Results are in… What happens now? Q&A with local careers manager


Students across Northern Ireland are receiving exam results and, depending upon the results received, asking themselves ‘Where do I go from here?’

Q. What can the Careers Service offer me?

Local Careers Advice Manager Joanne McKinney.

Local Careers Advice Manager Joanne McKinney.

Professionally qualified careers advisers provide young people and adults with impartial advice and guidance on a range of career related issues, including apprenticeships, further and higher education, training, employment and voluntary work opportunities. Careers advisers use labour market information and knowledge of the skills and qualities employers need to inform the guidance process.

Q. I did not achieve the required results for my chosen universities. What are my options?

If you are unclear or confused about your next move, particularly if you did not get the grades you had hoped for, speak to a careers adviser. Careers guidance can play an important role in helping you understand the qualification and training requirements of your preferred career, identify routes to achieving your career goals, and help you decide on your next steps.

There are a number of possibilities available and these will depend on your own individual circumstances. Options could include an alternative degree course, an apprenticeship, foundation degree courses, alternative qualifications, employment or self employment or even a gap year.

Q. Where will future jobs be?

A number of sectors have been identified by the Department for the Economy as important in rebuilding and rebalancing the economy.

These sectors all need skilled and qualified staff and you may wish to think about this when considering your future career options. These sectors are ICT, Business and Financial Services, Advanced Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Agri Foods, Health and Life Sciences, Renewable Energy and Recycling and Creative Industries and Digital Media. Further information on these and other sectors is available at and from careers advisers.

Q. What can I do at a Further Education college?

Further Education colleges offer a range of academic, professional and technical qualifications as well as training courses. You can choose from a range of full time and part time options including Apprenticeships, Foundation Degrees, Extended Diplomas and Higher Level Apprenticeships etc. You can find out more at

Q. What about training?

Apprenticeships – there are many benefits of following an apprenticeship qualification, including earning while you learn. You are trained to a quality standard in your chosen occupational area. Learning takes place both ‘on the job’ and ‘off the job’ working towards the achievement of an industry approved qualification. Further information can be obtained from
Our FE colleges and universities in partnership with local employers also offer Higher Level Apprenticeships. As HLAs are being agreed on an ongoing basis, your careers adviser will have a complete and up-to-date list of what is available.

Those interested in exploring the opportunities provided through a Higher Level Apprenticeship can also contact their local FE College. Check
In addition, the Department for the Economy’s Training for Success programme could provide you with the tools and confidence you need to find work. It offers training to help you gain the recognised skills, experiences and qualifications to help you progress into your chosen career. For further information go to

Q. Employment an option?

If you feel that full time education or training is not for you, employment may be an option. Careers advisers can help you to perfect your job search skills, help with job applications and CVs, and to prepare for interviews.

Chat with a careers adviser online at or call 0300 200 7820, or see for your nearest office.



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