Thu 30 Nov 2017 - posted by Milton Keynes College
How a BTEC Can Secure Your Place at University
It is a long running myth that Universities prefer to take on students with A-levels as opposed to those with a BTEC. No, actually it’s a downright lie.
- Gain employability skills, meaning you'll fit in at work placements with ease
- Uni work is similar to BTEC, meaning you'll have no nasty surprises when it comes to coursework and assignments
- You will need to be independent in getting your work done and in on time
- You will cover topics in depth and be able to choose units yourself
- Focus exclusively on your chosen topic
We're not expecting you to know exactly what you want to do with your career right now (does anyone ever?), but if you've got your heart set on a particular industry, or you've had a dream job in mind forever, surely the way to get there is to study the relevant topic in depth and exclusively.
Now we’re not saying that BTECs are better than A-levels or vice versa, it entirely depends on you. If you are set on what you want to do, prefer to work in a more practical environment or even value hands on experience, BTECs are perfect for you. In fact, we're not sure if we should be telling you this, but the nature of work involved in a BTEC is not all that different to what you’d be expected to do at Uni, including portfolio building, research, presentations and more, meaning you won’t receive any nasty shocks when it comes to getting the coursework down.
Say you want to study for a degree in Computer Science, who would come out on top? Someone who has spent the last two/three years exclusively studying all things software and programming, or someone who spent some time on IT, however also studied History, Art and Psychology. No competition, right?
You will be required to have a formal interview as part of your application. As well as academic success and grades, Universities also want to know that you’re passionate and well informed about the topic you want to study, and what better way to prove that than by showing that you’ve studied it, lived it and breathed it for the past two-three years?
The world of work in 2017 is diverse and ever growing and industries are adapting along with the education system, meaning career pathways aren’t as traditional as they used to be. BTECs often require you to complete placements and work experience, improving your employability skills. A lot of Uni's require you to do these as well, and you may even choose to do a Sandwich course (sadly not a course on making sandwiches, although that would be great), in which this experience will be more useful than you could imagine.
Worried that students who take A-Levels come across as more academic? Penny Carey, Associate Dean at the School of Law, University of Hertfordshire, said: "We certainly don’t favour one qualification above another and will always consider a student’s application in its entirety".
If you have your heart set on going to University, even if you're not quite sure what you want to do, enrolling onto a BTEC course is a great place to start. As well as progression options, the nature of the course offers you essential life skills as well as the academic stuff. Time management, independence and inside knowledge about your chosen industry are just a few of the bonus skills you will get whilst studying a BTEC.