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Help with career options for DS yr 8

(28 Posts)
educationrocks1 Fri 30-May-14 12:52:30

I know its a little early, but DS is very good in the following subjects:

Design and technology
These are always definite A*s

if he studies hard, he will get and A in Science, but usually a B with 'you could do better' type comments.
Maths is always Bs.

What type of career choices do you see shaping up here or A'level choices.

HolidayCriminal Fri 30-May-14 13:10:06

I think it's too early to say.

educationrocks1 Fri 30-May-14 13:33:57

Thanks for your comment. As he will be going to yr 9 soon and some children start GCSEs around that time, don't you think we can start to sort of see routes he might follow or A'level combinations ? ds is my first so many i'm getting anxious too early but thought now would be a good time .

LIZS Fri 30-May-14 13:38:19

Nope , way too soon .

titchy Fri 30-May-14 13:50:14

Agree way too soon.

Just make sure he does a reasonably broad selection of GCSEs that won't restrict his A Level choices. Art AND D&T not likely to be a good idea as the workload for the portfolio would be huge but other than maybe deciding between these two chill!

SizzlesSit Fri 30-May-14 13:55:15

What does he want to do?

educationrocks1 Fri 30-May-14 14:11:59

Okay, i'll accept its too early then. Up till yr 7 he wanted to study engineering, but now now he has changed his mind and not sure what he would like to do anymore. So when is the right time to start thinking about A'level choices ?

Unless he wants to do a career which generally requires a specific set of A levels for entry e.g. Medicine then consider what subjects he is good at and enjoys for A level. A lot a degrees e.g. Law don't require specific subjects but do require high grades in usually reasonably traditional A levels.

If there is something he thinks he might like to do such as Engineering after all, then check closer to the time what A levels he would need to get on to a degree and make sure he does ones that would keep that option open.

titchy Fri 30-May-14 15:27:34

Check sixth form prospectuses for application deadlines - usually Autumn of year 11.

But please don't pin him down to a specific career even then unless he's really sure. It's perfectly ok to do 3 or 4 subjects at A level that don't necessarily go together, as long as you and he are aware that might rule out some specific courses and some specific universities. Most degree courses aren't THAT prescriptive that they need 3 particular subjects and that's it forever.

educationrocks1 Fri 30-May-14 15:45:40

I think the underlying reason for my being anxious is that i didn't school in the U.K, where I schooled you had to do specific combinations for various courses (although with some flexibility) so medicine always had to be physics, chemistry & bio, Law would be something like history, Literature and RS or Economics. if you didn't have the right subjects (as in not good enough for a particular subject) e.g you would like to study engineering but not good at maths or physics, it was too late to do anything about it by Yr11 but if you have proactive parents they could have helped you further in your weak subject from around yr 8 or9 knowing that you would likely need it for A'levels.

I never knew anyone do Art or design and technology for A'level and so don't know what it would pair with or what type of course one could study with such a combination at university, which is why i'm asking.

We don't want to pin DS into a career now, quite the contrary we want him to have as many options as possible which is why we are trying to look at possible subject combinations he might have in the near future and where he might need help. We feel if we wait till yr 11, the decision will made for him and then be boxed in.

I am concerned about what tichy said now that unrelated subjects will exclude him from not only specific courses but specific universities. Could you expatiate a bit more please.

enderwoman Fri 30-May-14 15:59:19

I have a y8 who is starting GCSE courses and the only real questions were
1. Whether or not to continue his foreign language
2. Whether to pick GCSE or BTEC versions of courses
3. Whether or not to do triple or double science.
4. Whether to pick Geography or History

He has 2 options where I suggested he pick "for fun" He's gone for drama and Media Studies. Drama isn't academic but I assume involves public speaking and writing which are life skills. His school offered taster classes in the subjects he hasn't done before like psychology and sociology and he found Media Studies most interesting.

He is doing triple science as he's in top set and I advised him that he should do it just in case he wants to do A-level science. Going from triple science GCSE to a science A level will be easier than double science GCSE to science A level.

titchy Fri 30-May-14 16:12:19

Sorry I meant specific courses AT specific universities - no university has a blanket rule to exclude applicants with certain A level combinations!

So as a PP said he would need Chem and Bio A level to do medicine, maths and physics for engineering, but most courses are not that prescriptive.

It is certainly not the case in England that decisions need to be made before A level.

summerends Fri 30-May-14 16:47:09

What may be a more immediate decision for him if he chooses his options is whether he chooses to /can do do both Art and DT for GCSE. Heavy workload from what I hear.
If careers like architecture or graphic design are potential options at this stage it might be worth canvassing opinion if either Art or DT is more necessary if he has to choose only one.

educationrocks1 Fri 30-May-14 17:03:51

Thanks for all your comments, very good ones. I had heard about the art/d&t workload, i dont know wether to say its a shame he is so good at both, he doesn't want to become an artist...that much i know. it seems subject choices for university are much more flexible in the U.K.

