Teacher standing next to a student and offering help to a student who is sitting at a desk in a classroom

Career choices 13-14

Choosing subjects and courses in Year 8 or Year 9

In Year 8 or Year 9 you will have to pick some of the subjects you will be studying up to Year 11, this is often called 'choosing your options'. This is the first decision that may affect your future, so think about:

  • subjects you enjoy
  • new subjects
  • courses you do well in
  • the subjects offered by your school
  • subjects to help you achieve your future career plans
  • courses that let you learn in a way that suits you.

Having a good spread of subjects and the best grades you can achieve will increase your career choices at 16.

Your school will give you information about all your choices and options. Find out as much as you can about the subjects offered. 

Your options will include GCSEs in subjects such as English and science. You may also be able to choose work-related qualifications in subjects such as childcare, catering, business or IT that can lead to other qualifications such as a BTEC.

Got a career in mind? Check out what qualifications you will need on the National Careers Service website.

What is the English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a set of subjects that the government says keep young people's options open for further study and future careers. Subjects included in the EBacc are English language, English literature, maths, history or geography, three single GCSE science subjects or the combined science GCSE worth two GCSEs, and a language.

Need help with career options?

Your teachers and advisers in school can help.

Some schools and colleges have careers information on their websites.

You can also contact:

The Islington Progress Pledge

Developed with the help of young people, the Progress Pledge sets out the support you can expect to help you find employment, education or training:

  • careers guidance with our qualified advisers
  • job coaching
  • mock interviews
  • support in English and maths up to Level 2
  • one-to-one support into education, a traineeship or apprenticeship, or employment
  • up to 100 hours of work experience or volunteering
  • help to access other support services.

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