Friday 21 October 2016

How do I know if this course is for me?

Published 06/08/2015 | 02:30

Students learning in library
Students learning in library

With a bit of careful research you can find the right opportunity

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It is clear that there are a number of skills shortages in Ireland. From information and communications technology to manufacturing to international financial services and construction, employers are on the lookout for talent in a wide range of industries. The key is to position yourself well so that you can take advantage of these openings.Springboard+, which is primarily targeted at jobseekers with a previous history of employment, offers a choice of over 290 free, part-time and intensive conversion courses in higher education from certificate, to degree, to post-graduate level (to see if you are eligible for a course turn to page 12).

It is easy to search courses on (and you can find a complete list of courses on pages 10 and 11). With such a large choice of courses available, it is easy to become daunted as you search. How can you know that a particular course is the right option for you?

The first step to finding the most suitable option is to do your research. Knowledge is power and the more information you know about a course the better. Start by having a read of the detailed course information on the Springboard+ website. Ask yourself 'can I see myself enjoying these topics?' and 'can I picture myself working well in this industry?'

While there will likely be a lot of information about the course on the Springboard+ website your research should only be starting here. Try to gather as much information as you can. Consider calling the Freephone Guidance line 1800 303 523 which offers advice on course choices and applications.

Why not seek out advice from someone who has studied the course in recent years? Their insight can be invaluable when it comes to making a final decision on the right course to choose.

College staff and lectures are a great source of information too. If you do contact a tutor or lecturer, have a list of questions ready to ask about the various modules of the course and what working in the industry will be like. It's a great way to get a head start. Also, consider seeking out people to chat with that are working in career areas that you are interested in. Most will be happy to receive a call or an e-mail with your questions about the career they've chosen.

If you are still not sure which course to choose the old fashioned technique of a 'pros and cons' list can often work well as a deal breaker!

Irish Independent

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