How crucial are industry-specific qualifications in the modern jobs market?
by Heat Recruitment
There are a plethora of different industry-specific qualifications available these days that can bring a wide range of benefits. In the insurance industry, for example, participating in qualifications from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) can really advance your knowledge in your chosen sector.
Knowing the industry you want to enter into early will give you the opportunity to gather experiences and know which qualifications are needed for thatdream role. Although, it’s a constant debate –whether a particular subject of choice will pave an easier path to your career of choice – industry-specific qualifications can bring a wide range of benefits to a candidate’s CV in the modern market.
Specialist knowledge and insight
Taking the time to gather specialist knowledge will give you a more refined way of thinking. Evidencing your insight of the industry you work in will be a major selling point when it comes to looking and interviewing for jobs. Putting this awareness and understanding into action could reward you with quick progression. The upskilling procedure will likely be swifter, due to your already cemented knowledge of the market – enabling candidates to reach a senior role faster.
Internally, insurance companies are focusing on ensuring their regulation processes are airtight. Industry-specific qualifications from the CII and many others are fast becoming a benchmark. They are a clear beacon to both clients and the general public that the professional has met a certain standard of skills, ethics, knowledge and conduct set by widely recognised organisations in that industry.
Having an industry-specific qualification may seem to some people as a limiting factor, in that you may be limited to the roles and industries you can apply to, when in fact it’s the opposite. It’s not limiting, if anything, it opens doors for you across all industries. With a widely recognised qualification, finding a well-paid job anywhere will not be difficult if you have put in the time and effort. Employers will trust you have the knowledge and skillset needed to fulfil the role, so that you won’t have to build your way up every time you move companies.
Employers will also appreciate that you have made the effort to invest time and money into your own career progression. Industry specific qualifications can be the point of difference that places your CV top of the pile when companies are shortlisting their ideal candidates.
Getting your industry-specific qualification and building on that with further training and development or courses (such as passing an advanced diploma in insurance) will undoubtedly take some time. These higher-level qualifications can require as much commitment and hard work as gaining years of experience within the industry and perfecting your soft skills necessary to be successful. In this case: customer service and attention to detail are strong examples.
Make sure you have a balance
Whilst the qualification is important, it’s also critical to try and have a healthy balance of study and practice. Getting a bit of experience in insurance could be achieved by getting part-time work at a call centre to improve your communication skills or shadowing a professional for a period of time. There are so many different options to explore. Having this under your belt, as well as an industry-specific qualification will put you as a front runner for that dream role. This combination will show commitment to the industry and initiative right from the start of your career.
Being so heavily focused on a specific role may cloud judgement slightly. Try to make sure that whilst acquiring the qualification you continue to broaden your wider skillset. In an interview, the deciding factor could be the amount of raw skills you and your competitor have. It’s not just about the education and qualifications, it’s as much about experience and the skillset that you can bring to the company that will act in your favour.
If you would like some career advice or to have a chat to one of our experts, give Heat Recruitment a call. As well as the Financial Services and Insurance sector, we also specialise in Legal, Engineering and Information Technology.
by Chris Birtle