From education to employment

Results Day 2023: Advice from Across the Industry

hands in the middle, team

A-Levels, T-Levels and Vocational Technical Qualifications (Level 3) Results day has come around again and brings with it a lot of nerves, and big decisions. Some will get the grades they need for their chosen university or college course, some won’t and will be faced with a decision about what comes next.

While it might seem like it at the time, the grades you achieve don’t decide your future. To this end we asked a wide range of professionals across a variety of sectors, for their advice to anyone receiving their results this week.

Don’t get hung up on grades

Chris Hepburn – Digital and Information Strategy Manager at BAE Systems

“Try not to get too hung up on your grades. When I was at school all my friends were usually the top of the class, but I was always average – and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s important to remember that you don’t leave school or university with a grade, but the ability to learn – with some soft skills picked up along the way. Even when I was at university, I was just focused on learning, my hobbies, and ensuring I was embracing new digital technologies. There’s nothing wrong with being a Jack of all Trades – it’s helped me adapt and, in turn, progress within a large organisation.”

Grow outside your comfort zone

Ernest Doku, Telecoms Expert and Head of Commercial for Broadband & Mobiles, Uswitch. Ernest works in tech despite doing humanities at A-Level and studying English literature at university.

“I think the best advice I’ve ever received is that your career path is very rarely a straight line. 

It will take you on a journey filled with twists and turns, as well as some unexpected detours along the way, so don’t become discouraged if things don’t turn out as planned.

However, as long as you’re eager to learn and grow outside of your comfort zone throughout and keep a general destination in mind, you’ll either be able to seek out an opportunity to get back on track in due course, or it can take you to places far beyond your expectations!”

Be flexible and adapt

Toby Gilmore – Graduate Security Consultant at BAE Systems

“Don’t worry – everything works itself out eventually. I was disappointed on my own results day, but I made it in the end. Everyone’s got their own path in their life, you just have to be flexible, adapt and go with it.”

Remember: There are lots of paths to success

Arianne Graham, 22, Project Management Apprentice and BAE Systems

“It might not seem like it right now, but there will come a time when no-one asks you about your grades or school history. I do think that times are changing, and there’s less pressure to go down the University route. Remember that there’s lots of different paths to success, there’s not just one route out there!”

Consider an apprenticeship

Dafydd Morris, Third Year Cyber Security Apprentice at Thales

“Like many, I had assumed that apprenticeships are just for trade professions, but you’d be surprised by how many apprenticeship programmes there are out there, and in so many different fields. They’re absolutely worth exploring. I would definitely recommend people consider apprenticeships this results day – not only as a back-up choice, but as their first choice like me.”

There’s no such thing as the ‘traditional route into a specific sector

Sam Richardson, Principal Advisor, Twilio

 “I don’t have a traditional tech background, but I believe there’s no such thing as a traditional path into a tech career. In my job I help brands to approach things differently, and I think that’s only possible if the sector attracts people with a wide range of skills and backgrounds.

“Whether it’s arts degrees, or no degree at all, we’re a better team because of this diversity. You can’t be innovative if you all have the same skills, world views and similar experiences.”

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