Opportunities for life after secondary school go far beyond a simple either/or work versus college, however, if you have a clear career goal in sight that requires a certain level of education, there are some important issues to consider.
We all leave secondary education and try to begin our own story. Do I go on to 3rd Level education, would I be happier to start earning money right away and “work my way up” the chain OR would I prefer to start an apprenticeship?
Opportunities for life after secondary school go far beyond a simple either/or work versus college, however, if you have a clear career goal in sight that requires a certain level of education, there are some important issues to consider. College can be the most significant academic experience of a person’s lifetime, and due consideration should be given to the Level of qualification you want to achieve. In this day and age a degree is a baseline requirement for more and more jobs out there, however, as recruiters we have increasingly seen the “New Norm” for all major companies is a Level 8 Degree.
Leaving Cert students must meet the minimum entry requirements and any essential subject requirement for these courses and then compete with other students on the basis of CAO points to win a place, but have they thought realistically about their end goal?
By having this goal in mind, it not only allows students to compare courses objectively but to also consider if you require a Diploma, Level 7 or Level 8 degree. I would advise any student to research course content over the duration of the degree, looking at the modules covered in each course and identifying the ones which are more interesting or relevant to your career aspiration. This then provides them with a clear path through which their educational journey can progress.
So, you’ve completed your Level 7 Degree and you decide that you want to leave academia, maybe travel or maybe join the workforce as early as possible. Have you considered the possible implications?
• Yes, you may have 20 years’ experience and a Level 7 Degree, however, you will be discounted for the progressive and senior roles in most cases.
• You may end up working with the same company longer than you would wish, as you begin to understand that, even though you believe that you have the desired experience, the lack of a Level 8 is holding you back.
In my experience, these are just a couple of the issues facing candidates with a Level 7 Degree wishing to move up the chain. One of the first messages I preach to graduates on Level 7 is PLEASE, keep going until you come out of the process with a Degree that will compliment your skills in the future…. not hold you back.
In my opinion, it’s never too late to study for your Level 8.
Tom Devaney set up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999 and has 12 years’ experience in specialist recruitment having recruited for major multinational companies in Ireland.
An active member of CIPD, Tom has served five years on the western CIPD committee.
Prior to setting up CareerWise Recruitment, he worked for Snap-on Equipment where he was the European Materials and Purchasing Manager with international responsibilities. Tom spent a year in the US working on projects with McKinsey & Co. where he developed very strong negotiation and business skills.
His years in purchasing with Thermo King in Galway initiated his very successful career to date.
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CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.
Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900