How to research your school leaver options

Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to find school leaver options for those who mean business.

1. Find out which career you want

Want to work in finance? Great! But you’re going to have to be more specific than that if you want to crack this sector. Which areas of business and finance interest you? What kind of role would you really like to take on? You need to have an aim in order to make the most out of your research!

If you’re stuck at the first hurdle here then have no fear! Read around our website, dip into the Industries section, get to grips with what the different roles entail, suss out what interests you and then move on to the next stage!

2. Your school leaver options

What kinds of routes are available to you in your chosen industry? In accounting, for example, there are entry routes available for both school leavers with A-levels (Higher Apprenticeships, sponsored degree programmes and school leaver programmes) and without them, whereas something like wealth management or technology might require a degree.

3. Create an employer shortlist

If your chosen industry offers a number of entry pathways, then it’s time to delve a little deeper into what each one offers. You can use resources like the AllAboutFinanceCareers job search section to filter down the employers who offer school leaver options in your areas of interest and then start to whittle down a shortlist of the ones that appeal to you.

It’s a good idea to get in touch with someone from the company directly if you’re not sure. Give recruitment departments a call or drop them an email and talk to them about what they can offer you in training and as an employer.

4. Insight days

This is a fabulous way to get a first-hand feel for a company and even sow the seeds for an internship placement. On an insight day you can visit the offices of a potential employer (perhaps a bank or professional services firm) and see if it’s the right fit for you. It provides you with the opportunity to speak to people working at the company with various levels of experience. Take the chance to ask about what they look for and where each potential entry option could take you in the long run.

5. For degree only roles

If your chosen industry or job role requires a degree, you will have to consider the degree disciplines they look for. Will you be able to enter the industry with a degree that isn’t related, such as an arts degree? Or will you need to have a degree that demonstrates technical knowledge, or mathematical knowledge such as a science, mathematics or technology subject?