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4 Alternative Career Paths for Teen School Leavers

by Editorial Team | September 13th, 2017 | Teens

A teenager can dread exam results day — it seems like their entire future is balanced precariously on a piece of paper.

And a parent naturally worries if either their teens’ results are disappointing or are better than expected yet they don’t want to go straight to university.

But there are more career paths than you might realise that might appeal to teenagers reluctant to follow the beaten path.

So here are four alternative career paths for teen school leavers to consider.

Modern Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships formerly concentrated on traditional trades like plumbing or joinery — career paths which can still be financially rewarding for many workers.

But the Modern Apprenticeship scheme offers far more diversity, with choices that can lead to careers in care management, local government and hair and beauty, amongst many others.

Apprentices earn cash while working on the job towards a qualification that stands them in good stead for a sustainable career — a desirable destination for many young people.

Distance learning

If your teen likes the thought of studying for a vocational degree but wants the flexibility to study when it suits them, distance learning degrees are ideal.

Studying online offers the balance required to remain close to friends and family, work part-time and pursue volunteering opportunities.

This option suits school leavers who’ve achieved good exam results but feel more comfortable remaining in a familiar environment rather than moving away to launch their higher education journey.


Some young adults can’t wait to get into the world of work to start earning their own money.

And several companies have excellent school leaver trainee programmes that develop young employees’ potential and are aimed at retention and long-term careers.

Getting started with a good company isn’t an inferior career path compared to further education — it’s a different approach that allows talented and promising talent to flourish.

So encourage your teen to look around at industries they’re interested in and recommend firms that really value young workers.


A gap year with a purpose can benefit employees at any age, but it’s particularly useful for teenagers.

Choosing a job from the thousands of niche roles available can be overwhelming for a young adult with limited life experience.

So taking a well-planned trip to somewhere safe but exciting allows them to dip their toes into diverse work experiences.

The experience of an unfamiliar culture broadens their minds and they often relish the responsibility of fending for themselves.

There are a number of positive career options open to school leavers stepping towards self-efficiency and it’s important they realise there’s always somewhere they can fit in and flourish.

These 4alternative career paths for teen school leavers prove that success can be found on roads less travelled.

How did your school experience influence your career path? Share your stories in the comments section.

Brought to you by our friend, Kev Fullerton.

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