We certainly will be thinking which to choose out of the two but will see how yr 9 pans out to get a clearer picture. enderwoman thanks for you list!

TheWave Fri 30-May-14 17:30:36

If he likes English and RS/philosophy he could do those at A level, perhaps with Politics and/or Art or History with a view to an English degree, which opens lots of doors to a career in admin/journalism /charity work etc in a field that interests him such as the art or politics...

exexpat Fri 30-May-14 17:35:54

I agree it is way too soon.

DS is in year 11 and has already chosen A-level subjects for next year but still has really no idea what he eventually wants to do. His A-level choices are fairly different from what I might have expected in year 8 too.

I think only a tiny minority of his friends even now have a clear idea of what they want to do in terms of degrees and careers, and those are the ones who want to do things like medicine or joining the army. I think a lot of careers are just not really the kind of thing 13-year-olds would be interested in or really understand yet.

AElfgifu Fri 30-May-14 19:36:13

It is way to soon, and GCSEs taken in year 9 don't count for much. He has at least another year before a very limited number of decisions, which are in any case designed to keep options open. He has three and a half years before major decisions have to be made.

titchy Fri 30-May-14 20:06:06

AElf - please can you stop with the 'gcses taken in year 9 don't count' nonsense.

The OP hasNOT mentioned that any gcses will be taken in year 9, and kids are only ever likely to do one or two early, and they DO count - they are still gcses after all.

Your 6th form is the only one I (and other MNers) have heard off that discounts early gcses from their entrance requirements.

Other sixth forms do not do this. Universities also do not care as long as 8 are taken at the end of year 11.

karalime Fri 30-May-14 20:26:35

Seems a bit early to judge. When I was in year 8 I wanted to be concert violinist which was completely unrelated to the A Levels I chose three years later.

Besides, what does he want to do and what does he like? I only did GCSEs and A Levels a few years ago and I did feel that there was too much of a focus on which subjects you could get the highest grades in with the least effort rather than which subjects were the most useful for what you wanted to do.

I know quite a few people who did DT who then went on to do Architecture or Engineering related things. Also when I was thinking of engineering the main thing you definitely needed was maths with some unis asking for physics as well. Or who knows, he could go and do an engineering or graphic design apprenticeship and get paid whilst he learns.

AElfgifu Fri 30-May-14 20:38:42

titchy, go back and read the previous discussions, no, they don't count in most cases

ExBrightonBell Fri 30-May-14 20:42:17

You might be interested in a publication called Informed Choices, a document put together by the top 24 universities that explains in detail their attitudes to different subjects and qualifications.

titchy Fri 30-May-14 20:49:40

AElf - I have read plenty of discussions - all agreeing with me and not you. I also work in HE and am rather familiar with what we do and don't count.

One or two early entry gcses do NOT scupper kids' chances except in your rather skewed world.

HolidayCriminal Fri 30-May-14 21:07:58

They can change their minds a lot. At age 12-13 I never would have predicted what field(s) I went on to work in.

The way GCSEs work is they have a load of core compulsory subjects and then options/electives. The core subjects should be adequate to keep all doors open until A-level choices are made. It's only at A-level that they really have to specialise, and even then the choices don't have to be highly specialised.

There are good career directions for people good at design so DT + Art is not a bad combo at all. I believe that it's important that they do subjects they love if at all possible.

educationrocks1 Fri 30-May-14 22:12:07

Oh more comments! *Ex brighton i will certainly look at your link, it sounds very interesting. Like i said i'm not trying to choose a career for ds, what i'm trying to do is see where things like Art, d& T fit, what type of career choices could they lead to ? ds may well end up not doing either of them for A'levels i don't know i'm just curious as i'm not familiar with the combination of subjects i listed.

Tichy and AElf can you both just agree to disagree? perhaps you both have different experiences but are equally valid smile

HolidayCriminal Fri 30-May-14 22:23:28

where things like Art, d& T fit, what type of career choices could they lead to ?

Well, if he chose them at A-level, Off top of my head: Many areas of Engineering, advertising, product design, design in anything that can be sold or used, graphics, computer game design, support in the sciences (lab tech type work), web page design & web site building, teaching at every level, landscaping, interior decorating, geography, architecture.

Obviously many of those might also depend on the 3rd subject chosen at A-level.

So he hasn't moved that far from an engineering path at all, you see.

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