Are you considering a change of career? Are you concerned about going back to education after so many years out?
Have you thought about going back to study there’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, and many of us are having to rethink perhaps where we are what we are doing and what we might want to do in the future so many of us thinking about returning to work or potentially changing career this could mean looking at a new course or qualification and that in itself is bewildering
I have seen on a number of discussion board recently people asking do I do this qualification or do I do that qualification?
What I’d like to do is give you perhaps a few tips and a few things to think about from a place of experience.
I’ve been advising a lot of people for a long time about qualifications and entry into a range of professions understand what these things are you have heard of these qualifications called level 1 level 2 level 3 level 5 and level 7
So what are these in very simplistic terms levels 1 and 2 are very short course or entry-level typically taken maybe on your week or two and they’re a relatively low academic entry-level.
Level 3 is approximately what we in the UK with is A-Levels or advanced levels.
Level 5 is approximately bachelor’s degree.
Level 7 is approximately master’s degree. Now when I say approximately a level 7 qualification is not the same as a master’s the number of credits are different, but the academic level and rigger are similar.
So when you’re changing your career and your looking at these qualifications, you need to think about things slightly differently than maybe the market is suggesting.
Think about when you build a house there are in effect three main structures. There’s a foundation, there are the walls, and there’s a roof. In theory, you can build any one of those in any order however if you put a roof on for foundation trying to get the walls in becomes increasingly difficult.
What many people fail to understand about these level base qualifications is quite often it isn’t just about the academic level but actually about the content that each of these levels has. For example, many level 3 qualifications for things like management, leadership, human resources and things like that are more around operational issues. In addition, there is more about the legal frameworks of things that you need to have To do the foundations if you like of the profession and then the level 5 stuff and more like building up the levels building up the walls and the level 7 stuff is starting to put some sort of roof on.
Now, in theory just because you’ve got a degree or master’s degree in another subject, you could jump onto a level 7 course. However, you will lack the foundations on the wall of the content. So my advice to you is if you’re changing career if you’re changing profession seriously look at the content of each of these levels and ask yourself a really serious question: Which is, do I understand that enough to be able to go on? Because while you may cope academically, you won’t necessarily get the most out of the certification or learning.
I remember a couple of years ago, a human resources director been chastised on a forum for going back and doing a basic level 3 introduction to personnel. Now the the reality was, this individual they realised what they were lacking and they realise that level 3 provided them with some underpinning knowledge that they were missing. So good on them.
So for an HR director who was already operating at level 7 and has completed level 7 to go back to a level 3 tells you something about the importance. Certainly, when I’ve been running manager training programs in the past, I persuade people to start at level 3 and what their way up as it builds on the foundation and they become much better leaders and managers as a result. Yes, it takes a little bit longer for some people. It may cost a little bit more. But trust me it’s about the education not about that rubber stamp or badge. Having that qualification is actually relevant, as is the experience that we get and how we apply it.
So what I would say to you is if you’re looking at taking on some new qualification, Be that distance learning, online or classroom, When they stop I don’t know. Please make sure that the content is right for you. Be that the provider and the Tutors will give you the support that you need. You know how you learn best. Can you do that with each provider? You might be better off delaying your education for Year to Save up a bit more maybe for a more expensive or a different provider. Get the right education, not just any education would be my advice.
Recently I’ve completed my masters. It was my first time in full-time education since I left school at 16. I’m not going to say it was easy. If I can do that at the age of 55, I’m sure that you can change career and go back to education at any level. Just make sure that you got the support of your family around your employer. And that you give yourself a pat on the back for every small thing that you do. Because I know that you can do it.
So whatever you choose good luck. Make sure that the content is right.
Don’t go chasing the goals of different levels. Ignore that look at the content.
What is it that you need for where you need to be, and good luck thanks bye