Training and skill development courses are meant to connect your present knowledge and skills levels with aspirational jobs. It could be technical or employability skills for college students or on-the-job training for employees – acquiring new knowledge and skills is an essential part of our journey to better jobs and professional success. And remember it is not an option! So, when you enrol for a training program, you should be sure that it is relevant to your present or future job, career progression and personal fulfilment. More than the quality of the program or the training provider or even the accreditation, there are some basic questions that need to be answered before deciding to get trained.
These 5 questions are indicators on how do you make sure that you get maximum benefits and make proper use of the knowledge and skills you picked up during the training program?
Do the course goals meet my career aspirations?
It is always good to get as much information as possible before enrolling for a course. In case you are a college student, you may be attending classes on employability skills conducted by your finishing school. You could be planning to look for a course that trains you in technical skills that prepare you for a job. Be clear about the course goals by reading about it or by talking to people who have already completed the course. Don’t decide on the basis of other people’s choices. This applies to employees as well, while they plan to join training programs for upskilling and career advancement.
Will the course help in filling my skill-gaps?
Self –assessment is the best way to know your knowledge and skill gaps. But, not all of us are aware of how to go about doing it. So, you could take an online test that is designed for mapping the skill gaps. And, this must be done in the context of a job or a career that you want to take up. Otherwise it would be a futile exercise. Let’s assume you want to get into customer service, and you are a commerce graduate. How do you map your current level with the requirements of the job? Simply enrolling in a training program is not enough, it is essential to first evaluate yourself and then join a course.
Does the course align with my strengths?
Self-awareness is a must! You could have a natural talent or strength in some areas. For instance, you may like talking to people and you can convince them easily. This talent can be used while choosing a career. Or, you may like to do things manually and you are a hands-on person. The more closely your natural talent is connected with the job, you are likely to enjoy, stay-on and prosper. Don’t compromise on this aspect. Look back, introspect and reflect on what interests you, what drives you and how you can best use it with suitable skilling and training.
Does the course open new avenues for higher learning?
Check out your long-term goals in learning and higher education. Before enrolling for a training program explore how it can help you build our knowledge and skills portfolio. Does the training have an in-depth practical component? Is it integrated with any higher-level courses that meet your expectations? Can the program recognize your present and prior learning through RPL and fast-track your learning process? Is the programs recognized by accreditation bodies in India and abroad? It’s important to address these points before deciding on a course.
What does it mean when placement is guaranteed?
Many training programs guarantee you placement. Apparently, this is also a selling-point to attract candidates. Don’t just go by what they say, enquire and understand the hidden terms and conditions, the kind of job, need for relocation, salary, status of the employer and many such parameters to decide whether you should choose a particular training center. Also, think about what if you don’t get placed, what are the options for you? You should not be running around with a certificate without clarity on how new knowledge and skills are going to be used.
Enrolling in a training course just for the sake of it hardly makes any sense. This way you will end up with certificates and diplomas that may never get used. So, think smart before you make a decision and most importantly, make proper use of your newly acquired knowledge, skills and abilities in getting a job or exploring ways to become self-employed!