Climbing the career ladder is something that is often seen as a pricey investment. From spending thousands of pounds at university to being an unpaid intern for a year or more, many people assume that it’s only the financially well-off who can afford to build a career they’ve always dreamed of. However, there are many routes to developing your career and showing your potential employers that you are the person for the job.
With only 49% of young people in England going to University in 2017, according to the Guardian, it seems that with higher university fees and a broader range of ways to develop a career, more people are opting out than in. Of those with a degree, more and more are finding affordable ways to increase their job prospects further by enrolling on online courses or gaining extra work experience. Find out how to kick start your career or develop your chances of getting that dream job without spending a fortune.
Increase Your Employability & Knowledge
Doing an online course is a fantastic way of developing your career, and not only does it allow you to increase your knowledge and employability, but it means that you can work around your current commitments. With over a whopping 6 million students now enrolled on an online course, according to the Online Learning Consortium, distance learning is becoming more popular now than ever. There are a variety of online courses which you can enrol on, from Advanced Certificates to level 7 Diplomas and even Masters Degrees, giving you the knowledge and qualifications in the field you want to work. There are many advantages to online learning including:
One of the key benefits (and of course, the reason it sits at the top of this list!) is that online courses are often far cheaper than those in a classroom setting. From the cost of commuting, school supplies and accommodation, to the course itself, online course cost far less.
You can work around your current job, social or life commitments, as well as working in a way which suits your learning style.
Online learning opens a whole world of opportunity from courses on Investing Banking to diplomas in Health and Social Care. At most colleges or universities, the variety of courses will likely not be as broad due to availability of experts in the field, and the chances of finding one close to the area you live (or wish to live) makes the chances even smaller.
The content of many online courses not only helps you in the field you are looking to develop your career, but also other skills including IT skills, critical thinking and research skills.
Work on Your Interpersonal Skills
Having good people skills is a must in any job, whether it’s a customer facing role or working in a team on a project. You can build up your interpersonal skills in a variety of ways, from joining clubs or societies, to doing charity work or even getting a job in a local shop. Even if you think these jobs or hobbies will have you far from where you want to be, being able to meet new people and get on with a variety of people is always an excellent skill to have.
Top Tip: Networking with people is also a great way to learn about any new job opportunities, so don’t forget to keep in touch!</strong>
Create a Portfolio of Work
If you are looking to work in a creative industry, creating a portfolio of work is a must; whether you are a keen artist looking to get your work out there, an amateur writer looking to get some articles published or a designer trying to find your way into the fashion industry. In this day and age, creating a portfolio of your work online is especially essential, as you can simply link potential employers to your Google+ account or your own website so they can see what work you’ve done in the past. Not only does this show your dedication to the career you wish to progress in, but it is an easy way of gathering your achievements and showing them to potential employers, clients or customers.
Get Some More Experience
A great way to upgrade your career prospects is to get more experience in the working world. However, if you are looking to properly develop your career, or change the sector you wish to work in, getting work experience will give you a huge advantage when applying for jobs. Having just a few weeks experience working in your chosen environment means you get to know the day to day routines, the practical skills and the knowledge you need to succeed in that career. You can also ask for a reference from your work experience manager which will demonstrate how you did during your time there, and you could even secure a job there once they see how keen and capable you are!
Sign Up for Professional Development Courses
If you are already in employment and are looking for a way to further develop your career, there is usually the opportunity to embark on courses paid for by your employer. Some common courses include Food and Hygiene courses for those working in hospitality, or Marketing and Management courses for those working in that sector. Seeking some professional development courses online or asking your employer if there are any courses they recommend for you, can help you build your professional portfolio without you needing to fork out a fortune, as some of these courses can cost hundreds of pounds!
Progressing in your career can often depend on the sector you are hoping to work in, with different opportunities open to those in healthcare than in IT. However, you are sure to find an affordable online course, or a professional development course, to help you develop your skills you need to get where you want to be. There are thousands of online courses from practical to creative and going out of your way to create a portfolio of your work or gain work experience will demonstrate your passion to progress in your career.