Advice needed by a student - education dilemma

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Advice needed by a student - education dilemma

Postby Hashim on Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:09 pm

Hi there. I'm a 22-year old student from the UK (Sheffield, specifically) with a bit of a dilemma, and I'm posting this here because I don't know of any other forum or outlet where I can ask for advice from teachers specifically. I've already posted on The Student Room, but I've had lacklustre responses on there in the past, and the advice usually comes from students who aren't much more informed than I am. That said, sorry I had to post here, but I'd really appreciate my post not being deleted.

I understand this is a long read, but, being the culmination of a few years of procrastinating and plenty of anxiety, it needed to come out at some point, and I'd be incredibly grateful to anyone that reads it all and/or can help.

After too many years trying to figure out what I want to do, I'm currently faced with deciding what to do with myself over the next few years by making a decision in the next few days, and the options are overwhelming me, so I'm here asking for some help and advice.

I was taken out of school very young to be "home-schooled", which in my case meant that I was taught nothing. During this time I taught myself web development, as a result of which I'm also pretty technologically adept. I did a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Media at college, and got a B in GCSE English and a D in GCSE Maths, but other than those, I have no qualifications nor education to my name.

I've always imagined that I'd go into freelance web development as a career because of it being such a natural choice for me, and actually had a conditional offer for it at uni at one point, but I've realised that because of my lack of education, both at GCSE and A-Level, there are very little fields I have experience of, and that there are others I might enjoy (engineering, the sciences, philosophy, to name a few]. In addition, if setting up a web development firm doesn't work out, it'd be useful to have a backup degree. Because of this, and because I'm currently unsure about my career options, I've been considering starting from the bottom, doing all the GCSEs that I can and then finally doing some A-Levels, in the hope that doing this will open up more fields/disciplines for me and allow me to get some experience of them.

So my questions are:

1. Is this a good idea, and is it likely to help with my situation? Are there any alternatives to spending the next 3-4 years of my life going down the GCSE/A-Level route almost purely for the sake of the knowledge and broadening my career options? In other words, are there any other reliable ways to give myself an education and get a taster for the different subjects/disciplines out there? Are there resources out there to help with this? It's always struck me as really difficult to have to decide so early on what field to specialise in, and this is coming from someone deciding relatively late.

3. Finally, I've been advised by some well-meaning relatives that I should use my web development skills to get into work ASAP because spending the next few years in any sort of education will be seen as a huge gap by future employers and prevent me from being employed. How true is this, and should it be a reason for me to not to pursue education? I know that if I jumped into web development right now and pursued education part-time at a class or two a week, it would take a long time before I made any significant progress.

I suppose in essence, being home-schooled has made me quite detached from/clueless of the education system, and I'm just overwhelmed and frustrated at having to make a decision about something that very little experience with or knowledge of.

Again, thanks for reading. I would really really appreciate the help.
Hashim
Hashim
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Advice needed by a student - education dilemma

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Re: Advice needed by a student - education dilemma

Postby Wend123 on Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:27 am

Hi Hashim
You have done really well to teach yourself something which you could indeed make a career from. My advice is that qualifications are never wasted, going back to study now will not be seen a gap in working life as you are studying. It might be possible for you to do some of the qualifications as an adult learner at a night class if finance is an issue. Whatever line of work you chose to qualifications really will help. Ultimately it is your choice but I never see any form of education as a waste. I am 47 and I work full time as a primary teacher and alongside this I am in my final year of a masters degree.
Try and talk to an advisor at your local college and see what choices they can offer you. Then you will be making a fully informed choice.
good luck,
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