Making the decision to drop out of university requires a lot of courage and maturity, but mostly it requires preparation and planning. Knowing what to do after dropping out of uni can help make the transition from education to working life a little bit smoother.
It’s perfectly natural to decide that your course wasn’t what you expected it would be, or to find it too expensive, or to simply not enjoy the university lifestyle. There is nothing undignified about changing your mind once you’re there. In fact, more than 26,000 students dropped out of university in 2013/14.
Whatever the reason, it isn’t the end of the world. University is not the only path to a successful life and career. However, before making the decision it is highly useful to know what to do after dropping out of university.
With so much pressure from schools and parents put on students to attend university, it might become hard to consider the many other career routes there are, which can provide you with just as prosperous a future.
If you are one of the thousands who discovered that university doesn’t necessarily give you ‘the best three years of your life' and are searching for a new direction to go in, then read on - there is something better suited for you out there somewhere.


Apprenticeships are in many ways a better alternative to university. As opposed to a long, drawn-out university course, an apprenticeship is like a paid work placement in which you learn valuable new skills and gain experience while you practise them. Apprenticeships can provide routes into various different industries and careers just as well as university courses can, from social care to engineering and IT. 
They are also much more cost-efficient, as you can earn while you learn. This means you won’t have to suffer crippling debts brought on by years in university, with the added insecurity of having to find your own job after the course. So, if you're not sure what to do after dropping out of university, why not consider an apprenticeship?

Choosing a Different Course

Unless you’re certain about choosing a particular university course, it can be difficult to know for sure if you’ve picked the right one. You might find that after a few weeks into the course that it isn’t for you, it wasn’t what you expected, or you may have simply changed your mind. All this is natural and a problem easily solved. 
If the course isn’t your cup of tea, but you enjoy the university lifestyle, it’s never too late to simply apply for a different course. If anything, it might give you a fresh start, a new boost of energy and make you think about your future in a completely different way. Changing course is a great alternative to dropping out of uni completely, just make sure you choose your replacement course carefully!

Take a Gap Year

Lots of people that aren't sure what to do after dropping out of university opt to take a gap year. This is a great option if you can’t decide what course to re-apply for or the timing is not quite right for you. Perhaps you just need a chance to find what direction you want your life to take. 
In this case, taking a gap year might be a chance to take a well-earned break, reconsider and plan ahead. With so little time between secondary school and university to be absolutely sure what you want to do next, it’s hard to be sure that university is the right option until you’re actually there.
Leaving university and taking a gap year to travel, work, think and enjoy yourself is a great way of biding time to carefully consider your options, and perhaps an entirely new and unexpected route will open up before you. 

Work Full-Time

While in university, you might become restless by studying and learning for so long and feel an urge to get out into the working world as soon as possible. This is especially the case if you aren’t happy with your chosen course and is definitely a much-shared motive for leaving. A large portion of people drop out of university for this reason. 
Working full time with the qualifications you gained from school is certainly a rewarding experience and can make you into a self-sufficient, independent adult. That being said, there are a lot of jobs that will require education of A-level standard or higher. If you are struggling to go straight into work after leaving or dropping out of uni, it could be really beneficial to gain some additional skills for your CV.

Learn a Trade

An increasingly popular and stable route, and a great option if you're not sure what to do after dropping out of university, is choosing a career in the trade industry. Perhaps, after having gone to university, you realise that your particular skills are better suited to practical, hands-on work, rather than the tedium of academia. Learning a trade is a great way to harness those skills and turn them into a lucrative career.
Private colleges such as Access Training provide a wide range of training courses from plumbing and gas engineering to electrical and tiling courses, designed to produce highly qualified tradespeople. 
With highly qualified tutors, excellent facilities and well-designed courses, Access Training provide the best preparation for working in the trade industry. 
Although university is obviously a great opportunity for a large portion of young people, and it’s true that picking the right course can excel you through the working world, this isn’t the case for everybody. 
If you’re thinking about dropping out of uni, enquire today about a trade skills course with Access Training today, and call us on 0800 345 7492. Our course advisors are always available to talk you through your options. 

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