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Have posted this in chat too, but on second thoughts might get more responses here:
Hope everyone’s safe and well! I left school at 15 (had a baby) with no qualifications. I am 24 now and have worked in a small estate agents doing admin since I was 17. I really enjoy my job but am getting to the point where I would like to do something different- my dd is 9 next month and I have my parents and in laws who are able to help much more with childcare now. The problem is that I’m up against so many other people who do have qualifications (I don’t even have GCSEs!) I would really like to get some qualifications and think that my main option may be through distance learning (I can’t go full time to a college because I still need to carry on working at the same time). I was just wondering if anyone has done this before and if so what distance learning provider they used? Also, I have had a look at GCSEs online and for science GCSEs it appears there is an ‘IGCSE’ is that the same as a regular gcse and do employers/further education colleges recognise it in the same way? Sorry for all the questions, it’s all a bit of a minefield to me! X
I’m currently doing a degree via open university. It’s hard work but well worth doing, it’s already opened up more job opportunities and companies I’ve spoken to believe it shows real commitment and good time management to be able to do this alongside work and family commitments.
I’d research what you think you’d like to do job wise and find one on indeed or another job site and see what qualifications they require or prefer. Gives you a starting point of what to aim for.
iGCSE is the International GCSE, usually distance providers offer it because it doesn't include the same coursework/practical requirements and therefore can be done from home.
National Extension College used to be the best place for distance GCSEs/A-levels, and to do the exams you just need to find a local centre (usually a school or college) and ask the exams officer to enter you as a private candidate. Not all schools/colleges accept external candidates (people who don't go to that school/college) but AQA has a good list which isn't regularly updated but might be a starting point for you. Doing this as evening classes at a local college might be a better bet though because it should be free if you have no GCSEs (certainly everywhere does free courses in maths/numeracy and English/literacy at level 2 or GCSE), whereas you'll have to pay full price usually for the course and definitely for the exam entry if you do it by distance learning. For 5 different GCSEs (the amount you need to progress to level 3/A-level) that really adds up!
You may find it's hard to get the motivation to do GCSEs because the content is so remote from your job and your life. What about doing estate agency qualifications? Best to talk to a local college tutor: they are online even now. Distance learning sounds like a good idea but I did my masters that way and it was sheer slog without the classroom contact; I talked to fellow students online but no-one lived near me. .
Lots of professional qualifications are available by evening course at FE college (once things go back to norma). Things like AAT, CIM, CIPD.
What would your ideal career be?
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