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University isn't your only higher education option

Waiting for your A-level results can be a stressful time. If you miss your grades on results day, is university clearing your only option?

In this blog post, we discuss alternatives to university clearing. Read on to learn about different ways to continue your education and decide what is right for you.

three young people discussing a level results

Should you go through university clearing?

Going through clearing is a way to get into university if you missed your grades. And if all your friends start degrees in September, going to university may feel like the safest option. But is undergraduate study the best way to prepare for your future career?

Throughout the 20th and early 21st century, a degree offered graduates a leg up in the world of work. A university education used to mean access to better roles, more responsibility and much higher salaries.

Fast forward to 2019 and this is not the reality many graduates experience. Research comparing salaries of graduates aged 29 with non-graduates revealed that a third of men go to universities which only give them a negligible pay advantage.

Graduate salaries are still higher on average than non-graduate salaries; but with the average UK graduate leaving university with over £50,000 of debt, is the promise of a negligible pay advantage worth the cost? Arguably, not.

The online learning revolution

Fortunately for those concerned about the cost of university, getting a degree is not the only way to build a rewarding career. Other higher education and training options include:

  • online learning
  • apprenticeships
  • foundation degrees
  • traineeships

Some students decide that getting an entry level job and working their way up is the best option for them. Good employers offer training programmes that help employees hone their craft while they work.

Many students seeking an alternative choose online learning; a flexible and affordable way to become career ready. Online learning gives you the freedom to fit study around your life while gaining the skills and confidence needed to build your dream career.

Reputable training providers, like Learning People, offer students the opportunity to gain qualifications employers look for. Whether you want to work in the dynamic world of tech or travel round the world managing projects — we have courses to get you there. 

How to decide if online learning is right for you

If you miss your A-level grades, how can you be sure online learning would suit you? Here are some key questions to consider:

  • Are you keen to continue your education without getting into debt?
  • Is it important to you to be able to fit your learning around your life?
  • Does a career in tech or project management excite you?
  • Do you want to earn the skills and confidence to launch your career soon?

If the answer to these questions is yes, online learning could be the right route for you. Still unsure? Arrange a call with one of our expert career consultants and we will be happy to talk through your options.



Going through university clearing is not the only route into higher education if you miss your A-level grades. Online learning offers an accessible way to continue learning and set yourself up for career success, without getting into debt.

Even if you get the exam results you were hoping for, university may not be the smartest way to work towards the career of your dreams. Research suggests around 40% of university degrees are soon to become obsolete due to their rigid an outdated structure. Meanwhile, some predict that online learning may replace university entirely.

When results day comes around, breathe deeply, open your results and take some time to picture your future. If you’re itching to get into the tech or project management role of your dreams, online learning may be the most cost-effective way to get their quickly.

Learning People offers a range of tech and project management courses as an alternative to higher education. Get in touch with our expert career consultants today to find out more.