Training - Higher Education and University
Retraining or adding to your skills is not always possible. Cost, particularly when you are struggling already can be a significant barrier. Getting an employer to allow you time off so that you can study for high qualification even in your current work area could be impossible.
The government claim that there is a shortage of graduates and that the future work force will require to be better educated. But they are not expanding the number of university places to reflect this demand and training in business is not deemed a business expense.
Many jobs have been outsourced to regions of the world where the labour force is cheaper. Call centres in many of these countries are manned by staff with University degrees. Many skilled jobs require a local work force and are not so easy to outsource and at the same time do not need a degree for entry. Basic training, e.g. in computing and PC office applications is not sufficient. You need particular technical and business skills to improve your chances in the middle market labour force. Colleges of Further & Higher Education will have a number of courses, particularly in IT and business studies.
If you do not have a degree you are entitled to get grants and living costs loans just as any other student. The hurdle may be the entrance qualification. Some universities may accept previous work experience and other qualifications as alternatives to A Level. Personal determination and initiative to contact and seek guidance from the admissions office for a course may find you closer to a placement than you think. The admissions tutor should also be able to explain what the studying would require and the amount of back ground work needed to make up for not having recent examination success in A Level.
Costs and family commitment may rule out a full time degree course. Many of the former polytechnics offer training and courses that could built up to a degree. The Open University has allowed thousands of people to get degrees through a combination of home study, local support tutors, week-end and weekly resident courses.
With a degree, not only are you able to apply for more profession employment, you may find your salary potential doubles, if not quadruples, for the rest of your working life. This could amount to between half and over a million pounds and with far better odds than winning on the lottery.
Don't let the lack of income deter you from getting the qualifications to enter University. Like any business, if your business plan is solid and you can show the returns on investment then there is no reason not to get loans from banks with fair repayment terms. Once at University you can apply for the standard student loans which you only start to repay once you achieve a minimum annual earning.
The answer to when you should update your job skills is - always! With the
U.S. and European economies still slumping many workers may be considering what their
employment future could be like if they were to lose their job. Consider
updating your job skills immediately. Examine what your skills deficits may be.
For instance, are you up to date on computer programs? Your employer may even
pay for your continuing education. Career colleges offer courses with flexible
times so you can work and update your skills.
Sometimes a career move may involve looking on the inside rather than on the
outside. Reflect on where your interests are and what your current skill set is.
Perhaps you are interested in accounting, but you've spent most of your career
in marketing. It might be time to upgrade your skills. It's a good idea to stay
current in your industry by
multiple trade magazines. If you need to advance your education, now is the
time to do it!
training and development
Last updated 20th January 2011