/ Careers advice advice

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Kemics - on 08 Aug 2012
So how exactly do I go about getting good careers advice? I have a huge amount of questions about jobs, qualifications and finances. All are complicated a little by the fact i'd be going back as a mature student. Before I want to make any big life decisions would like to speak to someone to make sure i'm doing it in the most efficient way. Are there any services people would recommend? I saw the local council offers careers advice, is it always state sponsored or are there specialist private careers advisers? I don't mind paying a bit if the knowledge is good :)
aultguish on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics: What's your dream job? Is it achievable? If yes, then get in touch with people in that industry and ask them the questions.
Gordonbp - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:

Unless things have changed dramatically in the last 4 years or so, in my experience local authorities have almost no facilities for "mature" careers advice - it's almost all directed at school leavers.
Depending on what your status is likely to be after your studies, I suspect you will have to go to one of the commercial careers advisory organisations.
Not having used any of those I'm afraid I have no recommendations...
aultguish on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to aultguish: By the way, I just reread my last and it looked a bit arrogant, not meant to be :-))
sleavesley on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics: What is it you are wanting to study and know?
Doug on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics: are you a graduate ? you're old university might offer a useful service (although of limited use if you now live at the other end of the country)
Kemics - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:

Thanks for the info guys. Yeah, all the efforts so far have only turned up advice for school leavers. with which the biggest problem is the finance side of things, 9k a year with little help. Does look like I can get a career development loan but even then it's going to be a monster struggle.

I'm hoping to look at studying medicine. I do have a first class degree and A levels but unfortunately all in languages/humanities. So worth precisely bugger all :) I suppose if nothing else it demonstrates an ability to work but i'm hardly resting on my laurels...

I've contacted a few admission advisers for medical schools and spoken to NHS careers but there's so many things I need to co-ordinate that it would be great if I could find a sole source for information.

Experience - Seems as/more important as your actual previous qualifications. Looking at volunteering with MRT. I've also tried to see if I can find some positions in wider health care/clinical support level to gain a bit of exposure with the NHS and get a better unstanding of structure/roles. I'm going to be studying part time so might as well be working in a care role.

Qualifications - I'm not too keen on the foundation degree route. I think the only thing for it is to go back and do A-levels. Looks like i'll need A's in Chemistry and another science/maths. So currently looking into various options for studying A-levels as a mature student.

Finance - cry. vote socialist. Then look at career development loans or (and this is the most pipey pipe dream part) go study in Germany. It looks like there's very low tuition fees for foreign students. Technically i'm half German (though the courses are in English)

....either way you can see why I need advice, there's so much to process! But even a tiny bit of advice would be hugely appreciated :)
jonny taylor on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:
> Looking at volunteering with MRT

I certainly would not want to discourage you from doing this in any way, if you want to, but I'm not convinced it will help you a huge amount in this context. For many teams probation is a year of hard graft, and until that is completed you will get little to no hands-on experience treating casualties (assuming that's what you're looking for in this context to be able to "sell" on your application).

I believe some teams have taken medical students on electives, but that's further down the line from where you are talking about now. If you're looking for something to make you stand out then I fear something like St Johns/red cross might be a better choice, but I know nothing about that so couldn't comment.
needvert on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:

Pick an industry that:
- You'll be competitive in
- You'll like
- Has a shortage of people
- Isn't going to be slashed during workforce reductions or off shored
Scarab9 - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:

big step. I'm no expect but remember reading in to this a little ages back.

you're right that qualifications-wise your best bet is to go get A-levels in relevant subjects first. These can take 1-2 years self study/evening classes depending how quick you pick them up and how much work you put in. Not to pricey but if you're trying to do more than one at a time you're going to be doing a lot of work.

best bet for that might be to find the university you'd likely want to do the degree at and speak to the head of the course there about minimum requirements, things that will help, cost etc. They should be able to advise you or pass you to someone who can.

Depending on why you want to go into medicine you may want to consider paid relevant experience. You used to be able to go and train as a paramedic while working but now I think you've got to do a proper course so it's more difficult, but there's lower level/lower qualified versions (can't remember the term but something like 'responder' or something that basically means first on the scene). The wages are pretty low - 14k from memory - but you'd be getting medical experience, helping people, and should have a better hope of getting on to the stuff you'd liek to do later.

