Feeling tempted to skip your qualifications? After all—it can take years before you’re properly qualified for a job. Surely it’s better to make a start and sidestep any time wasting. Isn’t it?
Many professionals are encouraged to take additional courses and gain new qualifications for roles, but this can mean hours of additional study outside of work, as well as tutor meetings and exams. It is really worth the extra effort?
Why it pays to be properly qualified
Skilled, qualified professionals are in short supply industry-wide—this is particularly true of accounting roles. According to 40% of CFOs, it’s significantly challenging to find qualified accounting professionals to fill open roles. Candidates who hold the relevant technical skills are being offered the highest starting salaries. Out of every 10 candidates interviewed in the UK, eight of them were offered salaries higher than the initial advertised amount. For 49% of hiring managers, technical skills were the main reason for the pay boost.
Research for the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide shows that CFOs are specifically looking for newly qualified ACCA/CIMA/ACA professionals (≤5 years’ experience) and professionals that are part qualified. In the technology sector, professionals certified in CISSP are the most attractive, and digital skills are wanted in almost all industries.
All things considered, it appears as though additional qualifications can make a significant difference to your current and starting salary.
How to stay motivated during independent study
Finding the motivation for independent study is very simple when you have the right structure and mindset in place. Here are a few ways you can persevere with your career qualification while working full-time.
1. Make a routine and stick to it
Keeping your studying on track is easy when you work to a routine. Choose an allotted time of day—like your commute or a few hours over the weekend—and dedicate it to study. Some employers who encourage your study may even be able to provide you dedicated hours during the working week to commit towards your training. Your new routine will soon become habitual and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.
2. Find a study buddy
One of the best ways to ensure that you hit your study goals is to team up with another student on your course. By making regular dates to work together and test one another, you’re more likely to push yourself because someone is holding you accountable.
3. Learn in your own way
What works for one individual might not be as effective for another. If you work best by studying through a whole day, do that. If studying in bite-sized chunks is more your style, try to arrange a schedule that fits. By figuring out how you prefer to learn, you’re more likely to retain information and enjoy your sessions.
4. Remember why you’re doing it
Although you’re working harder in the short-term, an additional qualification can make a huge impact on the future of your career. From strengthening your application for first-choice roles to helping you negotiate a larger salary, that little bit of extra effort could really pay off.