - Information Systems E - Geography D

On to College I took a GNVQ in IT Intermediate Level, and retook English/Maths. I passed my GNVQ and only managed to get a D in Maths, and again another D in English! :(

Stupidly I left, hot headed in the thought I could land a job and get earning right away (as my friends seem to be doing), obviously that didn't happen for me, I did get a job at BT but the whole thing was a mess, oh which is far too long to go into detail.

I, in a way, gave up sometime after that. I remember turning 21 and basically I thought I would keep looking and trying to get that magical job in IT yet without actually going back to college to help myself! Part of me was mad at my friends working, moving on with their lives and I wasn't, yet I simply waited like it was going to work out...

Oct. 2003, aged 23 I landed my first job with the NHS, as an data entry clerk :cool:. It wasn't that bad in all honesty, I was given a 6 month contract but because I got on great there and everybody loved me I was made permanent within 3 months. Skip many years and a different role / slight promotion later I finished Feb. 2010 where by I left of my own accord because again my condition was impacting on my ability to do the job, an added gripe too was the new role was extremely limited and heading in a different direction than promised, and when living with a painful disability if you are not motivated/enganged then it only adds to the condition.

So, I took the time to get better (which I have, and probably more time than I needed since boredom has truly set in :rolleyes:), and now I feel like I can move forward but where & how?

At first I was tempted to redo my GCSE English & Maths, and attempt History GCSE because I regret not taking that in my final 2 years at HS and it is something I am still interested in.

Then I thought well, will they improve my CV at my age when I have no other 'profound' qualification, other than a GNVQ, if they even know what that is anymore.

Other thoughts (one of which was mentioned in another similar thread) was Access To Higher Education but which course?...and finally since I am a 'Mac Fanboy' is to do the private qualification on their OS, I did pass one while I was working, bought the books and paid for the exam myself, but the OS revisions have moved on and one isn't enough to 'showcase' on my CV and I simply cannot afford to continue to do them with funding of which it seems there is none for this type of private/independent exam.


...so what do I do?

I still would like to redo or refresh English/Maths and History is something I like to learn about but is that helpful at this point in my life. Do I go for a Access to HE course (which seems to cover English/Maths) and look towards University (but which area/field! :confused: ). Or do I wait for a surprise win fall or some form of learning grant which can help me gain those Apple qualifications.

Also, looking at the time of year I'm probably too late? I thought 'Adult Learning' started around October but looking at my local colleges they all started September. :o

Any helpful advice/thoughts welcome...

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FINALLY, for the TL;DR folks, here is a picture of some nice ladies before you press the back button, so your click wasn't completely wasted! :p

GcZtZ.jpg
 
Associate
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Have a look at going into uni as a mature student, a lot of uni's take mature students with little or no qualifications.
 
Man of Honour
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AmTechFox: I don't think you can really go wrong with doing maths and English if you're interested in the subject, even if it doesn't directly or obviously improve your prospects it ought to help in simple things like completing application forms or your CV and how you present yourself. It's also good to be able to show prospective employers that you've taken steps to "improve" yourself independently although that comes down to how you present yourself. It might be worth looking into whether there are any bursaries on offer or college sponsorships for adults wishing to retake qualifications - try your local college and indeed ask them if you can start now or if you've got to wait for a new academic year.

Is the end goal here a job in IT of some description or would you be happy with a job in a different area provided it was something you could do and interested you?

What does a paeodphile look like?

That guy up there apparently. :p
 
Soldato
OP
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AmTechFox: I don't think you can really go wrong with doing maths and English if you're interested in the subject, even if it doesn't directly or obviously improve your prospects it ought to help in simple things like completing application forms or your CV and how you present yourself. It's also good to be able to show prospective employers that you've taken steps to "improve" yourself independently although that comes down to how you present yourself. It might be worth looking into whether there are any bursaries on offer or college sponsorships for adults wishing to retake qualifications - try your local college and indeed ask them if you can start now or if you've got to wait for a new academic year.

Is the end goal here a job in IT of some description or would you be happy with a job in a different area provided it was something you could do and interested you?

I'd like to think I've got a much better understanding of English now than I had back then in school. I have no problem spelling, I can write formal letters, reports and whatever else was required of me in my previous job just fine. It's a thought that I could get a much better result now, for me. Same with Maths, I can add/subtract/times/ & do percentage/measurements etc just fine but again my poor results bother me even after all this time. Is it something I should change? or concentrate of more work focused qualifications?

IT is my generic field of interest yes, but the thought of being a help desk monkey doesn't appeal, I'd be looking towards other support roles in IT. Or as you mentioned I could be happy in a completely different area/field if it is something that interested me.

Access to HE does look to be appealing as the modules cover various subjects like English & Maths, but where that would lead is a little foggy. I mean do I throw myself into uni after that and commit to 3/4 years education?
 
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IT is my generic field of interest yes, but the thought of being a help desk monkey doesn't appeal, I'd be looking towards other support roles in IT. Or as you mentioned I could be happy in a completely different area/field if it is something that interested me.

Access to HE does look to be appealing as the modules cover various subjects like English & Maths, but where that would lead is a little foggy. I mean do I throw myself into uni after that and commit to 3/4 years education?

You either have to start at the bottom or get yourself 'educated'. I.E. get a university qualification, or start as 'help desk monkey' and work your way up. Both ways are hard. I would recommend the 'academic' route. For you it sounds like HNC->HND->Bachelor's Degree would be the best path (you might get a foundation degree somewhere in here.)
 
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