When it comes to getting a job, there are many factors at play. Employers will look at all sorts of them, such as your skills, past experiences, and accomplishments. However, if you want to give yourself the best chance at becoming employed, the one area you should focus on most is your education. 

Education at any level can significantly impact your employment opportunities, making it the first thing you should focus on when looking for a job. In the UK, there are a number of paths you can explore to continue your education and improve your chances of getting a job. Below you’ll find some reasons why education is so important, along with 5 ways you can continue your education.

The Importance of Education

To show how important education is to employment, let’s look at a few stats. According to the Annual Population Survey, people who have no qualifications have an employment rate of 47 percent. This jumps to 72 percent for people with qualifications at Level 2, 83 percent at Level 3, and 87 percent at Level 4 and above.

There are several reasons why education leads to more employment. The first is that more education tends to mean more knowledge about a subject. Some jobs require a base level of knowledge and having an education is one way employers can judge your qualifications before hiring you. 

The other reason is that higher education leads to more job opportunities. The jobs you have available to you are often based on your education level. Based on your level, you can get certain jobs within that level, along with all the other jobs below it. For example, if a job requires a bachelor’s degree, someone with this degree would be eligible while someone with only a high school diploma would not. On the other hand, a job that requires a high school diploma would accept both high school graduates and those with a college degree. This means the more education you receive, the more jobs that are available to you.

Education also impacts the salary you can earn. Typically, the higher your education, the higher-paying jobs that are available. There are even concrete stats that show people with higher degrees earn more money on average. For example, back in 2017, the average annual earnings of graduates was higher at practically every age, as shown in this chart.

5 Ways to Advance Your Education

If you want more job opportunities and want to earn more money, you’ll likely need to advance your education. Here are 5 ways you can do that:

Finish High School

Your first step is to finish high school. Most jobs require at least a high school degree, especially full-time jobs. Some jobs are available for people without a high school diploma, such as working in fast food or at a local restaurant. If you haven’t finished high school, consider taking some “A-Levels” or getting some points through the UCAS tariffs. You can learn more about this here.

Online Programs

Another option is to take some online programs. These days, it isn’t required that you attend classes in person in order to achieve different certifications or degrees. Taking online programs make it easier to get an advanced degree no matter where you are and on your own time. Many people choose to get a degree through online programs while working full or part-time or when traditional colleges and universities are too expensive. 

Attend a College or University

The more common path for receiving an advanced degree is by attending a college or university. By following this path, you can gain a well-rounded education and advanced knowledge in the field of your choice. Adding a related degree to your resume will help potential employers identify your knowledge level and may make it easier for you to advance to the interview stage.

Before you commit to attending a college or university, you should consider all your options. This first means exploring the schools available to you based on what you want to study. You’ll want to think about things like the courses offered, when the classes are available and where the school is located. Beyond that, you should also think about the total cost of attending a higher education institution. Most students who attend college or university leave it with a large amount of debt, which can take a while to pay off. Think about your potential future earnings versus the cost of the degree before proceeding.

Take Individual Classes

If you don’t want to pay the money for a full degree, or you don’t have the time, you can consider taking some individual classes. By signing up for individual classes at a local or online college, you can gain the knowledge you need for your desired field. You can then list the completion of these courses on your resume instead of your degree so that prospective employers know what classes you have taken.

Go to a Technical School

Your last option is to go to a technical school. Technical schools teach trade skills that can be used for well-paying jobs. Some types of jobs you can get after technical school include AC repair, auto mechanic, dental hygienist, and air traffic controller. It’s a good idea to explore the typical requirements for the job you are after, then see if a technical school is the best route. Many jobs will require a degree from a technical school and this will open up many more job opportunities for you.

Improve Your Education for Better Job Opportunities

There are many ways to advance in your career, but improving your education is one of the best. By taking additional classes or earning a degree, you not only open up more job opportunities, but you can find jobs that pay better as well. Spend some time exploring your desired career path, then see what education will help you advance down that path.