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Combining training and education: three career paths to follow

There are a lot of jobs out there that require very specific skills. Meanwhile, so many of us trundle through college picking up general skills, which are often sold to us as 'transferable'. While this makes sense to those who don't yet know what they want to do when they leave education, there is also another way.

If you select a career path early on, it can be easier to learn the skills you'll need. Here, we take a look at a handful of career paths for which you can train as part of your education. This will not only make it easier for you to find work, but it will mean you're entering your first job very well prepared.

Careers at sea

Careers at sea can be both exciting and rewarding. If the many chances to travel to new parts of the world aren't enough to entice you, then the camaraderie of working on a ship with like-minded individuals is sure to attract.

Depending on the specific kind of seafaring work you're seeking, there's likely to be a number of recommended or necessary courses. STCW training courses ( Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping) are a common prerequisite.


Most teachers decide to continue their general education for some time, only switching to specialise in education at the last minute. Whenever you choose to make the change, specialising in education is a necessity for those looking to teach at the highest level in the UK and across the majority of Europe.

Studying for a PGCE can help you prepare for your working life as a teacher - and can also be a great way to build on your past education.


In addition to a number of the aforementioned 'transferable skills' which you'll pick up throughout your general education, a career in law demands some specific study. The practice of law is based on a vast amount of concrete information and facts, much of which must be learned before you can even dream of working in the field. The road to a career in law is long, but it is made somewhat easier by the wide availability of law courses in education.

Occupation changes, is it possible in the middle of life?

It is absolutely possible to make a career shift in the middle of life. In fact, changing your career in the midlife has a challenge and thrill which can give a whole new meaning to your life. People mostly look for such changes not for money but for the love of the job and satisfaction coming with it. In fact, it has been seen that majority of people who have never been satisfied with their previous job derive fun and satisfaction from a midlife job change. It has a much greater impact than what we normally think it has.

There will be obstacles when you change your career midway but be unshakable in your decision. Talk and meet people who made a successful change so that you can derive inspiration from them. Being inspired from success stories, it is time for some introspection. Think about your skills, your interest, your passion and of course your experience. There are certain skills that are known as transferable skills which can be used in various types of jobs. Find out how many you have and also think about the co-curricular activities that you have been a part of. These will help you know yourself better.

Most people make a career change in midlife to achieve something different for themselves not taking into account monetary rewards. However, if you have a financial reason to change the job, then take note that certain organizations have provisions for senior employees to change their job roles. Find out more about such provisions at sites like these. Sometimes government aided programs can also be of help. Search for them online or visit the local workforce center to programs with economic help. You can apply for government grants even at the age of 40.

Remember that you are stepping out of your comfort zone which can pose difficulties for you. Here only your genuine passion for the job will save you. Do not think much about the change instead break down your plan into small steps so that you can avoid being overwhelmed. Have confidence in yourself and use your experience.

Experiential learning: training staff in a different way

When it comes to maintaining the efficiency and success of a business, staff training is one of the most important investments to be made. Training is essential to any organisation, and when it’s done correctly it can have a hugely positive effect on the entire management and operation of a business.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the companies that spend less time and money on training tend to have a much higher labour turnover rate than those who truly invest in their employees.

Despite all the obvious benefits of company training, it can sometimes be met by resistance from employees and employers alike, as they often think that their time could be better spent working. Perhaps the thing that springs to mind when we use the term ‘training’ is that of the classic ‘health and safety briefing videos’, which are of course vital, but, for the most part, largely unexciting. The key to making training enjoyable and useful for everyone is to make the sessions engaging, relevant and creative.

To get staff to respond in a different way to training, it needs to be delivered differently too. One of the more interesting ways to deliver information and educate a workforce has come in the form of drama-based learning. Working with experienced actors to create an open dialogue with staff can completely change workplace coaching by allowing the staff to do something fun, pertinent and worthwhile. Experiential learning can help train your staff in a different way by allowing them to take an active and expressive role in their own training.

Drama-based learning, with careful coaching and facilitation, gives employees a platform to discuss workplace behaviours, functional relationships, workplace issues and anything else from an individual/team development perspective. The training is catered precisely to the needs and wants of each business, making it more adaptable to your workplace culture. No two programmes are the same, as no two businesses are identical.

Through a variety of mediums, such as role play, live workshops and scalable new media, staff can become engaged, excited and willing to co-operate and learn. Learning methods like these are designed to create an open and expressive working environment, which is found to boost morale and instil a sense of greater satisfaction amongst employees.

Which year abroad program should I choose?

No one should have to choose between seeing the world and getting an education and with the advent of distance learning, no one has to. Many universities now offer such a huge range of year abroad programmes for their students it can be difficult to know which one is best. Here, we look at the benefits of spending a year working, studying or volunteering abroad as part of your degree.

Why take a year abroad?

There are many personal and professional reasons to spend a year abroad including everything from building up professional experience for your CV, to learning about new cultures, to making new friends. Whatever your motivation, one of the best aspects of distance learning is its flexibility. If you want to strike healthy balance between travel experiences and education, you have the freedom to do so, opting only to study for a semester at a time.

What sort of programmes are on offer?

Generally speaking, students are widely encouraged to study at partner universities abroad but always speak directly to your department about other opportunities available. If you want to study in Europe try the Erasmus scheme; for work experience in countries as far as China try Generation UK; you can always contact the European Voluntary Service for opportunities to travel whilst doing something meaningful.

Tell me about the technology behind distance learning

If you don't want to visit a university every day to continue your studies, long distance learning is a great alternative. Once you have made the arrangements with your university you will be able to follow the syllabus at a pace that makes room for all your adventures abroad. Distance learning involves logging in and visiting the latest technology virtual classrooms where you will be able to access high quality academic content whenever it best suits you.

You will log in to a centralised virtual classroom where you can collect your assignments, interact with tutors and peers and so much more. Although these classrooms are carefully designed to ensure that support is available to help you complete coursework and assignments, if you need more practical assistance, companies like Ivory Research can also be very useful.

Strike a good balance

Remember, whichever programme you choose, travelling and studying requires a lot of commitment and there is no shame in getting some help along the way. Take a look at these Dissertation examples by Ivory Research and consider whether writing resources might be useful for you whilst you're on the road.

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