ACS Distance Education UK
What Study Gets You a Job?
Why Study then, if Qualified People are Unemployed?
Having a qualification may be no guarantee for work; but what you learn from a good course does greatly increase your opportunities to be employed.
Getting the Qualification is not as important as Learning what Employers Seek
Employers today look for all of the following:
How then can Doing a Course help Get a Job?
CAREER MYTHSThere are lots of incorrect assumptions that people commonly make about careers. Some of these things which may have been true in the past are, in recent times, a myth. Choose a career carefully and you will be set for life – This is Untrue!In the past many people would decide on a career path in their teens and stay on the same (or similar) path for their entire working life. Others just took what was readily available to them and stayed in the job for life. Today people not only change jobs with increasing frequency, but many have several different jobs, sometimes in different industries at the same time; and most people change industries one or more times over the course of their working life. You need to choose the right course to get the job you want – This is Untrue!In the past, there was often only one well established entry point to a career. To become a tradesman you would need to do an apprenticeship, to be a teacher or educator you would need a University degree, to design houses you would need to be an architect, and to be in a management role you would need a University degree. Often a young person will not know what they want to do in life, and will choose a course that gives them a broad education– it may be a generalist arts degree or diploma that includes subjects such as creative writing, psychology, languages, social studies, anthropology and so on. Employers these days see the value in people that have a good general education, because this means they often have a more lateral approach to their work. In some industries though, employers may look more favourably on a certificate or diploma level course that has focused on experiential learning (within a specific field) for example horticulture, medicine or agriculture. Once you get the right job, you will be secure for life – This is Untrue!In the past once you had established your career pathway, you had a high level of security. You knew where your working life was heading, you understood opportunities for advancement, you knew when you were likely to retire, and were aware of the financial situation you were likely to find yourself in upon retirement. This too has changed – most people start on a path and deviate from it many times in their working life. Job security is not a ‘given’ and you must be very proactive in planning for your retirement (even from quite a young age). Social security pensions are no longer seen as a right, and in the future people will be expected to fund their own retirement. If you work hard enough, you can get the job you want – Only Sometimes True!Certain types of jobs are constantly disappearing and being replaced by new types of jobs. No matter how hard you work you won’t get the job you are working towards if that industry changes and that type of job disappears. A job that appeals to you from the outside isn’t always what it appears from the inside. Even if you work hard, you may still not get a job because it does not fit with your temperament, or you live in the wrong location, or perhaps there are simply too many other people competing for the job. You need to be flexible in your approach when looking for work – this transfers to others during interviews too and people that are flexible and positive to change will always find work (even if it may not be exactly what they wanted in the first instance. If you get a University education you will earn more – This is Untrue!Lots of university graduates end up unemployed, this is unrelated to the fact that they went to university - reasons for this may be that there is an over-supply of graduates in their field, or perhaps what they studied is not as relevant to the jobs on offer, or the course may not be as good as what others have studied. Certain professions do not necessarily pay a lot either. Many jobs in the welfare industry for instance are low paid, when compared with what a doctor or engineer might be paid; even though all of these professions may require a similar amount of academic effort to get a degree. University graduates are not offered huge salaries upon graduation! Like everyone they have to start at the bottom. Today employers are more likely to view a graduate as ‘entry level’ than ever before. Graduates also find that when they do find a job that there is so much more to learn – a degree or diploma will give you a start, but will certainly not teach you everything, and not guarantee big money.A Job with Government is More Secure than one in Private Enterprise – This is Untrue!This is often touted, but since the global financial crisis many governments have sacked large numbers of employees. No job can be considered as ‘secure’ these days.You will earn more money by running your own business – This is only Sometimes True!The vast majority of small businesses fail, and many that survive will see their owners working long hours and weekends to simply survive. A minority of small businesses however, will thrive. The owners of thriving businesses get noticed, and because they are noticed, give the impression that being a business owner is a highly desirable situation. The failures get far less attention. These and other such “truths” are “myths” in the modern workplace. Many people do not properly appreciate these myths about employment and careers.When you stop and think though; the things that we commonly hear in the media and hear talked about in society are often contradictory.For example:Young people are often told that they need a college or university education to be assured of a successful career in a particular industry; but media reports are constantly being published that show graduates not following a career path in the discipline they studied.Governments often identify needs in education at a particular point in time, and then set about working through a bureaucratic process of industry input, course development and funding allocations, which results in a course being launched several years later in response to that identified need. Often graduates begin to emerge from a diploma or degree six years or more after a need was identified – by this time the entire economy may have taken another turn or the need may have changed. At the same time, we often read that half of the jobs that will be available in 5 years time have not yet been conceived. Is it any wonder that more than half of the graduates from many tertiary courses find difficulty getting work?There are reasons for these contradictions:Teens and young adults often take advice from parents and grandparents who are trying to pass on their experience and words of wisdom - given to them by their parents and grandparents.
Many people think “If I do this course; I will get this job” In the real world, this is a myth.Qualifications are sometimes important, when and where governments have legislated to make it compulsory to have a certain qualification. Doctors and lawyers for instance, usually need to be registered to work in their jobs; and registration would require certain university level qualifications. However many industries are simply not like this. Here are some examples: