2013 is an exciting time to be in or entering the workplace. This is particularly true if you are considering taking your career to the next level by furthering your education – there are more opportunities available to you now than ever before.
Although studying (particularly if your time is already largely occupied by work and family) may seem a daunting prospect, there are numerous reasons to add a qualification to your résumé. You may want to counter this by citing various famous unqualified people but the reality is that success stories about educated people far outnumber those about people who have never studied. Consider the following practical advice for how to go about taking this important step.
Study in the direction of where your passion lies
The reality is that your qualifications define your future to a large extent. Make sure that you study something that you will still enjoy doing for many years to come. To use a humorous but useful analogy, you would be hard-pressed to find a lawyer with a medical degree.
What´s more, adding a relevant qualification to your existing passion will make you a force to be reckoned with. You will always be better at doing the things you enjoy than those that you do not because you will be able to carry out the former with your whole heart.
Studies allow you to change or boost your existing career
If you are considering changing careers, then, like a leopard trying to become a cheetah, you may have to change your spots. Studies can allow you to do something that truly interests you, helping you to escape an industry in which you no longer belong or revive an uninspiring career.
What this really amounts to is taking charge of your future by working your way to a career that is truly enriching.
But remember that you can only change your direction a few times in your career. Companies will consider your past experience and an erratic work history is highly likely to hold you back. So choose wisely.
You should also be aware that, while highly skilled people have a greater chance of finding employment outside of their study areas these days, qualifications still count – a lot.
Pitch your career at the right level
The level of your qualifications will determine where you are able to take your career. With only a pre-matric-level education, you are likely to be restricted to jobs involving mostly manual labour and limited strategic thinking. You will also find yourself competing with the majority of the populace for employment. A Bachelor´s Degree like the Regenesys BBA is a minimum requirement for professional positions. Ultimately, if you want to enter management, you will probably require a postgraduate-level qualification in order to be considered.
If your field of expertise is technical, you may find that you have tended to certify in a specific skills area in your studies, never actually obtaining a full qualification. The importance of a recognised formal qualification is no less applicable to you than to those in theoretically-oriented jobs.
It´s a fact – you are exponentially more likely to be promoted and assigned more challenging and rewarding job responsibilities if you study.
Higher education may not always be explicitly stated as a requirement for a position or promotion but it is important to remember how competitive the job market has become. Qualifications show a competence level of which not all people are capable. Getting a qualification is a tangible way for you to stand out in an ever-growing crowd.
Many MBA students are business owners who want to learn how to run their organisations more efficiently. Others are savvy entrepreneurs eager to step up their ability to operate strategically. Their MBAs help them to get to where they want to be. Don´t you want the same thing for yourself?
Study to advance yourself
Before you commit to further study, realise that it takes large amounts of time and effort. You will initially be bombarded with new information and you will need to zero in on what is important and discard irrelevant facts. If you are going to keep up, you will need to learn constantly and identify connections between what you are learning and your existing knowledge. Make sure that your chosen field of study is worth that kind of commitment for you.
You cannot but grow as a person when you pursue a higher education; as you move closer to the attainment of your qualification, you will feel your self-respect and confidence improve as you enjoy an immense sense of accomplishment.
High-growth fields require skills
As jobs become more complex and technical, you may need to complete a specific course or qualification to be able to access high-growth or scarce-skill areas. Technology and management will always remain key areas for any economy and specialist skills in any discipline will always be required. Even generic skills such as project management require high levels of focus and proficiency in a range of disciplines.
Studies are seldom full-time
Most people cannot afford the luxury of full-time study. In South Africa, part-time students far outnumber their fortunate full-time counterparts. This is a global phenomenon. Whether you are a full-time employee or operate out of your home, you will need a flexible study schedule to accommodate the demands of your life. This sort of flexibility is one of the most attractive benefits of online/distance learning.
Accreditation is very important
Non-accredited institutions may try to convince you that the point of study is simply to advance your knowledge but it is hard to justify the kind of sacrifice involved in further study if you have nothing concrete to show for it at the end.
Know that not all qualifications are equal. It is vital to ensure that the qualification you are considering is recognised by the proper authorities. The same goes for the provider. Do your homework. Learning new things may be a wonderful experience but, without accreditation, that is all that it will ever be.
Loans, bursaries and stipends
There are many structures in society that will assist you to study. Student loans, bursaries from employers or other organisations, and stipends for learning all exist to help you make your dream of further study a reality. Regenesys´ innovative “pay-as-you-learn” programme allows you to complete (and pay for) your qualification one module at a time. This makes it easier if you are funding your studies yourself. If you are resourceful enough, cost does not have to be a debilitating constraint.
Dwelling on the obstacles could keep you procrastinating forever – and regretting it for even longer than that. Ultimately, there is never going to be a better time to further your education (and your career) than the present. Get started on enhancing your learning today.
Here´s what you need to do:
- Let go of any reservations that have been holding you back and embrace education as your key to a better life.
- Complete a self-skills audit (read last week´s newsletter to find out how).
- Enrol for a course or a qualification that will bring you closer to your objectives.
- Make education your new year´s resolution in 2013. Your new, improved life and career are waiting for you.
Register today for your further studies!