From education to employment

Five jobs for College Leavers

You might think you’ve got two options after college: uni or an apprenticeship.

Actually, you have more choice than you think. Here are five interesting jobs you can do straight out of college:

Healthcare assistant

HCAs support doctors, nurses and other NHS staff by providing essential care for patients.

This ranges from taking blood samples and observations to helping patients wash, dress, feed themselves and move around, and providing company and reassurance. So, HCAs really get to know the patients they work with.

HCAs work at GP surgeries or hospitals and are friendly, caring and keen to make a difference. It’s a great stepping stone job for other roles like nursing, occupational therapy or paramedicine.

For more info on being an HCA and other healthcare jobs like emergency care or OT assistant, check out the NHS career explorer.


Engineers use maths, physics and technical know-how to design, make and fix things and solve problems.

Engineering is immensely varied; some engineers are desk-based, using CAD and other software, while others work on-site, fixing things and getting their hands dirty. It’s a great career for techy people who want to understand how things work.

Though you can study engineering at university, there are loads of engineering apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships out there that you can join straight away.

There’s more info on GoConstruct, ImechE, ICE and IET and there are often apprenticeship vacancies on the college website.

English language teacher (TEFL)

If you’re good at English, you might decide to share your knowledge by teaching English in another country.

This is great for adventurous, literate, enthusiastic people who want to dive in to other cultures.

Popular countries for TEFL include Spain, France, Vietnam, Korea, China and Japan. Rates of pay vary, but some employers will pay you a wage alongside covering your flights and accommodation!

There aren’t any formal requirements, but you might choose to take a qualification like CertTESOL or CELTA before applying for jobs.


30% of higher and degree apprenticeships are with accountancy firms, so loads of college leavers become accountants without going to uni.

Programmes like the ICAEW Trailblazer apprenticeship will see you join a firm as a trainee accountant and work your way towards chartered status.

Accountants are methodical, numerate and well organised, but are also team players and great communicators. They work in virtually every industry, so it’s interesting, flexible and stable work, and typically offers good pay, too.


…OK, maybe ‘spy’ is a little dramatic. But, the UK’s security services hire plenty of school leavers each year.

GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 all list vacancies for school leavers, ranging from engineering to cyber security to language analysis.

Competition is fierce, and you’ll have to be granted enhanced security clearance, but it doesn’t get much more interesting or important than being on the front line of national security.

This is just the beginning! We’ve barely scratched the surface of jobs for college leavers.

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