Which A-levels would be best to get a computing apprenticeship?

(8 Posts)
ButEmilylovedhim Mon 16-May-16 13:14:00

My ds is going to start A levels in September. His preferred subjects are computing, philosophy and sociology. I'm trying to steer him towards a different subject in place of philosophy or sociology. I'm worried they won't be looked upon well when he goes for an appreticeship. I know maths and physics would be the ideal but with the best will in the world (and he's a fab lad with many talents) he's not mathematically minded. Absolutely brilliant with all things computer though.

I was thinking almost any more "academic" subject would be better for the future. (I personally absolutely rate philosophy and sociology as academic. Philosophy especially sounds really hard! But I know they are seen as "softer" subjects by some.) He was thinking of chemistry, which is his best science, but the teacher at college did a good job of putting him off that because he wasn't going to do maths or another science as well. I was thinking it's a numerate subject at least and he would enjoy the practical side.

I'd love him to do exactly what he wants and is interested in, but I don't want it to shut any doors later for him. He can't quite see what I'm on about naturally, with the optimism of youth. Anyone have any advice?

catslife Mon 16-May-16 13:38:29

I was going to say Maths which would be essential if he is considering a degree in Computing. But as he is thinking about apprenticeships the best thing to do would be to look up a few courses and ask them which subjects they would prefer i.e. work backwards.
Perhaps a practical subject would be suitable such as electronics, systems & control or an applied subject such as Engineering at level 3.
None of these would fit into your idea of a "more academic" subject though. The concept of "softer" subjects may not apply if he isn't considering degree levels study.

cricketballs Mon 16-May-16 14:07:03

Agree with catslife on looking backwards but electronics would be an excellent choice. Although I did ONC and HNC electronics we covered a lot to do with assembly code etc it will also help your DS understand more fully hardware, how it works, possibilities and of course current limitations. It will also keep the doors open for both hardware and software future choices

ButEmilylovedhim Mon 16-May-16 14:32:06

Thanks catslife and cricketballs! He would absolutely love to do electronics! It's another of his hobbies. But the college doesn't offer it unfortunately.

I think the fact that he wants to do an appreticeship does give more leeway in subjects than applying for university but I'm worried that doing both philosophy and sociology might be too much. I think one of them would probably be ok. Nothing else is appealing to him though. So hard to guide them.

I did think about working backwards and asking what is preferred but I'd him to do some of the leg work really!

catslife Mon 16-May-16 15:16:49

* He was thinking of chemistry, which is his best science, but the teacher at college did a good job of putting him off that because he wasn't going to do maths or another science as well. *
Officially Computer Science (if that's what you mean by computing) is a Science subject, so the Chemistry teacher isn't technically correct.
I have experience of A level Chemistry. Although it does involve Maths, it isn't 100% necessary to have Maths A level provided that he has a high enough grade in Maths GCSE. (Most of the Maths is rearranging equations, drawing and interpreting graphs etc.) Some colleges offer extra Maths support classes to pupils taking this subject without Maths A level.

littledrummergirl Mon 16-May-16 16:15:30

Ds1 was advised that maths would be more important than computer science if he wanted to do it at degree level. I would think this would be the same for an apprenticeship.

FozzieMK Tue 17-May-16 10:47:44

Has he thought about doing the BTEC Level 3 Extended in IT? I ask this because my DD is not good at maths and only just got a GCSE C grade, but she took the BTEC and is on target for a D*D*D*. This grade has enabled her to get 4 Uni offers to study Computing, 2 of which are unconditional. The BTEC covers lots of different computing subjects and offers a work placement as part of the course. Quite a few of her classmates have gained Apprenticeships this year. If he has his heart set on Computing, either an Apprenticeship or a degree, then this is a great option and at DD*D is the equivalent to 3 A levels.

swingofthings Tue 17-May-16 15:26:15

Do you indeed mean computer science? If so, it is surprising he is managing well in this field but struggling in Maths as normally kids who do well in one do well in the other. I too have been advised that the two are directly related for future career choices and doing one without the other will means one element is missing, as well as when it comes to competition with others.

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