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GCSE Results: Your Career Options

gcse results dayIt’s GCSE results day! And if you are opening your results today, like thousands of other students across the country, you might be feeling a tad nervous either because you’re expecting a particular grade or you’re unsure of your next step!

Many students believe that poor GCSE results can lead to a lack of career options but this isn’t always the case. If you didn’t receive the results you were looking for or you’re struggling to decide your next career move, don’t fret. Although good grades seem a necessity when leaving school, many people have gone on to secure successful careers without achieving the GCSE results they wanted. Sharpy is the current editor of Carve Magazine, one of the biggest surf magazines in the country, and he reveals his GCSE grades weren’t quite what he expected, “Anyone getting their GCSE results today, don’t stress. I got a D in English Language and a U in English Literature and now edit a national magazine. All you need is a C in Maths and English and whatever you need to get onto A Levels, if that’s the route you want to go down.”

Kerry Laws did receive the grades she wanted when she took her GCSEs over ten years ago and she is now studying a Masters Degree in Creative Writing, “I’m not sure my grades have necessarily got me to where I am today but I certainly think they helped. Gaining good GCSEs enabled me to go onto university and after I achieved my degree I applied to complete my Masters. Although for other people grades haven’t hindered their career, I do think having these grades on my CV has helped mine. I have been able to progress through further education successfully and now feel I’m in a better position to apply for the kind of jobs I want to work in.”

Regardless of grades, what are the career options after you receive your GCSE results? Whilst some employers prefer specific grades, others prefer experience and a passion for the industry. Whatever your results – here are some ideas of what you could be doing after GCSE results day to build your future career:


Many students leaving school will opt to go to college to gain AS and A Levels. Whilst this isn’t a necessity, many students choose to go onto further education to give themselves the opportunity to learn new skills and, at a later stage, decide whether or not to apply to university. Most students who intend to go to college and eventually university will make this decision early on as many colleges require certain grades to attend. But you can still make this decision after you achieve your results – speak to your tutor or careers advisor about your further education options.

Work Experience

If you are unsure of your career path after you receive your GCSE results then you could consider applying for work experience placements with companies in your local area. Most companies offer work experience placements to students and undergraduates and although many positions are unpaid or only pay expenses, they can be a great addition to your CV and can give you valuable experience in your chosen field. Whether you want to gain experience in an office environment or feel a career outdoors would be the right choice for you, work experience can give you a valuable insight into a career path and can help you to make important career decisions too.


Many students leaving school go on to complete apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are offered in a variety of industries including agriculture, arts media and publishing, engineering and construction. Working in an apprenticeship is a great way to learn a skill, pick up extra qualifications and earn a salary. All apprenticeships throughout the UK offer the apprenticeship national minimum wage meaning you can earn a salary whilst learning your chosen skill. You’ll normally work for at least 30 hours a week and working in an apprenticeship can open up some solid career options – 85% of apprentices stay in employment after they complete their apprenticeship and 64% stay working for the company they started with.


If you’re not looking to go to college or start employment immediately then you could always consider volunteering. Voluntary roles not only offer the chance to meet contacts and make a valuable contribution to a charity, but they can also look great on your CV.

Full Time Job

For many students, receiving their GCSE results is the last step of education. Many students want to start full time employment immediately and, if this is you, there are a number of jobs you can do with only GCSE qualifications. Sales, administration and PA roles are just a few of the opportunities available to school leavers as many employers welcome fresh talent. Prepare your CV, start networking with employers in your area and start sending out those applications!