When you’re in a school or at college, you’re taking decisions that can affect the whole arc of your future life, arguably before you have the information or insight to make them perfectly. Whether you dream of pursuing a career in tech or something related to helping other people, how you decide in school will affect your career path.

It’s hard to know at 14 just what the impact of a choice of GCSE will have on your future career, and though schools do the best they can to advise the students taking these decisions, even they are limited by the fast pace of change in our technologically advancing world. A teacher can advise about what a good choice of GCSE or A Level or even degree could be the year 2000, with no way to anticipate the world of 2018 in which those qualifications are put to the test.

Today we’re taking a look at how young people can navigate this choice and build lives that are not just successful but stimulating, sustaining and rewarding.

Jobs for Life

If you’re trying to put together a career, you can do worse than looking at some of the few remaining jobs for life. This gives you the security that you will always be in demand, and contributing vitally to the good of society. Most of the jobs can see you through an entire working life are strongly woven into the fabric of society: social care jobs, teaching jobs or the civil service.

If this notion of security and contributing to the country appeals to you, then you can pick the area you’d like to go into and choose subjects that make building a career in it most likely to be successful. Guides abound for how to find jobs on social work, from GCSEs to A-Levels and beyond to degrees so you can feel confident you’re making the right choice.


An alternative route is to simply follow your interests. Choosing the subjects that call out to you might not result in a timetable that easily fits the profile of any given career, but it does mean you’re more likely to find it easier to concentrate and achieve more: working on something you find interesting yourself means you’re going to knuckle down and get the results. This gives you decent prospects for entry onto any degree you might find yourself interested in later, and a philosophy of pursuing your interest and seeing where they take you gives the skills to build your own career, finding opportunity and capitalising on it as you go!