Routes and pathways - College and MA

Carrol's story

Spending a year at college studying for an HNC put Carrol’s son Adam in a prime position to move onto his dream job, working with the Scottish Government.

“He did quite well in his exams, but not well enough to go to university,” says mum Carrol. “A lot of his friends were going to university, so he knew he wanted to do some sort of further education. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do though.

“When you leave school and you can’t get to uni, you often think that’s the end of it, but there are other ways to get in.

“He wasn’t sure what to do, but he thought, if he did the HNC, it could lead to a job or he could carry on his education. It kept his options open.”

After completing an HNC in social sciences, Adam was keen to get into the world of work rather than continuing onto higher education, and he was particularly keen to get a job with the Scottish Government.

“I felt quite involved in his decision-making,” says Carrol. “He came to me for advice. When he was at school, we spoke to the careers adviser, we went to open days at the university to find out what they were looking for, and we did go and investigate courses at college as well – I was quite involved.

“As a parent, it’s about being able to help them, but being aware of other people who can help them. It’s about knowing too that once they’ve left school, that doesn’t mean that they can’t still get access to careers advice. Skills Development Scotland have got offices, and there are different places they can go too. People often think that once they leave school, that’s it – they can’t make other choices. But that’s not that case.”

After a year of working in a local café, building up his customer service skills, problem solving and team work, Adam gained a Modern Apprenticeship opportunity at the Scottish Government in business administration.

He has since passed the MA, and is now employed on a full-time permanent basis.

“He’s glad of that path that he’s taken,” Carrol says.

“Through the Scottish Government, there are other apprenticeships he can do that will give him a degree– and he’s earning. He’s happy with his decision, and we’re really proud of him.”