Help me decide

Published On: December 10th, 2020Last Updated: June 1st, 20215.7 min readCategories: Career Advice

Choosing what to study should be seen as a strategic decision, it can affect the growth of your career for many years to come.

In the beginning it can feel a little overwhelming and you may have a lot more questions than answers as you get started. We are here to make this an easier decision for you, the team at iQ has compiled a list of considerations to help you to choose the best course for you and your goals!

1. Upskill or reskill?
With the world of work rapidly changing and the demand for new capabilities gaining momentum, it is a good idea to stay ahead of the pack and remain competitive by either upskilling or reskilling.

Ask yourself: Do I want to gain skills to increase my career advancement opportunities in my current workplace? Or, do I want to learn new skills to become employable in a different job? These questions will help you pinpoint what you want to achieve, but you cannot determine this in isolation without considering trends in the marketplace next.

2. The job market
It is vital to keep the realities of the job market in mind when deciding what to study. Consider the critical skills needed in your career field, not only for today but in the future too. Think about where you might be lacking or where there might be opportunities for growth. Then think about what skills programme would enable you to bridge that gap.

You should also be sure to stay up to date on in-demand jobs and skills through constant research. This will help you keep an eye on how things are changing, where you may need to skill up to stay relevant, and where the opportunity for career advancement lies.
Bonus tip: Take ownership of your career growth by speaking to your boss or your HR manager to map out a career path at your company and identify your areas for growth. This way you can align your educational investment to a longer-term plan.

3. Do I need a short course certificate or a qualification?
Once you have a good grasp of what you need for career growth, you will be in a better position to decide whether you need to pursue an NQF level qualification or if you should study a short course skills development programme.

Studying a qualification is a longer-term commitment and requires a higher investment, but it gives you the credentials that may be required for certain career paths. Studying a short course gives you an immediate skill boost but the certificate you receive is non-credit bearing. The key is to consider what type of professional credentials you need in your field and if you need to boost your skills in the short or long term to achieve the growth you are after. Many students choose to study both types of programmes as a means of continued learning.

4. Your talents and natural inclinations
Some skills are gained based on experience, while others are inherent abilities and skills which come naturally and vary from person to person, such as working well with numbers, or organising things without breaking a sweat, or even doing hair like a pro.

The reality is, you are more likely to succeed if you pursue a career or start a business that incorporates your natural gifting and what you are passionate about doing. So, what are you good at and what do you enjoy doing?

You might want to take an entrepreneurial approach and explore a business opportunity in something that you are naturally good at but lack the business knowledge to set it up. Studying a business course would then equip you with the fundamentals needed to run a successful business. Similarly, a course in Marketing Management can teach you how to promote your business, or if you lack financial knowledge, then a Financial Management short course would teach you the fundamentals of finance. However, not all skills can become business opportunities. But finding your passion within a business setting is a win-win strategy.

5. Your current circumstances
Your current work and family life play an important role in deciding what, how, and where to study. If you work full-time and are married with children, for example, you may not have the time or the financial resources to study. The flexibility of distance learning would then be better suited to you so you can learn on your own schedule and keep your family commitments!

You may think that you cannot afford to study but do your research before you decide it’s not an option for you. At iQ Academy, we offer a wide range of affordable and convenient payment options that are tailored to suit each students’ unique needs.

The next thing you need to consider is your access to technology and connectivity. There are various modes of distance learning to choose from. You can opt for fully online programmes or you can choose to study via textbooks with online support. So think about how you are able to learn and make sure you choose a method of study that you can manage.

Take stock of your circumstances, evaluate any potential barriers, and find a workable solution to ensure you can achieve your goals.

6. Do your homework

Checking out reviews and testimonials of past students that were once in a similar position to you can be reassuring. You may gain valuable insights from their study experiences such as the service and support received, the quality of the course, and whether studying boosted their careers in any way. To find some inspiration, read more about iQ Academy student success stories.

Make sure that you enroll at an accredited institution and that the course curricula offered are quality assured and developed by industry experts. Read more about iQ Academy’s accreditation status,

In the end, choosing the right course to study should be a carefully calculated decision, but should also excite you as you discover the benefits and opportunities it can bring.

Explore our wide range of business courses and find the one that’s right for you!

Need help choosing the right programme?

Get in touch and a student advisor will call you back to discuss the best course for you and your goals.

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