Dropping Out of University

First things first, dropping out of university is by no means something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. People definitely won’t think that you’re stupid or unintelligent, just because the so-called ‘best years of your life’ aren’t quite working out the way you planned.

Wanna know a secret? We aren’t a fan of the term ‘dropping out’. We prefer ‘choosing to do something else’. So, whatever your reasons for leaving university to do something else – it could be the course, the cost of university, the pressures of leaving home and living up to the student stereotype – the most important thing is that you have a plan for what you’re going to do next.

What Are Your Options?

University isn’t the bee all and end all of a successful career. It could be the case that school and college students have been influenced to see university as a priority than one of many options.


‘But Apprenticeships are just for people who want to go into construction!’ WRONG. It seems as though somebody hasn’t done their research! Apprenticeships are widespread across many different industries and Higher Apprenticeships can be accessed for those with a few A Levels under their belt. For example, did you know you can undertake an Apprenticeship as a junior marketing officer? You can even become a legal executive by getting yourself onto an Apprenticeship scheme.

The best thing about an Apprenticeship? You still get yourself some nationally recognised qualifications whilst working full-time. You can check out the industries that offer Apprenticeships here.

School Leaver Programme

School leaver programmes are a relatively new player in the post-16 and post-18 options market, but they’re worth considering if you’re thinking about a career in the following industries:

– Banking, finance and accountancy

– Engineering

– Retail

– Marketing and PR

– Property and construction

– Defence.

School leaver programmes are similar to an Apprenticeship in that they allow you to work full-time and also get a qualification – and this could even be a degree if you manage to get yourself on to something called a sponsored degree programme.

This means that if you chose to do something else other than study at university because of the cost or because you didn’t like the intensity of the course, you can still get a degree, just by different means. Win-win!

Full-time Work

Perhaps you weren’t a fan of university because you just felt like you should be joining the ‘real world’ and getting yourself off to work. Well now you can! Those A Levels are worth something (quite a lot actually) and aren’t just a means to get you to university. They’re useful qualifications that has provided you with loads of knowledge and a bunch of transferable skills. Check out our jobs board, maybe consider using a recruitment agency and get that job search off the ground.

Gap Year

Not entirely sure what you want to do but don’t want to spend your time lounging around doing little to nothing? How about a gap year?

You could volunteer abroad, teaching English in a developing country or building a women’s shelter. Or you could go travelling – whether it’s a ski season in Canada, inter-railing across Europe, touring Africa or surfing the waves in Australia or California.

Gap years should be fun but you should also be thinking about what you want to do whilst you’re away. However, you could meet people as you travel that will inspire you with their stories and own life experience.

An article about dropping out of university wouldn’t be complete without a clichéd list of successful celebrities who chose to do something other than university. What you should remember though is that Bill Gates, Richard Branson and co. all had a plan when they left university to embark on another adventure. You should have a plan too!

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