Former Apprentice contestant Alex Mills has been in Cardiff today giving advice to youngsters who have just received their GCSE results.
Those with successful results might choose further study, but figures show 40 percent of students who didn't do so well say they fear they won't be able to find a job.
Alex, who started his own business, told ITV News that students who felt disappointed with their results shouldn't see it as a barrier to climbing the career ladder.
He said: "I failed my GCSEs miserably! But I've benefitted more going into a workplace scheme and working, and then getting up the career ladder that way."
Celebrations or commiserations? Thousands of pupils across Wales received their GCSE results today as figures show the overall pass rate here has remained the same at 98.7%.
Education Minister Huw Lewis has defended the slight dip in those achieving the top grades, saying it is 'to be expected' as the drive continues to make core subjects more rigorous.
And figures revealed Welsh students are still behind those in England and Northern Ireland - though that gulf is narrowing.
If you have received your GCSE or Welsh Baccalaureate results and are planning what to do next, click here for information and guidance.
Teaching union NASUWT says today should be about celebrating and valuing the results achieved by pupils.
These results are what they are and ultimately it is their value to pupils that counts and not their value to the system. The achievements and success of our young people should be celebrated, not diminished or devalued.
There will be many pupils who will have exceeded expectations in achieving, say a D or E grade, but because of the obsession with A* to C grades their hard work and the commitment of their teachers is forgotten about.
The union added: "With widening differences between the qualifications system in England and Wales, it is clear that comparison with grades across the UK is becoming increasingly challenging."
Education Minister Huw Lewis has defended the slight dip in this year's top GCSE grades, saying 'it's to be expected' given the ongoing drive to make core subjects more rigorous.
The percentage of pupils achieving grades A* - C in Wales has dipped by 0.1% this year compared to 2012, while the percentage of students achieving the top grade of A* has fallen from 6.5% to 6.1%.
But the percentage of students achieving grades A* and A has remained the same as last year at 19.2% - and the overall pass rate is stable at 98.7%.
Our reporter Hannah Thomas has been meeting students at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School.
They have been sharing their results with us and telling us their plans for the future.
Education Minister Huw Lewis has congratulated students across Wales, saying today's GCSE results are 'encouraging'.
Figures show Wales is still lagging behind England and Northern Ireland - but the gulf has narrowed.
Despite rigorous tests, our students' performance in GCSEs shows that the overall pass rate remains stable at a high 98.7%, with passes at A*-C at 65.7% which is encouraging.
Our work to build on the rigour of qualifications remains a key element of our agenda to raise standards in Welsh education. Through the Review of Qualifications we've listened to employers and higher education about the skills they want learners to acquire. We have listened to their views and made a commitment to keeping and strengthening GCSEs in Wales.
The percentage of pupils achieving grades A* - C in Wales this year has remained similar to last year, with a slight drop of 0.1% - but the number of students achieving the top grade of A* has fallen.
- 65.7% of students achieved grades A* - C in Wales - compared with 65.8% last year.
- The percentage of students achieving the top grades (A* and A) has remained the same as last year at 19.2%
- The percentage of students achieving grade A* has fallen this year - from 6.5% to 6.1%
The overall pass rate (grades A* - G) has also remained the same as last year at 98.7%.
Meanwhile figures show the gulf in those achieving key GCSE results has narrowed between Wales and England, primarily because results there have dipped.
This year has also seen record entries and achievement in the Intermediate and Foundation levels of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification.
86.6% achieved the core certificate at intermediate level (81.7% last year), while 83.0% achieved the core certificate at foundation level (71.4% last year).
Whether you received the results you expected today or not, there is a wealth of information online to help you plan your next step.Read the full story ›
Thousands of school pupils across Wales will receive their GCSE results later. Last year there were more than 291,000 entries with 65.4 per cent resulting in grades A* to C, 19.2 per cent received A or A* grades and 6.5 per cent achieved A*.
Plaid Cymru's Education spokesperson Simon Thomas says the priority now must be to ensure Wales-only exams are not seen as 'second rate' in relation to England's. He says they must be monitored by a powerful, independent regulator.