Which skills or training course is right for me?
So you decide you want to do a course to improve yourself? Well done! Learning is always a good thing and only positives can come from it. If you are doing this course to get a better job, learn a skill, or just for the sake of learning something new then you are on the right track. Doing a course takes time and commitment, so you will need to make sure you get the most out of it.
What are qualifications and why do I need them?
Qualifications prove you have acquired knowledge or developed skills in your lifetime. These documents prove your achievements and for some careers
, it's essential you have specific qualifications. For others, such as journalism
, it helps to have a particular qualification. You'll need qualifications to get onto certain courses. Most universities set entry requirements for degree courses. Mature entrants do not always need formal qualifications, but need evidence of recent study, relevant work experience or professional qualifications. Professional bodies may grant you membership if you have certain qualifications. It's not always essential to have a qualification. Working knowledge - such as being able to use computer software can be just as important.
BTEC Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Diplomas (HNDs)
BTEC HNCs/Ds are higher education qualifications, like degrees. Unlike degrees they are only available in vocational subjects and are closely linked to the world of work. They're a mixture of theory and practice, and will prepare you for work at a technical, supervisory or management level. HNDs are usually two years full-time, but there are a few part-time ones available, which will take longer. When you have finished an HNC or HND, you can top up your qualification to a degree by finding a university that offers a degree with a similar subject syllabus to your higher national qualification. You will need to do an extra one or two years to top up to a degree depending on how closely the syllabuses match.