When you’re considering whether or not to start a course for any professional qualification there’s usually several questions in the back of your mind; Will it be worth it? Will I be able for it? Can I afford it? How will I find the time? And the list goes on.

The decision to start studying is a big commitment and we get lots of calls to the CIPD Ireland office at this time of year from people who are in the midst of making this decision. We’ve pulled together some of the main points to consider when you are deciding to engage in further study. These pointers will help you to select the right course and the right mode of study to achieve your learning goals.

  • It’s important for you to understand why you are thinking of going back to further study as this may influence what course you do. Is it for career advancement? Is it a requirement for the job you are in or the job you might want in the future? Is this your idea or someone else’s? Perhaps your boss has suggested it?
  • Consider your preferred learning style. Do you prefer to be in a classroom setting? Or perhaps an online programme would suit you better?
  • Where you are located in the country may also influence your decision to study. Is there a college close by that you can get to easily? Or will you have to travel? If so remember to factor in travelling time to the commitment required.
  • Maybe you would prefer online learning. Set yourself up for success by having the right technology to support this as well as scheduling time to focus on your online study.
  • Have a think about your current work commitments. Will you be supported at work with time off to attend class or complete assignments? Or support with paying for the course?
  • Your family and friends are also an important consideration as they are likely to be impacted by your return to study depending on the course that you choose and the commitment required. Do you have the supports around you to help out as you embark on your learning journey?
  • Think about the focus of your study. Do you want to achieve a broad understanding of a subject? Or would you like to specialise?
  • Understand the costs associated with the course and payment options.
  • Would a CIPD short course work better for you at this point in time?

So there’s lots to think about before you sign up to do a course. It’s worth spending the time to get it right, so that you know that the one you’ve chosen is the one that’s going to reap the best rewards.

For further information on our CIPD accredited programmes, check out the qualifications section of our website.

Good luck!

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.