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Could further study help you boost your career prospects?

8 June 2020

We spend so much of our lives at work, so why simply ‘put up’ with a job? What if there was a better opportunity out there, either in a higher role within your field or in another industry altogether? 

Chances are there is – but it can be difficult to know how to work your way up the ladder or switch careers completely. That’s where study can come in. 

By completing studies, whether for the first time or as an add-on to your current knowledge, you can may be able to get the skills and experience you need to confidently head towards that dream job. 

How study can improve your career prospects

If you’re looking to get a competitive advantage, choosing to study could be the answer. From expanding your social networks to developing additional skills, study can help you fill in the knowledge gaps that can make or break your career change. 

It also has the potential to lead to promotions at work, salary increases and greater employment opportunities. But with all the advantages, what about the hurdles to consider – like time and money? Is investing those resources worth the potential reward? 

Finding the time

If you have a busy schedule already and can’t even imagine how you could fit in a course schedule, there are potential solutions. You may choose to study part-time instead of full-time, and even complete your course through distance education (i.e. online, eliminating the need to physically visit a campus). 

Many workplaces offer flexible study leave arrangements too, so when crunch time approaches, you might be able to negotiate some time off with your employer. Whether you realise it or not, choosing to study doesn’t have to be a long and drawn-out affair. Depending on your circumstances, all you may need is a short course or extra training, and it could mean the difference between landing your ideal job over someone else. 

Choosing what to study

With so many course options available to choose from, it can feel a bit overwhelming. With a bit of research though, you’ll more than likely find that there’s an obvious option for your career goals. You can start by searching from your end goal and working backwards. Alternatively, you can also ask around within the industry, to see how others have forged the path ahead of you.

Budgeting for your studies

Once you’ve decided on a course, certificate or specific training, there’s still one hurdle left to tackle – paying for it all. Our budget calculator can help you get started. Input your regular expenses, your study expenses and your income to see how much excess you’ll have.

There are plenty of ways to pay for your study. You can potentially utilise government programs and loans, such as HECS or HELP, or even look at paying your fees yourself. If you’re able to and considering a longer length of study, you could potentially position yourself in a part-time role, or keep your current job and negotiate fewer hours. It’s always good to be able to make concessions, but it’s also important to make smart choices about how you manage your finances.  

Suncorp’s Everyday Options Account can make it easier to manage your money when you're studying. There are no monthly account-keeping fees and you can create up to 9 sub-accounts for different savings goals. It's an easy, everyday bank account packed with extras to help you spend, save and budget better.

Discover Suncorp’s Everyday Accounts

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This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document and Terms & Conditions before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.