The last few years have seen a steady increase in people taking BTECS and using them as a progression route into higher education.
While A levels have long been seen as the main route onto a university degree course, BTECs are just as credible and desirable to admissions officers at the majority of UK higher education providers, according to Which? University.
Susie King, Head of Admissions at the University of Bedfordshire, offers her top tips on BTEC students thinking about using Clearing to gain a place at university.
1. Get in early
“One advantage of being a BTEC student is you get your results over a month before A level students. This means you can research courses and universities offering places during Clearing, without the pressure of time. Essentially, you’ve got a head start, so make the most of it!”
2. Research your course
“One of the great advantages of studying for a BTEC qualification is the different style of learning. The practical nature of these courses, and their alignment with certain professions, means that enhancing this study through higher education will be a natural progression.”
“Look for courses with similar practical, coursework-based learning and assessment styles, and you’ll feel ahead of the curve when it comes to your first seminar.”
3. Get on track
“Some people are lucky, they know exactly what they want to do at a young age and can focus their energies into working towards that goal. If you’re one of those people, the professional characteristics of BTEC qualifications make them a perfect choice. And with more and more universities offering business-focused degrees, BTECs are the perfect foundation for further study.”
4. Broaden your skill set
“If you’re not one of the aforementioned lucky ones, mixing your qualifications and studying for a BTEC alongside your A levels will give you an enhanced and broadened skill-set that will make you the envy of your university peers and workplace competitors.”
“By mixing and matching qualifications, you’ll boast a skill-set that is both theoretical and practical. Not only is this great news for your CV, and for your future job applications, but it’s also good news for your education. Having a broader skill-set means being able to understand and appreciate different perspectives, a desirable attribute which could contribute to your success at university.”
5. Think about the future
“Admissions officers like to think about where prospective students will end up. Employability is the buzzword for universities at the moment, and being employable will place you high in the estimations of the admissions officer looking at your application.”
“Since BTECs are vocational in nature, being a BTEC student means that you learn about a specific profession or industry, and will be equipped with the skills necessary to secure a job. Studying for a degree will increase your already good employment prospects, and could also gain you a position in an organisation at a level higher than entry/graduate.”