I have a full-time job but want to boost my CV with further education. What options are there?

Quality professionals in all sectors are having to work harder to make their CV stand out from the crowd. Even though the country is in recovery, the recession severely reduced the number of jobs available which means that more effort needs to be devoted to ensuring that you are the perfect candidate for a job.

Pursuing further education or training courses is one method to boost a CV and there are a number of avenues that can be pursued while working full- or part-time.

Some examples include:

• Open/evening undergraduate degree courses

• Open/evening Master’s degree courses, including MBAs

• National Vocational Qualifications

• Certificates and Diplomas

• One- to five-day courses that focus on a specific skill or tool.

Different qualifications suit different people and it is important you know exactly what you aim to achieve by gaining a qualification. For example, if you are looking into a management role, a shorter course on people management might be more useful than a full Master’s in quality management.

The aim of studying should be to provide new skills that you need in order to clearly demonstrate you are competent to move into a new role, although qualifications can also provide formal recognition for current skills. If you are looking to develop yourself rather than aiming to qualify for a new job, it would be worth asking your employer what the most useful form of education might be. There may be areas that would be useful for your current job or even opportunities to get funding from your organisation.

As well as the type of qualification, you also need to make some decisions about the method of study that suits you best.

Options include:

Occasional full-day classes

• Evening classes

• Weekend classes

• Distance-learning with minimal contact with students, but regular email contact with a tutor

• E-learning such as e-seminars and podcasts

• On-the-job learning.

Each method of study will take a different length of time. Some courses, such as an undergraduate degree, can take several years to complete and require a significant commitment. A diploma can take any amount of time between one and four years so you need to consider for how long you are prepared to commit your time. And remember; don’t start a course unless you are prepared to take on the work. The best courses will allow you to immediately practice what you are learning. It’s only when you start applying your new skills and knowledge that the real benefits of further education can be felt.


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