Choosing to undertake further education is a key life decision, one that will impact the course of your career path. One of the options you do have to weigh up is between completing a diploma or a bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor’s degrees mainly revolve around theoretical training and knowledge, as opposed to practical skills. Diplomas offer you the ability to immediately apply what you are learning through your units, as well as gain practical skills that are necessary and applicable to your career.
Studying for a diploma still gives you the required theoretical foundation, but you also learn through real-life, usable case studies that are easily applied to situations you will face during everyday work.
So how can you make your Diploma work for you?
There are many things that you can do before you have even finished your study that will help your diploma work for you, and showcase all your knowledge and skills.
1. Add your qualification to your LinkedIn Profile
Adding the qualification you have or are completing to your professional profile will make it visible to potential employers and recruiters of what you can bring to the company. Additionally, you are able to list the specific skills that you have learnt throughout your course, which can act as a checklist for all the attributes employers are looking for to match their job description.
2. Join Social Networking groups
Utilising the benefits of platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are a great way to share your skills and qualifications. Joining groups of people with similar qualifications are likely to draw in employers who are looking for candidates with specific skills. Being an active part of these groups also helps you to extend your network of professional contacts. Not only are employers looking on these platforms but so are recruiters, which opens another door for you to demonstrate your qualifications, be known as a person who has ambition, and gets quality job offers.
3. Connect and network with students
One of the many benefits of studying a diploma is that you can complete them part-time while you look for work in your desired industry. What this means is that your student peers may be able to help you with a lead when it comes to getting your foot in the door of your desired workplace. Connecting and networking with people who are studying the same course as you may open a variety of doors that may not have been previously open to you.
4. Professional association memberships
Many professional associations have membership options for students. Being part of an organisation like this can help with credibility within the industry, as employers will be able to see that you are a member of a reputable organisation. These groups are a great way of staying up to date on current and necessary skills within your chosen industry. Organisations like these give you exciting opportunities to take part in blogs, forums, and social media that serve as two-way conversations between experienced professionals relating to issues of your industry. Additionally, it means you can have your thoughts and opinions heard by like-minded people.
These are some of the things that you can do now to help boost your employability and help move you in the direction that you want to go.
How can you apply the skills you are learning while at work?
One of the many benefits of studying a diploma is that you learn real-life practical skills that can be immediately applied to your work situation. In this way, what you learn is both relevant and beneficial to advancing your career.
1. Keep a daily journal
At the end of each workday set aside five or ten minutes to identify what new skills you were able to develop that day. At the end of the week, allocate time to give yourself a weekly review. Identify what you had done well that week and what you still need to work on improving. Bring an attitude of self-development to this exercise, rather than self-criticism. Creating a regular journal review habit will keeping your on track to continue developing your skills and growing your career.
2. Having regular meetings with your manager or supervisor
By scheduling weekly or monthly meetings with your manager or supervisor, you can demonstrate first-hand how the skills you are learning are being translated into your work and your tasks. Make the meeting an opportunity to receive mentoring in areas where you feel less confident and to guide you in the right direction.
3. Ask for more responsibilities
One of the best ways to apply and demonstrate the new skills your diploma is giving you is to take on additional responsibilities at work. By showing that you can take on more tasks than you had previously is another excellent way to demonstrate your new abilities
Diploma or degree – that’s the question
There are many ways that you can make your diploma work for you in the workplace. As you begin to apply your skills to real-life situations, you will continue to uncover more ways that your diploma will benefit you each day and find creative ways to use your knowledge.
Though degrees and diplomas do share similarities, there is no denying that you can immediately apply your skills when studying a diploma. The practical skills you learn from completing a diploma, compounded with the theoretical foundation, will propel your career forward faster compared to a Bachelor’s degree. If gaining better control over your career is important, then a diploma is your answer.