Quick enquiry


Is this a business enquiry?

Member of Uk Armed Forces?

Enquire Now

University clearing isn't your only option this A-level results day

A-level results day can feel like make or break. Will you get into university or have to go through university clearing? These may feel like the only ways it can play out. But they aren’t and here’s why.

If you miss your grades, you still have multiple options. And one of them might actually suit you more than university education. Read on as we explore alternative higher education choices.

Is university my best option?

University used to be the logical way to set yourself up for career success. Until fairly recently, having a degree helped you to differentiate yourself from others in the job market. It was a way to explore your academic interests for three years and step into a well-paying graduate role at the end of it.

This was the happy reality for many of our parents, and explains why they tend to encourage us down the university route. Sadly, our parents’ experience and ours have little in common.  

Having a degree is less of a differentiator in the job market these days. It doesn’t make your CV stand out like it used to. But does having a degree still help you earn more? The answer is actually yes. Although perhaps not enough to justify the huge cost of getting one.

man reading a book in park

Do the benefits of university justify the cost?

While graduates do, on average, still earn more than non-graduates, research suggests that the pay gap is often negligible. With the average student leaving university with over £50,000 debt, this is causing many to question whether university is a sensible investment.

If your objectives are to increase your employability and earning potential, going to university may not be the smartest way to become career ready. There are a number of other ways to work towards the career of your dreams to consider. And many of them are far more affordable than a degree.

What are my choices if I miss my grades

If A-level results day doesn’t bring you joy, and you are sure university is for you, going through clearing may help you find a place on a degree. But what if you aren’t sure university is the right route? Here are some alternative ways to become career ready:

  • Online learning
  • Apprenticeships
  • Foundation degrees
  • Traineeships
  • An entry level role

Of these options, online learning is increasingly popular. It provides a flexible, accessible way to gain the skills and confidence you need to create a rewarding career. Online study can help you gain industry recognised qualifications at your own pace, and at a cost which will not break the bank.

Reputable training providers, like Learning People, offer courses that are tailored to the specific things tech and project management employers look for. If the dynamic start-up world appeals, studying coding, UX design, or cyber security — could help get you there.

student doing an online course on his laptop in bedroom

How can I earn while I learn?

Not only is university costly but the timetables are often fixed. This makes it hard for those of us who need to work while we study. In contrast, online learning makes it completely possible to earn while you learn.

Being able to access course materials online allows you to study whenever you want, and work when you need to. This not only eases your financial worries but frees you up to create a lifestyle that works for you. Many students find this control and autonomy hugely empowering.


Research suggests that due to their rigid and outdated structure, around 40% of university degrees are soon to become obsolete. Meanwhile, with so many benefits, online learning may replace university entirely in the future.

If you are considering online study, Learning People offers a range of tech and project management courses to help you succeed. Our courses set you up for career success, without the massive price tag and gives you the flexibility to earn while you learn.

If university is not for you, but a lucrative role in tech or project management is, online learning is a smart choice. Learning People can get you career ready. Get in touch with our expert career consultants today.