Skill Check: Specialised Or Transferable – What Will You Choose?Posted: 3rd of December 2014 by
Whether you are heading off to university, embarking on an apprenticeship, or studying for a diploma the end destination is the same. Once the studies are finished you will want to find yourself a job. Of course, what you study, and where, may have an impact on the opportunities that are available to you, but ultimately you will be in the same boat – looking to turn your skills and education into a career.
Working backwards from this point, as you think over options for your future, you will probably be thinking about what exactly you want to do for your career, and what you need to get there. This is a great place to start, and if you want to enter into a more specialised career, such as veterinary surgery, you will need to gain some specific qualifications to get there.
However, for those with looser ideas as to what they want to do for a living, it might be worth considering your skills as much as what you want to do with them. Lots of people change their job as they get older, either moving to a different department or position in the same company, or moving to another employer altogether. This may involve moving from one type of job to another, and it is here that transferable skills can come in useful.
With I.T. being important in a wide variety of businesses, some decent computing skills are certainly transferable from place to place, while organisational, management, research, and other skills can also be moved to different positions and work-places. Other skills, such as communication skills are also desired in a number of careers. The fact that these types of softer skills can be used in different roles, makes them highly transferable and desirable to employers. Also able to be used in a variety of companies are more general business skills, from accounting to people management.
It may not always be a matter of moving job, but you might also move around the country. In this case there are certain skills that will prove more useful than others. While being able to drive a tube train is useful in London, it might not prove so beneficial should you be looking for a job elsewhere. By contrast, some jobs are universal – after all, there will always be a need for hair-dressers, pretty much wherever it is you move to!
Even if you are seeking a more directly specialised profession, you may be surprised to hear just how far you can move your skills across different work-places. A carpenter, for example, is able to work in construction, craft, set-design, and many other places where those skills are needed. By thinking outside the boundaries you may find there are more uses for your skills than you immediately thought.
Being handed transferable skills not only helps your immediate future, but they can also help to shape your next few moves too, not to mention able to respond to changes in the job market.
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