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Welsh Government

Secure your future in college and sixth form

Person sitting with paintbrushes in art environment with the text Secure Your Future: Let's make your career ambition a reality

Starting college or sixth form is a new and exciting step in your life. You'll have a lot to think about, but we have some tips for you to make the most of your time there.

Getting to class on time, completing assignments and revising are important if you want to do well. But there are other things you could be doing to make the most of your time in college and sixth form that will help you in the future.

Top tips to make the most of college and sixth form

Be curious

Find out more about what you are studying by:

  • Looking out for information linked to your subject. Read articles and news stories
  • Following interesting people or organisations linked to your subject on social media
  • Sharing and discussing what you’ve found with other learners

Finding out about latest news or developments will help you know what’s going on and help you find and make links with others who are interested in the subject. It will teach you how to find information independently and will also show that you have a real interest in what you are studying.

All of this will give you a better understanding of your subject and help prepare you for your future career.

Make a note of new skills

Not only will you develop your exisiting skills you’ll also gain new ones as you go through college or sixth form.

As you gain skills and experience during your studies add them to your CV – it's easier than trying to think back and remember them. This keeps your CV up to date, so you’ll be ready to apply for jobs or apprenticeships before the end of your course. It will also help you if you write a personal statement for university.

Take a look at our guide to build a CV and be aware of your skills and strengths.

View Making the most of Sixth Form and College on the Open University website to hear  students discuss the skills they had learnt to prepare them for University.

Get experience

You’ll be busy with your studies (and social life) but getting experience of work will help you prepare for the future and will look good on your CV or university application. You could find part time work or volunteer. 

Working will give you:

  • An opportunity to start earning and managing money
  • The key skills employers look for like teamwork, time keeping, communication
  • Independence
  • Confidence

Check out Getting a Job for help with CV’s, application forms, interviews and more.

Volunteering will help you:

  • Develop your communication skills
  • Test your abilities to work in different environments with people you don't know
  • Grow your confidence
  • Make new friends and contacts and be a part of your local community

Find out more about the benefits of volunteering.

Try out digital tools

Use apps to help with your learning. Study apps can support with creating task lists, study logs, pop up revision reminders or help you practice exam questions.

And don’t forget the apps specifically for students that give you discounts and deals.

Using digital tools not only supports your study, it can help develop your digital skills too. Digital competence is a skill employers often look for so finding ways to use the technology available to you will help develop this skill.

Get involved

It's important to learn and study but it's just as important to experience the social side of college and sixth form. Make new friends and experience new things.

Joining clubs or doing activities in your school or college is a great way to gain experience, skills and get to know people. You could take on different roles or support with organising events.

Commitment to a cause shows future employers that you have a wide range of experience which is great to include in a CV, university, and job application form, or to discuss in an interview.

Explore career ideas

Research your career ideas. Think about what you enjoy most about your subjects and what jobs might suit.

  • Try the Career Match Quiz to find job ideas that match your skills and interests.
  • Take the Buzz Quiz to find out your personality type and what jobs might suit you
  • Search Job Information for information on 100s of different job titles

Speak to a Careers Adviser about your ideas and options. Contact us.

Be ready to talk

Whilst going to college or sixth form can be exciting and a new challenge, for some it can cause worry and anxiety. Remember there are people who can support you.

In college speak to your student services. They can support you with any questions or concerns you may have about to courses, finance, and mental health.

In sixth form speak to your Head of Year or pastoral support about anything that’s worrying you. They’ll be able to give you the help you need.

Reach out to organisations who can help, such as:

Meic – information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people
Samaritans – provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress
Contact us on the phone, on email, or live chat to discuss your career ideas and options

Advice from students

Your options

College and 6th form

Learn what to expect at college or sixth form, what financial help you could get and more.

Options at 18

Find out the career options you have after you leave school or college.

Support for parents


Get information, resources, and tips to help your child make career decisions and find out about the support we offer as your child goes from education to employment.

Contact Us

Get in touch for careers advice and support.