Tools & Tips

Student Gap Year – Don’t travel, work and gain skills

If you missed out on a place at university and you’re taking a year out, use the time to gain Skills Gapvaluable experience

In fact, volunteers are welcomed by many schools; and for would-be teachers, volunteering is a wise choice. Universities like to see proof of commitment to a subject and self-discipline, says Dr Jennifer Wilby, senior lecturer and researcher in management systems and sciences at the University of Hull business school. “It’s important to have goals to ensure a gap year’s not just an extended holiday.”

Aspiring vets, for example, might seek work placements with practices or volunteer for animal charities – the Blue Cross, for instance, accepts school-leavers in various roles, including hands-on work with animals. But any work, even if not directly related to a future degree, could develop the all-important transferable skills that employers seek, such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving and planning.

Make the time count: CV-boosting gap year suggestions

Learn a language

You don’t need a formal qualification. Another language will boost your job prospects.


Get valuable experience and skills and tailor work to match your chosen field if possible.

Hone specific skills

Teach yourself to get to grips with texts, equipment or software relevant to your course or future career – you’ll have less time at uni.

Take on a project

Boost your CV by proving your skills and work ethic with a team-based activity such as a community gardening project.

Work to cover future living costs

Rent and food can add up – building up savings will ease the burden.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at A gap year for shrewd students: don’t travel – work and gain skills | Education | The Guardian.


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