Career Profiles and Advice
Choosing and planning a career path is a difficult and challenging task.
People often worry about making the wrong decision about the education to pursue.
These worries are perfectly understandable, and they were very valid concerns in decades past..... But Not As Much Today!
Things are very different in the 21st century:
- The world is changing very fast (environmental, economic, technological, political, etc.).
- People change jobs and careers several times throughout their lives.
- Jobs that exist today may simply not exist by the time you complete a diploma or degree.
- Jobs that have not been thought of today may be your main opportunities in the future.
- People are mobile moving from town to town and country to country; so you are competing with everyone in the world for any job you seek (In the past it was only those people who lived in the local area).
How do you cope with all this?
Above all; develop a capacity to adapt, build a broad foundation knowledge in your chosen industry/discipline; and start networking so you remain informed and at the forefront of your industry.
Recognise that even though you are now competing WITH the whole world; you can now compete IN the whole world! Adapt to change, focus on the future rather than trying to capture a career you saw in the past, or are looking at today!
How can we help from here?
- See our career profiles (see lower down this page).
- Use our FREE Counselling service (We are happy to provide an opportunity to communicate directly with a professional in any of the industries we offer courses in. What better place can you start than talking to someone who already works in that industry?).
- Read our Careers eBooks -"Working with People,", "Working with Animals", "Getting a Job" and "Horticultural Careers". These books are packed with advice and job profiles. They are written by people with serious and extensive industry experience, as a window into what it is like to work in different types of jobs; and how to improve your chances of negotiating your way toward your goal. Find them at www.acsebooks.com
A BIT OF SCEPTICISM MAY BE A GOOD THING
Do not confuse scepticism with negativity though!
There are lots of incorrect assumptions that people commonly make about careers.
Even though some of these things which may have been true in the past are, today may be a different situation.
Making a Career Choice is Rarely for Life ... but often people still act as though it is!
In the past many people would decide on a career path in their teens and stay on the same (or similar) path for their entire working life. Others just took what was readily available to them and stayed in the job for life. Today people not only change jobs with increasing frequency, but many have several different jobs, sometimes in different industries at the same time; and most people change industries one or more times over the course of their working life.
Young people are often told that they need to be careful about choosing the right course otherwise they won't get the job they want...... but this is Untrue!
In the past, there was often only one well established entry point to a career. To become a tradesman you would need to do an apprenticeship, to be a teacher or educator you would need a University degree, to design houses you would need to be an architect, and to be in a management role you would need a University degree. Often a young person will not know what they want to do in life, and will choose a course that gives them a broad education– it may be a generalist arts degree or diploma that includes subjects such as creative writing, psychology, languages, social studies, anthropology and so on. Employers these days see the value in people that have a good general education, because this means they often have a more lateral approach to their work. In some industries though, employers may look more favourably on a certificate or diploma level course that has focused on experiential learning (within a specific field) for example horticulture, medicine or agriculture.
Will you really be secure for life once you get your "ideal" job?
In the past once you had established your career pathway, you had a high level of security. You knew where your working life was heading, you understood opportunities for advancement, you knew when you were likely to retire, and were aware of the financial situation you were likely to find yourself in upon retirement. This too has changed – most people start on a path and deviate from it many times in their working life. Job security is not a ‘given’ and you must be very proactive in planning for your retirement (even from quite a young age). Social security pensions are no longer seen as a right, and in the future people will be expected to fund their own retirement.
Are you really guaranteed the to get your dream career if you work hard enough?
Certain types of jobs are constantly disappearing and being replaced by new types of jobs. No matter how hard you work you won’t get the job you are working towards if that industry changes and that type of job disappears. A job that appeals to you from the outside isn't always what it appears from the inside. Even if you work hard, you may still not get a job because it does not fit with your temperament, or you live in the wrong location, or perhaps there are simply too many other people competing for the job. You need to be flexible in your approach when looking for work – this transfers to others during interviews too and people that are flexible and positive to change will always find work (even if it may not be exactly what they wanted in the first instance).
Does a University education guarantee higher earnings?
Lots of university graduates end up unemployed, this is unrelated to the fact that they went to university - reasons for this may be that there is an over-supply of graduates in their field, or perhaps what they studied is not as relevant to the jobs on offer, or the course may not be as good as what others have studied. Certain professions do not necessarily pay a lot either. Many jobs in the welfare industry for instance are low paid, when compared with what a doctor or engineer might be paid; even though all of these professions may require a similar amount of academic effort to get a degree. University graduates are not offered huge salaries upon graduation! Like everyone they have to start at the bottom. Today employers are more likely to view a graduate as ‘entry level’ than ever before. Graduates also find that when they do find a job that there is so much more to learn – a degree or diploma will give you a start, but will certainly not teach you everything, and not guarantee big money.
Is a job with government is more secure than one in private enterprise?
This is often touted, but since the global financial crisis many governments have sacked large numbers of employees. No job can be considered as ‘secure’ these days.
Do self employed people really earn more?
The vast majority of small businesses fail, and many that survive will see their owners working long hours and weekends to simply survive. A minority of small businesses however, will thrive. The owners of thriving businesses get noticed, and because they are noticed, give the impression that being a business owner is a highly desirable situation. The failures get far less attention.
These and other such “truths” are “myths” in the modern workplace. Many people do not properly appreciate these myths about employment and careers.
When you stop and think though; the things that we commonly hear in the media and hear talked about in society are often contradictory.
Farming has changed with mechanisation, globalisation and technology. The future is even likely to change the face of farming more, with the added influence of environmental change. One thing remains constant though.... we will continue to need agricultural produce for our very survival
Environmental Management and Science
People are increasingly more environmentally aware; and job opportunities are expanding rapidly in this and related industries. Despite this fact, many graduates from environmental courses find difficulty obtaining work. This is often because of the type of course they have undertaken, or the level at which they have studied.
The horticulture industry embraces everything that involves growing plants; from gardening and landscaping to vegetable and fruit production. In the past, horticulturists were trained and often experienced in a wide range of industry sectors; but over recent decades, they have increasingly become specialists.
Psychology and Counselling
Career opportunities in psychology are limited, and many degree graduates will never actually work as psychologists. The counselling profession is generally a larger employer, but be aware from the outset that a psychology qualification does not necessarily qualify you to work as a counsellor. There are however very few professions where knowledge of psychology is not a very definite advantage.
Opportunities exist for anyone to set up a small business; but being successful in your own business is not always as easy as you might think. Apart from anything else, you often need a certain personality, and a commitment to work long hours for little return for the first year or two when establishing a new small business
Interactive Career Advice Maps
For detailed information about training and careers take a look at our Interactive Career Advice Maps. They will provide you with information on career paths and options in different industries. The Career Advice Maps were developed with you in mind - designed around the questions we get asked by students.
Talk To Us
If you are thinking of studying, but are not sure of the right course to choose to suit your development goals, or if you have any questions - get in touch with us today.
Our specialist tutors have a wealth of knowledge and industry experience - submit your questions to them, they will be pleased to help you.
Or, phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 or (outside UK) +44 (0) 1384 442752.
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Directory to short courses, certificates and diplomas. Lots of study options.