Are flexible working arrangements on your mind?

Covid-19 precipitated the largest experiment in remote working in history. Over half of the Irish workforce worked at home for some period during the pandemic. Some enjoyed it, while others did not. Productivity certainly increased, with employees better able to concentrate at home and without having to commute.

Did it work for you? Are you now under pressure to return to the office and considering your options?

Most people know that the right kind of studies can open doors for you. However choosing the right type of programme, one that will unlock your next career move is more difficult.

Professional Diplomas focus intensely on a particular study area or skillset, letting you tailor your qualifications to your specific needs. Today, they are also opening doors for people to get the certified skills to be able to work remotely.

Flexible working

The added benefit, the ability to be able to work remotely

We’ve gone through huge transitions as a society in the last few months. With most offices closed, employees were tasked with setting up desks at home, often times juggling busy workloads with parenting demands.

Workplaces are now beginning to reopen. And though many people will look forward to getting back into a familiar routine, for others the thought of going back to a regular 9-5 routine in the office is daunting. While the worries vary, the long commute, including the time and rising cost of same, the cost of childcare, and less time for the hobbies and habits built up during lockdown are top of most people’s lists. For others, it’s the simple things like eating a better lunch at home, or taking more walks, and a general improved life balance that are of most concern.

Working from home was a big natural experiment. You may have learned a lot about what helps and hurts your productivity, and helps you feel happy. For those whom the ‘experiment’ worked for are intent on taking actions to ensure that it continues to work for them.

However, having control over the ability to be able to continue to work from home varies by industry type & employer attitude. For many employees aspiring to continue to work remotely requires taking control of the situation themselves. It might well be time to add a few specific skills to your cv.

Professional Diplomas are short sharp skills-based programmes designed specifically for learners who want to develop skills, to future proof their employability. These short, expert practitioner-led courses offer a flexible and more targeted way to gain desired skills and knowledge.

Take somebody considering theProfessional Diploma in Computerised Accounts & Payroll . Wise decision! Ask any CEO about the key to a successful business and you’ll probably hear a lot about the importance of keeping a close eye on the numbers. Bookkeeping is vital to each and every business regardless of sector or industry.

But here is the real opportunity. Bookkeeping is going digital. With the wide adoption of online bookkeeping software and the push by Revenue to move to live reporting of business transactions, certified bookkeeping skills are increasingly in-demand. The evolution of computerised accounts provides people with certified skills, the opportunity to work remotely or start their own business.

What do I need to make this happen?

Learn the Skills

Professional Diplomas are short sharp skills-based programmes designed specifically for learners who want to develop skills, to future proof their employability. These short, expert practitioner-led courses offer a flexible and more targeted way to gain desired skills and knowledge. A Professional Diploma or certification is the ideal way to stay competitive and relevant in the changing workplace. 

The best Providers of Professional Diplomas work hand in hand with industry to ensure the learning content contains the most up-to-date skills, core competencies and knowledge needed for you to thrive in the era of digital disruption. Industry Endorsement, through an expert industry advisory group for example, ensures your syllabus matches the skills that employers value most. This is an important aspect of ensuring you have the right skills.


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Prove you have the skills

If you are considering working from home either as a remote employee or self employed, the ability to be able to prove that you have the skills is critical.

University verified Professional Diplomas certify that the holder masters the skills, abilities and knowledge necessary to perform a job. They enable the acquisition of specific professional skills to support employability and professional development of employees.

University certification ensures your programme content is externally quality assured and your programme is officially part of your country’s Qualification Framework.

The best programmes are certified, have an up-to-date curriculum and graded assessments and portfolios as they allow you to demonstrate to employers that you have the required skills.

The best Professional Diploma Providers partner with Professional Bodies providing recognition of your qualification through the use of designatory letters. For example graduates of the Learnful Professional Diploma in Computerised Accounts & Payroll are entitled to apply for associate membership of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Associate members are entitled to use the designatory letters AICB after their name. The use of designatory letters after your name on business cards, email signatures and the like, is a powerful indicator to your customers that you have the required skills.

The best education Providers partner with reputable professional digital credential platforms to among other things allow their graduates and potential employers to verify their certificates. For example, Learnful has partnered with Accredible, the world’s most comprehensive digital badge and certificate platform. Digital credentials can take many different forms, from badges to certificates to courses. As an employee, they help you stand out from the crowd and prove that you have the skills and qualifications needed for the job. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 report on The future of work, 73% of hiring managers say they would be more likely to consider a candidate if they had digital credentials in addition to their resume. Digital credentials can also give employers peace of mind that they’re hiring someone who is qualified and has the ability to do the job.

Flexible working

Stacking credentials (part of a sequence of credentials that can be accumulated over time and move an individual along a career pathway or up a career ladder), has emerged as an increasingly popular avenue to support students who want to develop career skills but may not have the flexibility in their work and family schedules to commit to a longer-term programme. For example, a student might complete a professional Diploma in cyber security one term and later return to apply some of those credits to earn a major award in information systems technology. The short-term certificate enables the graduate to immediately gain work experience in the field and the second credential helps them advance along that career ladder.

Short, sharp, and focused professional diploma courses let you tailor your qualifications to your specific needs. They help you to put yourself at the top of any hiring shortlist or learn things you need to make a change – even if it’s lateral or into self-employment. More recently they are enabling people to gain the skills in areas that are primed for remote work.

Change is a constant. Covid-19 accelerated the rate of change. In fact, we are all guilty of underestimating just how fast that change could happen. In the grips of the pandemic, companies and their employees have had little time to devise new ways of working. And the changes will keep coming: artificial intelligence, automation, augmented reality—all the technologies we’ve been talking about in recent years will become fair game. Demonstrating flexibility and adaptability, the same as every employer that survived the pandemic has had to is probably your best way of (re)gaining control. While not for everyone, Professional Diplomas should be considered as a way of gaining in-demand skills to make you indispensable.

Further Reading:
Preparing for the Future of Work
Interested in a career in bookkeeping and payroll?
What is the future of Bookkeeping

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