It may be several years since you left school or university, but it's never too late to think about self-improvement and acquiring new skills. A desire for career progression or the wish to do something different professionally are the most common reasons for gaining additional professional qualifications, and distance learning options make this possible for those with even the busiest lives.
Learning as an adult can be extremely rewarding on a number of levels. For starters, study is not compulsory and courses can be selected to match personal interests and ambitions, making it easier to maintain motivation. Outlined below are ways in which gaining a new qualification can positively affect your life.
- Enhancing your CV
A professional qualification is a great way of boosting your CV and helping you stand out from fellow jobseekers. Undertaking further study as an adult demonstrates drive and enthusiasm, which are highly attractive qualities to an employer.
- Underpinning change
Nowadays it's commonplace to have multiple jobs throughout our working lives. Sometimes these are related and utilise the same skills and expertise . Very often, however people seek to carve out a new career in order to fulfil changing personal needs and priorities. In that situation, gaining a related qualification can be the best way to gain the required knowledge or to demonstrate commitment to a new employer.
There's no doubt that some companies ask for demonstrable experience as well as appropriate qualifications. However, research conducted by Home Learning College shows that just under half of bosses would hire someone for an entry level position who had a relevant vocational qualification but no hands on experience. So, if you're struggling to get a foot in the door of a new industry then it's worth considering how further study could help you achieve your goals.
- Entering certain professions
In some sectors – such as finance or IT - it's only possible to get a job if you have particular qualifications. In Home Learning College's survey, 35% of British adults in employment said they needed a vocational qualification to get their current job. Similarly, 45% of organisations reported that employees need to gain industry standard qualifications in order to progress.
When considering your career options, it's essential to check what accreditations you will need in order to achieve success. Very often it's possible to study part time for a professional, recognised qualification that will open the necessary doors.
- Increasing your salary
Vocational study is particularly valuable for enhancing income potential. In fact, research conducted by the University of Sheffield has shown that vocational qualifications make a marked difference to employees' earnings, ranging from 5 and 23 per cent. This is backed up by a Home Learning College survey in which 26% of people directly linked gaining a new qualification with securing a pay rise or promotion.
In a separate study, the Consultative Committee for Professional Management Organisations priced the benefit of holding professional qualification over the course of the average working life at £81,000. The research also identified an increase in long-term employment prospects at an individual level and a positive impact on team productivity caused by an overspill effect of such learning.
- Gaining confidence and respect
Sometimes studying for a new qualification is more about enhancing confidence than anything else. Vocational qualifications are particularly good at rounding out existing knowledge and skills, or providing a structured grounding for a new area of knowledge, which can make it easier to relate to colleagues or showcase your abilities to an employer.
With these points in mind, why not take a look at Home Learning College's range of distance learning courses and see how you could gain a new professional qualification.