Get prepared for Higher Education conference

The Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service is advising parents that preparation is essential for students attending the upcoming Northern Ireland Higher Education Convention 2012.

The UCAS Convention, organised in partnership between the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service and UCAS, is the largest Higher Education exhibition in Northern Ireland.

It is expected that over 7000 6th form and Further Education students will visit the convention which is taking place over Wednesday 14 March and Thursday 15 March at the Kings Hall in Belfast.

This event provides students with an excellent opportunity to find out more about Higher Education, to consider all of the factors involved in choosing a degree and to plan their future careers path. Although it is mainly geared towards students in lower 6th and those in Further Education, anyone with an interest in studying within higher education would find the event useful.

Joanne McKinney, Careers Manager for Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney, said: “It is easy to turn up at an event like this and simply rush around gathering papers from each of the exhibitors. I would encourage any student attending the convention to plan how to get the most from this event by discussing options with parents/guardians, teachers and their careers adviser.”

Attendees are also encouraged to develop an action plan to consider the most appropriate stands and attend the most appropriate seminars.

Joanne continued: “We would urge everyone to visit the Careers Service stand (stand 43) for professional impartial careers information, advice and guidance. We will also be holding a series of 27 seminars on topics such as individual subject choices, volunteering, green careers/sustainable energy and careers in IT.

“You should also prepare important questions to get clear information and advice from the exhibitors e.g. course entry requirements, what potential job opportunities may exist after completing a particular degree, the cost of a chosen degree and any possible financial support offered by the University/College etc.”

You can contact your nearest Careers Office for advice by phoning 0300 200 7820 to speak to a member of staff from the Careers Service.

The NI direct website holds a wide range of useful information on a number of relevant topics, including: higher education in university and further education colleges, gap years, going to college, student finance and apprenticeships / training options.