Is there a ‘black hole’ in school careers advice? – A level recommendations often ‘wrong’
A study by online forum ‘The Student Room’ has found that many students are dissatisfied with the quality of careers advice at their school, and were given ‘wrong advice’ about the best A level subjects to study to gain a place on their chosen university course.
Over 6,000 students were surveyed. Findings include:
- 32% rated their school’s careers advice as weak
- 23% said they did not have enough information to make informed choices about their future careers
- 39% of poorer students said they received poor information on subject choices
The Student Room are calling it a black hole in schools career advice. Hundreds of students have had their plans to study sciences, engineering and computing scuppered because they were not advised that A level maths was a prerequisite to entry on these courses. And it’s not just STEM subjects that are affected. One student complained that they’d had no idea that history was an extremely desirable subject when applying for an English Literature degree.
With the competition to get into the best universities very intense, it is increasingly important that students have picked the right A levels that universities are looking for. The Russell Group universities have issued a detailed guidance on picking post-16 subjects and recommend so-called ‘facilitating subjects’ which are the subjects more required than others. These include maths and further maths, physics, biology, chemistry, history, geography, English literature and languages. Ucas provides detailed admissions criteria, as do most universities websites. But somehow this is not getting through to hundreds of students.
One student said:
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said the government was “taking decisive steps to improve careers advice.”