More than one in every five pupils in Wales now attends a Welsh-medium school.
So, if you've studied in Welsh to date, how do you continue learning once you leave school?
Often you have the choice to complete either all of your learning in Welsh or to study bilingually where some units and assessments can be completed in Welsh and others in English.
Advantages of learning in Welsh
One of the main advantages of choosing to study in Welsh or studying bilingually is that you are maintaining your Welsh language skills which is incredibly valuable when it comes to looking for employment. Also, on a practical level, classes are often smaller.
There can be financial incentives for students too. In 2014, the Coleg Cymraeg awarded scholarships worth £130,000 to undergraduates and postgraduates choosing to study in Welsh. Some degree courses also offer special bursaries for students studying in Welsh.
Skills Cymru Event
If you’re not sure about your next step the Skills Cymru event might help you find the answer. Skills Cymru is the largest interactive careers and skills event in Wales and it’s held in the autumn.
Continuing in Education
Further Education Colleges
If you don't want to stay on for the Sixth Form but are keen to continue to learn a new skill or subject after leaving school, have a look at the choice of courses available at Further Education Colleges across Wales. Many of them offer courses through the medium of Welsh or bilingually, so get in touch with your local college to find out more.
From entry level courses to advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Qualifications – there’s a course to suit everyone on all sorts of subjects. Every provider should offer bilingual courses but sometimes you will need to ask for them.
University and Colleges
Traditionally, very few degree courses were taught in Welsh and they tended to be subjects like History, Education and Welsh itself, of course.
Today, students can choose from more than 1000 different Welsh-language degree courses - ranging from midwifery to mathematics and from criminology to computer studies.
Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
One significant development in recent years has been the establishment of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (National Welsh Medium College).
It was set up in 2011 to increase, develop and broaden the range of Welsh medium study opportunities at universities in Wales.
It's a virtual college meaning it doesn't have a campus but works in partnership with seven universities across Wales to deliver courses in Welsh. It publishes an annual prospectus with details of courses available across the country.
Dysgu o Bell (Distance Learning)
Too far from a university to receive Welsh medium higher education? Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol also offers Higher Educational Certificate courses online so you can study in your free time, wherever you are.
The Seren Network provides support for A and A* students dreaming of securing a place at a top UK university by helping to fill in application forms, interview training and giving advice on work experience. There’s more information here.
Many graduates who have studied through the medium of Welsh have climbed higher and higher.
Training and Learning through work
Keen to stark working? There are many ways you can develop your skills at work – through the medium of Welsh or bilingually.
A Traineeship – learning at work - gives you the opportunity to develop necessary skills while working. Unlike at school the training is designed around you, offering a variety of work experience options tailored to your interest.
Jobs Growth Wales
If you’ve got the skills and qualifications and it’s just a lack of experience that’s holding you back, Jobs Growth Wales could be your big break. The programme offers six month job opportunities with the possibility of extensions beyond this.
You may not want to continue to learn in a schoolroom environment. Have you considered an apprenticeship - a job with training?
Being an apprentice means that you have a job where you gain recognised qualifications and essential skills while earning a wage. Training providers offer courses through the medium of Welsh and bilingually. Careers Wales offers good advice and information as does National Training Federation Wales.
Working for yourself
Ever thought of starting your own business or going freelance?
There are many advantages of using the Welsh language in business and a lot of support available to help you on your way. Take a look at the Careers Wales website for more information.