May 16, 2017

Will Qualifications Help Me Get a Better Job?

Are you looking to take the next step in your career  or even looking to change your career path? If you’re thinking about taking the next step and getting yourself a qualification, read this article.

If you’re thinking about switching jobs, starting a new career or even just getting promotion at your current place you’re probably considering whether to get a qualification to help your chances.  A lot of people ask themselves if it’s worth going for a qualification, especially as there is usually a substantial commitment in terms of time and money.   Although there are vacancies in many sectors there have been so many changes to the overall jobs market that the traditional “job for life” situation, which many people over 30 grew up expecting, is now history.  Instead we have vibrant but often changing, situation facing anybody who wants to switch jobs or move up the ladder in their current career.  With new industries popping up and digital disrupters seemingly all over the place we can all be forgiven for feeling slightly giddy when considering our future.

So how to decide?

Whatever field you are in, or want to get into, the best approach is to take a really rational approach.  Think super-rational, Spock-from-Star-Trek levels of rational thought are called for.  Perhaps the best way to do this is to actually jot down what your career aims are, whether you prefer pen and paper, spreadsheet, text message or old-fashioned back of the envelope with an Argos pen.  This will give you a clear view of what it is you are trying to achieve, from which you can work out a plan to decide what benefit particular qualifications can bring to your career journey.

Once you’ve got your list down in black and white the next thing to do is look at what easy, straightforward, things you can do to boost your chances of progress, however small these boosts may be. Go for the low-hanging fruit which you can do for free or low cost, like putting your name down at work for additional training, attending a conference or a trade show, updating your LinkedIn profile etc. This will give you confidence and the felling that you are making headway.

Next have a look at potential qualifications which could open doors for you in your chosen field, and remember these are not always going to be industry-specific, they could be qualifications which make you more valuable. This is where you will have to start counting the pennies because there’s a massive variety of courses in terms of price range.  To complicate matters not all qualifications hold equal weight with potential employers. There’s a big gap between courses on which you end up with merely a printed certificate of attendance and nationally recognised qualifications. Great things to look for are national recognition such as a qualification by an awarding organisation regulated by Ofqual.  Examples include the Level 3 Award in Education and Training which is not only nationally recognised but will help you get into jobs which involve training, even if the training element is not your main role.

Don’t forget when weighing up the choices available that to get a really worthwhile qualification you’ll often have to do a bit of homework or put in effort outside the set times of the course.

Once you have decided on which course to take and gained a qualification, don’t forget to update your CV/ Resume.  It’s not enough just to list the title and date, remember you’re carrying out this rigmarole to get notice by a decision-maker, so don’t hide your light under a bushel. Jot down a short, simple sentence under the name of the course or qualification.  For example:

Level 3 Awarding Education and Training
Qualifies me to teach and train adults in my subject field

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 1-day Conference

I gained the latest updates on infrastructure and party wall legislation

City & Guilds Hair and Beauty Centres’ Regional Network Meeting

I received all the latest info on the new Technical Skills

Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work

Makes me a qualified First Aider

This will help the decision-maker spot at once the potential value you can make to their company amongst the sea of similar CV’s and applications.

So yes, getting training and education qualifications will help you get a new career or promotion, but only if your approach is methodical to gain the benefit needed.  And don’t forget to clearly tell people what you have gained, your advertising yourself after all!

Tags: adult training,success,training,

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