You don’t have to go to university to have a successful career. Lots of the UK’s biggest graduate recruiters also take people straight from school, so you can start your career straight away without all the cost of being a student. But is that the right move for you?

With so much confusing media coverage about jobs and job prospects for graduates, it can be hard to know what’s the best route to success: the truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages to whichever path you choose. That’s why we’ve come up with a comparison of the benefits of school leaver schemes vs. university, to help you decide which route is the right one for you.


Whatever you decide to do, the jobs market is a competitive place. Whilst it’s true that currently almost 1 in 11 graduates are still unemployed six months after leaving university, joining a school leaver scheme is not an easy option either. Companies look for high achievers – most ask for the equivalent of ABB at A level and at least a B in GCSE maths and English –  and even then, PwC received 1,600 applications for its 100 school leaver places in 2011.

Maximise your chances of getting that all-important job by taking a look at our career advice on CVs, applications and interview skills.

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