Can retraining improve my career options?

One thing has become clear in the rapidly changing and volatile professional landscape: learning new skills and keeping your options open is no longer just a good idea — it’s essential. Especially if you’re interested in entering the banking and finance or insurance sector.

For those on the other side of 50 and looking towards the next chapter in your career, being agile and diversifying your skill set is even more important: technological developments continue to change the rules and demand all workers — no matter what level they’re at — keep up.

A significant trend across recent years noted by Kaplan Professional is the increase in people over the age of 50 returning to study to expand their career options.

Brian Knight, CEO of Kaplan Professional, explains that there is real value in the confidence gained through study and learning new skills at a mature age. It can also play a substantial role in creating new opportunities.

“The main motivation appears to be positioning for a career change or to keep pace with industry trends,” says Knight. “You’re accumulating a variety of skills in different areas, to ease the transition to a new job, company, or profession. It also shows you have a positive attitude towards change and an eagerness to learn.”

This is where Kaplan Professional’s Tier 2 Accreditation Program can play a vital role for any person determined to remain relevant in the workplace. It’s a straightforward accreditation for those wanting to channel their life and professional experience, and secure a client-facing sales or customer service role in corporate banking or insurance.

“This is the essential course you must have to secure a frontline role in the banking or insurance industry. A lot of these businesses are looking for mature people who are willing to work flexible hours,” Knight explains.

The interactive, skills-focussed course can increase employability, improve job mobility, and expand occupational choices. Individuals take on the role of a customer liaison officer at a fictional general insurance and banking business, where they are presented with realistic tasks to develop their skills and knowledge of workplace practice.

“Undertaking this course is an investment in your professional development,” says Lucia Stejer, Kaplan Professional’s Head of Learning & Delivery.

“It’s a good introduction to key concepts within financial services, as they provide the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to understand product suitability for clients and deliver exceptional customer service.”

The Tier 2 program gives individuals the chance to develop news skills that will make them more attractive to employers, particularly a broad knowledge of concepts and products, and appropriate communication skills required to build relationships with clients and solve problems.

“It’s an immersive, hands-on experience because it provides both the theory and the knowledge of how things really work — current, practical, and relevant skills,” Stejer explains.

The program is presented in a way that makes online, self-directed study an uncomplicated process for students. It’s ideally suited to people who need to study at a time and place that allows flexibility with their schedule.

“It has been designed for learners to work through the materials progressively throughout the duration of the course,” Stejer says. “Allocating time to read through the weekly eLearning modules and complete the practice activities will assist in acquiring the knowledge required to complete the short assessment at the end of the course.”

The very thought of returning to study after many years can, however, be intimidating for some mature-age students. It’s the support at every stage of a Kaplan Professional course that makes the difference, Stejer explains.

“We’re serious about ensuring our students succeed,” she says. “We have an experienced support team who are always a phone call or email away, which offers each individual the opportunity to get assistance when they need it.

“Also remember you’re not doing this alone — you have a cohort of like-minded individuals undertaking the same course in the same environment. Be sure to utilise all of the resources available to enrich your learning experience.”

Being brave and embarking on a new career study could be the very decision that changes the year — and possibly the decade — ahead.

“Updating your education and credentials should be considered something to embrace positively,” Stejer says. “You’re keeping up with global demands and trends that will not only grow you as a professional, but also as a person.”

How important do you think it is to keep your options open in today's workforce?

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