Looking for a Career Boost?? Up-skilling your Qualifications.
In today’s marketplace, Irish employees are up-skilling more than ever before to advance their careers. According to AC Nielsen employee research, 71% of employees are looking for additional education or training outside their current workplace in order to advance their careers. In a job market, where clients are being more specific in terms of requirements and what they are looking for, adding extra skills to your CV could give you that vital edge of getting that job you want or that promotion you are looking for.
Why is it a good time to up-skill?
In the employee survey, some 57% of those questioned wanted to upskill for a promotion with their current employer, whilst others would up-skill to switch employers or enter a new field of work. Whilst there are less opportunities and more competition in the job market, employees can make the most of their current position by earning qualifications and improving their skills. According to the employer in the Research survey “Showing a commitment or willingness to invest in learning and up-skilling demonstrates intent to an employer that you are serious about developing your career.” Whilst some people up-skill or undertake courses for the short-term future, it is a vital strategy to opening doors in the long term future. (For example, in marketing having digital experience in Brand Marketing roles is becoming more prevalent and for certain positions a pre-requisite. A lot of professional marketers are now undertaking digital marketing courses to make themselves more attractive for potential employers). If you have the time and are serious about career development, now is as good as time as any as clients are looking for the best candidates in the marketplace.
Best place to start?
The best place to start is deciding what to study so I would highly recommend that you do your research first. “The happiest professionals are those who understand their work, and what it takes to do a good job.” There are countless ways you can spend money on your professional development but it is important to choose wisely because at the end of the day it is your career. There is no point rushing in to making a decision, in some cases paying a large fee to subscribe only to find out it is not really relevant or of interest to you. Try to pick a course that would be of interest to you and advance your career. A good place to start is deciding what to study and it can be beneficial speaking to work colleagues about courses relevant to your career field if you feel comfortable and have a good working relationship with your boss, why not have a conversation with him/her? Or indeed contact a lecturer in a university in the area and keep an eye out for open evenings for certain courses.
When to Start?
According to research, 53% of those who undertake extra courses opt for continual training and education as their preferred method of development. Some employers offer training and development to help bridge skills and boost business performance, so if you’re considering up-skilling it is worth asking if your employer has any schemes available. Although fitting education around a full time job can be difficult, some employers do include study leave in an employee’s contract. There are evening courses which run over a term or a year starting in September or January and also short term courses which you can fit into your schedule.
At managerial level, there are plenty of short term courses in coaching and leadership skills that can focus on your ability to manage yourself and others. Indeed if you are looking to up-skill yourself in a particular area, some courses are free or part- time- (some can range from 10-12 weeks) and it is also worth checking out local colleges so that it may suit you for time coming to/from work. Some courses do have some previous qualification requirements but some institutions do accept applicants where no qualification is needed. It is also important to remember that some qualifications are more recognised than others so make sure the one you are going for is recognised within your industry and can enhance your career.