What do you want to be when you grow up?
Which A-levels did you do?
Where did you go to university?

These are just some of the traditional questions we ask young people all the time. And it continues throughout our working lives. We presume that people follow a traditional career path and make similar choices when the reality is that there are so many different options and paths people can follow. There is nothing that daring about being different. Here are five ideas for unique career paths.

1. Apprenticeships

Instead of going to university and acquiring debts, many choose to go straight into the world of work and earn money from the start. Apprenticeships give people who might not be able to afford to go to university a way of starting a career and learning as you go along. Apprentices start a job and study alongside their role. They learn how to work from the start and make valuable contacts along the way. The style of learning with an apprenticeship combines classroom learning with practical application of the skills, so this suits people who learn better by actively applying their learning to a job as they go along.

There are so many different subjects on offer in almost every industry and a wide range of employers offering apprentice schemes. When you compare paying £9,250 per year in tuition fees plus living expenses at university with starting a paid job, you can see why many choose this option.

2. Start Your Own Venture

Whether you got the A-level grades you wanted, failed them all, or didn’t take A-levels at all, it doesn’t matter when it comes to starting your own business. You could be someone with an ambitious idea who makes the decision to work for yourself. Many great entrepreneurs start by trying out their great idea and seeing what happens along the way. This type of career path does not involve job interviews, performance reviews and traditional career structures. It’s all about taking the risk to go solo, which can be very exciting and oftentimes, more rewarding.

Some of the greatest entrepreneurs did not follow an educational route to achieve their dreams. For example, Dragon’s Den entrepreneur and businesswoman Deborah Meaden left school before her A-levels and set up her own business aged 19. And it’s a well-known story that Richard Branson dropped out of school at 16, and founded Virgin Music at aged 20. 

3. Work Your Way Up

With many roles, there are ways to learn as you progress without following a traditional route. For example, you can become an Air Traffic Controller by learning the skills and taking exams along the way. Skills like game development, coding, digital marketing to name a few are roles where, if you can get an entry-level role, you can advance as develop the required skills.

4. Learn A Trade

When we see discussions about young people and their career choices, we seem to forget the many types of roles which are about learning on the job and specialist skills training. Roles like electricians, plumbers, hairdressers and many other skilled roles which are in great demand, are not about going to university. Many of these roles suit people with more practical, rather than academic, skills. And we need to make sure that these types of careers are valued as much as others. Where would we be without people choosing trades as their career path?

5. Think Different

It’s not just about the choices of the person applying for roles either. Employers can choose to think differently about what is required for particular roles. There are so many job descriptions that ask for degrees or specific qualifications which are not always needed for that role. If you are an employer, think differently about what skills you need for certain roles. This will allow you to discover a diverse range of people away from the traditional career paths. If you can Think Different, then you might find the next Steve Jobs. He dropped out of his college degree and founded Apple instead!

If this has got you thinking about how you could review your recruitment practices, talk to us! We run training courses on Inclusive Recruitment to help you map out skills required for roles instead of the usual traditional job descriptions. Email hello@watchthisspace.uk