College or school can seem like a world away from the workplace, with your studies seeming to bear very little relevance to your desired profession when you leave. This feeling can leave you wondering what the point of your qualifications are, besides being a piece of paper that will help you to gain a pass to get a job. Most employers ask that their workers have GCSE in English and Maths, so they are fairly imperative for most job-seekers, but is there any point in studying further to get more qualifications beyond school or college, or should you just head out and start work?
In fact, heading straight into the workplace rarely means that you will no longer have to think about tests and qualifications. Many businesses like their employees to improve their skills through training courses which may also include qualifications. This includes things such as the European Computer Driving License, which trains and demonstrates your ability to use many common office computer programs.
Being able to demonstrate that you know how to do something is important, and that ‘piece of paper’ that you worked to get is proof of what you know. Employers want to know that they are taking on the right workers, with the relevant skills and experience that they desire. By getting qualified you have real proof of what you can do – whether it is plumbing, hairdressing, accountancy, or heart surgery.
Would you trust an unqualified person to fix your car or build you a house? What about letting them operate on you?
Qualifications are important proof of what you know, and so, while the learning process may at times seem abstract, they are an important step towards your dream career. Of course, the more specialised the qualification, the more relevant it may seem. Get yourself qualified as an auto mechanic and chances are you will have the skills to get to work straight away. However, getting a university degree in history, for example, will offer a different set of skills that may not seem as directly relevant to a specific job. Of course, if you wanted to work as an expert in a museum, they may want to see that you had studied history – so it is all a matter of where you want to go.
How you get your qualifications is up to you, and also depends on what you want to do for a living. You may wish to gain the qualification and directly relevant on-the-job experience offered by an apprenticeship. Alternatively, you may feel that an academic route would suit you more – in which case a sponsored, distance learning or university degree may be the best option. Even if you go straight out to work it is worth seeing what workplace training and qualifications you can gain while you are there. Not only will they improve your work, but they are also something that you can take with you as proof of your knowledge, skills, and experience – wherever you may go.