Options at age 18

At age 18, you can continue learning and your changing aspirations and interest may lead you to a higher education qualification, such as a degree or higher technical qualification. This is possible throughout your career


Discover your options

Explore further information about options available to you at aged 18


Apprenticeships combine study with training in a paid job. There are apprenticeships in almost any career path you want to do

More about apprenticeships

  • Apprentices spend most of their time at work, with at least 20% of their time studying at a training provider
  • Apprenticeships are offered at all levels, from Level 2 right through to Level 6 or 7 (which is bachelor’s or master’s degree equivalent)
  • Apprenticeships are offered by employers, who advertise when they have vacancies. Vacancies are also advertised locally, for example through colleges, or on national websites

At the end of your apprenticeship you will have gained a formal qualification, usually at a Level 2 or 3 for school leavers, and have experience in the career path that you want to follow.

What can apprenticeships lead to?

  • A formal qualification
  • Employment in the career you want
  • A higher or degree level apprenticeship – equivalent to a foundation, bachelor or masters degree
  • Valuable work place experience
Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)

Higher Technical Qualifications are Higher Education qualifications which offer a classroom-based alternative to higher apprenticeships

More about Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQ)

  • They are taught in FE colleges, universities, Institutes of Technology and by independent training providers
  • They have been backed by panels of employers so are really relevant to the workplace
  • They are new – the first HTQs in digital subjects started in Autumn 2022, and more will subjects will follow over the next three years
University degree

University degrees can be studied full-time or part-time and combined with a job.

Student loans are usually available to pay the course fees and living costs, but many colleges and universities offer additional support for those in need.