By Careers & Welfare Team

Go Back

A pair of shoes

Your Career Options – how to make the choice that’s right for you!

This is the time of year when many people are thinking about their career plans, whether it’s taking the next steps to progressing in their chosen career, changing jobs or even planning a complete career change. You may have just completed your current course and gained that all-important qualification. Congratulations! So what’s next for you?

You may be moving forward and choosing the next level course or have an alternative plan. You may already have a long-term career goal in mind and have a career plan in place, or you may feel unsure about what you want to do or what your next career move should be. You may be a school-leaver, an adult returner, or wanting to improve your current qualifications in your current career. This can seem like a confusing time and making decisions when there are so many options can be difficult and challenging!

Whatever your current situation, you can access support from our careers team at The Manchester College. We can support you to look at your strengths and interests and provide you with tools to manage your career path, including online self-assessment and profile building exercises which you may find insightful.

You may choose to study at The Manchester College or UCEN Manchester. If you’re interested in studying for a qualification which will lead you towards your chosen career, here at The Manchester College we offer a wide range of courses across all vocational sectors. Explore the range of courses that we offer at all levels and areas. We’re one of the top ten providers of university-level and further education in England, and the number one provider of 16-19 education in Greater Manchester. 

Within the College, we have a shared ethos of Careers Not Courses, which means that all our courses have an employment focus. Many of our courses are developed in partnership with leading local and national employers. We’ve developed Centres of Excellence and Industry Excellence Academies, where we have partnered with leading companies in the industry to provide both short term work experience and extended industry placements, as well as masterclasses and employer-led workshops. You can find more information about this on our website.

If you’re aged between 16-18, you may be interested in a brand-new technical programme we are offering called T Levels. From September 2021, The Manchester College will be offering the new next-level qualification T Levels in four subject areas: Construction; Digital; Education & Childcare; and Health & Healthcare Science, where students will be able to combine classroom learning with an extended 45 day industry placement, to put their learning into practice in a real work environment with one of our employer partners. For more information, take a look at a previous blog on T Levels written by our Schools Team. 

Returning to study as an adult can be both challenging and very rewarding and you have a lot to balance and consider. We’re very experienced in supporting adult learners and our wide range of Access courses are specifically designed to support your study needs if you’re thinking about Higher Education. There are many other adult programmes across most vocational areas to help you get the job and career you want.

Thinking about Higher Education level courses? A great option to consider are Foundation Degrees - UCEN Manchester offer a wide range of Foundation Degrees and Top-Up Degrees. All our industry-focused courses, across all levels, mean that as soon as you’ve completed your studies, you’ll be prepared for the world of work. Our tutors are experienced in their field and specialists in their industry. 

It’s important that you’re aware of all the options that are available, so that you know what opportunities there are, and that you’re fully aware that you’re making the right choices. Some of you may be thinking of alternative paths or would like to hear about what’s possible. 

For example, have you thought about apprenticeships? An apprenticeship combines learning with earning a wage. Learners have a proper job with an employer and are supported through a programme of learning to match their needs and business needs, allowing them to gain recognised qualifications whilst earning a wage. There are also opportunities to work towards degree level qualifications. You can find out more about apprenticeships from Level 2 to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, at and apprenticeship provider Total People.

Other options you could consider include:

Volunteering for local and national charities to give you the necessary skills and experience and see what is involved in jobs in that field. You may be keen on finding employment or starting our own business; or looking for opportunities in traineeships or internships. You might also be considering a gap year before you continue with your studies. As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities - watch out for future blogs about all these options and ideas.

Careers and Welfare specialists are available to support you to discuss your next steps. To find out more about these ideas, contact the Careers & Welfare team to book an appointment. We’ll work with you to develop a career plan, which explores the range of opportunities and courses on offer, so you can make informed decisions about your future. Contact us at careers& for advice, or through our Twitter @CareersTMC or our Linked In page Careers TMC.