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‘Just do it!’: how an upskilling course could boost your career

Woman studying with her laptop

What would you like to have done that you never did? For some it is studying a subject at university that they are passionate about, for others it is pursuing a career path that ignites and excites – well, your dream is not over.

That’s because The University of Dundee runs a number of upskilling courses in Scotland – covering a variety of subject matters. They are ideal for individuals and professionals who want to boost their skills and knowledge to better their career prospects or start their journey on a new career path.

The short courses are fully funded by the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council which developed the Universities Upskilling Fund to support the capacity of universities to provide more opportunities to upskill and reskill.

So, if you have always wanted to learn a language, become a best-selling crime novelist or want to be a future leader, then you are one step closer to doing exactly that because The University of Dundee’s upskilling courses could help you get there by honing your talent. And, because the courses are flexible with most being taught online, your studies can fit into your life.

Enjoy a ‘fluid and flexible’ career

Today, particularly in the wake of the Covid pandemic, careers and the way we work are changing. No longer does the old adage ‘a career is for life’ apply, as we embrace a path that is “fluid and flexible”. Just ask Dr Shona Johnson, she knows the importance of upskilling, at any age.

Dr Johnson is assistant director of employability, enterprise and commercial at the University of Dundee and also heads up the university’s Career’s Service.

She says: “We see increasing numbers of individuals and employers expecting that career paths will be fluid and flexible, and this means that regularly reviewing and developing your skills is hugely important. Studying an upskilling course can be a great way to identify new interests and build skills relevant to your chosen career.”

Most of the courses are flexible and online, so fit into your life

Considering an upskilling course? “Just do it” says graduate Reece Robertson

For Reece Robertson going back to university to study a course he was passionate about was an “enlightening and fun” experience.

Reece recently completed the Creating Public Information Comics course in a bid to boost his skillset in his chosen field. The 10-week course allowed Reece to explore the history of public information comics and learn about their educational potential – which dates back to the 1930s. The next course of its kind begins in May, and Reece advices anyone considering enrolling on an upskilling course to just “do it”.

He added: “You can only benefit from the experience and if it’s anything like my own, it will be enlightening and fun and offer you some real advantages for further academic pursuits.

“If we’re talking purely functional? You’re going to be able to put on any CV or application that you took the time to seek further learning in your chosen field, and that is always going to look good.”

Reece’s course choice is perhaps one of the more unusual and unique ones offered by the university.

Could you become ‘a leader of the future’ like Craig Reoch?

Although Craig Reoch’s Graduate Career and Professional Development course was completely different, his reasons for studying it were similar to Reece’s – to boost career prospects and progression.

Craig explained that the 12-month GradCert course in Dundee provided a “fantastic baseline for our professional development”. It is aimed at “leaders of the future” according to The University of Dundee’s website.

He added: “In my first degree I was so set on passing and graduating that I didn’t take the time to stop and think about what other skills I’d gained.

“The GCPDC developed my leadership skills, helped me consolidate my strengths and most importantly developed my self-awareness.”

After learning Insights and Belbin, he discovered more about his personality and the role he plays in a team dynamic. Craig said this was “instrumental in me discovering how I fit within a team and how best to work with those around me”.

The double-graduate added: “After graduating from the course, I felt much more equipped to progress in my career and have been able to use skills I gained effectively in job applications and interviews, particularly when having to be introspective.”

Which courses can I study?

Here are the subjects with fully-funded upskilling courses at The University of Dundee:

  • Art and Design
  • Career
  • Community Education
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Languages
  • Science and Engineering

How do I get on a course?

Spaces are issued on a first come, first served basis and to be eligible for funding you must live in Scotland and should currently be:

  • unemployed and seeking work
  • at risk of redundancy or their job under threat as a result of Covid-19 or the economic impact of EU Exit
  • employed and have identified a skills gap in their current job

If you are looking to further your career or change direction, an upskilling course could be the first step towards your new role. Discover the wide range of upskilling courses available at The University of Dundee and find out if you are eligible for funding.


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