Career Development

Do you have a career plan? Where do you want to be in 2 years, 5 years or 10 years time? What will you need to do to get there?

Dog handler at workMany jobs require you to have academic qualifications at a particular level or a set of specific skills and knowledge. For example many supervisory or managerial jobs will require applicants to have higher level qualifications such as degrees. To work within the research sector you may need a post graduate qualification.

Other jobs require a specific set of knowledge and skills, often termed National Occupational Standards. Everyone doing these types of jobs is expected to demonstrate they are working to these standards. Veterinary nurses must demonstrate that they meet national occupational standards to gain Registered Veterinary Nurse status.

What qualifications do you need?

Qualifications can help you get where you want to be but you need to decide first what type of knowledge and skills you need for the job you want.

Nurse with cat

If you need to develop practical skills and knowledge about animals you should initially consider qualifications at levels 1 to 3 in the qualification finder. These qualifications generally concentrate on developing practical animal management skills and knowledge.

If you have been working with animals for some time but would like to move into a more managerial role you could consider qualifications like Foundation Degrees and Degrees. These qualifications concentrate more on developing underpinning knowledge and the ability to apply this to different situations. These qualifications develop management skills which you can then apply to your work.

If you are already working in the sector but you need to update or extend your knowledge in a specific area you may find that a short course is more appropriate for you. These courses are often focused on things such as changes in legislation, outcomes of research or broader topics related to business performance.