EeeByGum - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to aultguish:
> (In reply to Kemics) What's your dream job? Is it achievable? If yes, then get in touch with people in that industry and ask them the questions.

Seconded. My own experience of careers advisors is that they are generalists. I always remember taking my CV to an adviser at uni and having it ripped to pieces because it basically listed my experience, qualifications and hobbies and there was no touchy feely bullsh1t in it. Turns out that in IT, experience and qualifications are all we are after and if they are neatly listed, that makes it easier to read. The advisor was way off the mark for IT although perhaps a bit closer to the mark for careers that attract thousands of CVs where your must stand out by being a bit different.
Scarab9 - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:

ah yes, receiving almost indecipherable CVs when hiring for an IT job...

if you can't use a word processor properly you've probably not spent enough time tinkering with computers to be working in IT
Steve John B - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:
>
> I'm hoping to look at studying medicine. I do have a first class degree and A levels but unfortunately all in languages/humanities...
>
> Finance - cry. vote socialist. Then look at career development loans or (and this is the most pipey pipe dream part) go study in Germany. It looks like there's very low tuition fees for foreign students. Technically i'm half German (though the courses are in English)

Could you move to Scotland, do your A levels/Highers (while getting voluntary or low-level experience), then get free uni in a few years? Not sure if your existing degree would be a factor.
Heike - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to Kemics)
> [...]
>
> Could you move to Scotland, do your A levels/Highers (while getting voluntary or low-level experience), then get free uni in a few years? Not sure if your existing degree would be a factor.

If you already have a degree tuition wouldn't be free in Scotland as far as I know!

To the OP: I would identify some of the unis you would be likely to go/apply to and then talk to the responsible person in the medical department for applicants. They will be the most informed people on a) requirements b) likelihood of your success in applying and job prospects.


Good luck!!

Doug on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Heike: but a Scottish university might not be so bothered about which A levels he has, & would presumably accept Highers instead which would take less time to get.

verygneiss - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Doug:

Scottish universities would certainly be bothered about his A-levels, especially if they are not in the required subjects for entry. You can take highers at many colleges (FE) in the evenings, but I believe medicine likes applicants to have advanced highers (somewhat similar to A-levels).
BGG - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:

I changed to medicine having a predominantly humanities academic background and then worked in business for 7 years. Did a grad medicine course (i.e. 4 years to cover 5 or 6 years of material): hard work but worth it.
Carolyn - on 08 Aug 2012

> I certainly would not want to discourage you from doing this in any way, if you want to, but I'm not convinced it will help you a huge amount in this context. For many teams probation is a year of hard graft, and until that is completed you will get little to no hands-on experience treating casualties (assuming that's what you're looking for in this context to be able to "sell" on your application).
>
> If you're looking for something to make you stand out then I fear something like St Johns/red cross might be a better choice, but I know nothing about that so couldn't comment.

I'd agree - you'd see relatively little of patients in mountain rescue - even after your probationary period unless you're particularly quick up the hill. Way more with St John, particularly if you choose your events - motocross produces plenty of fractures, summer fairs give plenty of opportunity to develop a patient bedside manner....

Although having done both, I can vouch for mountain rescue being rather more fun ;-)

miho on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics: Do you speak any German? If so or if you feel that you can pick it up quickly enough, try studying there. Courses are typically taught in German, so it is essential.
Tuition is free for anyone in most federal states. At most you pay a few hundred Euros per year in administration fees and fees for the local student union which often includes free local public transport.
Not having done medicine I am not up to date with the admissions procedure. I think you apply to some central organisation with some preference for a university. How quickly you will get a place depends on your grades (not subject). Your situation is not straightforward so I'd try speaking to someone with first-hand knowledge of the details.

Hope this helps somewhat,
Mike
Kemics - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to miho:

I do speak German but not to a fluent/native level, at least not a level i'd be confident studying in. Though if I study for my A-levels now, it would give me another 2 years to practice. I was told some of the big European universities offer courses in English....though maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Decided to get the ball rolling and sign up for a-levels Monday...it begins!
Scarab9 - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:
> (In reply to miho)
>

> Decided to get the ball rolling and sign up for a-levels Monday...it begins!

nice one, good luck, hope it all works out :-)

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