Lots of people go to college after leaving school. Find out what it involves and why it might suit you.
After school, many people decide to continue their learning at a college.
In some ways, college is similar to school – you’ll choose a subject you’re interested in, learn about it in classes, and produce work of your own. However, at college you’ll focus on one subject, learning the skills and the knowledge you’ll need to pursue a specific career.
By completing a 1 or 2 year course, you can gain a qualification that will help you either get a job in that area or move on to university to study at a higher level.
You can study a huge variety of subjects at college. You can study them atdifferent levels too. Some courses offer practical training for jobs in things like construction or cookery. Others will give you the qualification you need to get a job in a specific area, like Beauty Therapy. Unlike universities, most subjects at college are linked directly to specific careers.
Here’s a few examples of subjects you can study at college:
For a lot of jobs like the ones above, a college qualification is all you need to get started. For others though, you’ll need a universitydegree. Universities are a lot like colleges but they offer subjects at a higher level. You can read about them here.
The good news is that college is an excellent stepping stone to university. With a college qualification in the bag, a lot of universities will let you jump ahead into the second or third year of a university course. Loads of people take this route every year.
The transition from college into university is through a process called articulation. This means that you can finish college after one or two years and jump ahead into year 2 or year 3 of university.
This means you get two qualifications, one from college and one from university and you can start working in a graduate job that requires a degree.
For example, you could study childcare at college for one year, then jump ahead into year 2 of university to study primary teaching.
Across Scotland, there are 24 different colleges, which are across the whole of the country. Most colleges have multiple campuses, so you can find the campus which is closest to you. Some colleges will offer specific courses so it is a good idea to research into the courses which are offered, making sure they offer the course you'd like to study.