What skills do employers want most?

Match the job you're looking for with the skills you need.

Which career is right for you?

Find out what skills, qualifications and experience you need for different types of employment.

1. National Careers Service

Use this government website to search different jobs and their requirements.  

Struggling to decide on a career? Have a go at the online skills assessment. It should give you an idea of what you're already good at. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete. And if you register for free, you can download your results.

You can also look for free online courses to boost your skills – particularly your IT skills. There are introductory, intermediate and advanced levels.


Where can you get these qualifications and training – and how much will they cost?

Visit the UCAS website. It's the leading voice on university and college admissions.

Search by qualification, place of study, subject matter and more.

3. Learn My Way

The more digital skills you have, the better chance you have of finding employment.

Computer skills will really help you to support your child's learning too. 

Learn My Way has more than 30 free online courses to improve your digital skills.

What are the different types of qualification?

Certificates and awards

Often entry level. They are proof you have attended and/or completed an activity.

GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)

Entry level. People 16+ take these in a wide range of subjects – from maths to drama.

Vocational qualifications

Practical qualifications relating to a specific job or sector of work. Often involve doing work experience.

HNCs & HNDs (Higher National Certificate & Higher National Diploma)

Often work related. Take 1-2 years to complete. Many employers like to see these.

Foundation degree

Often work related.Equivalent to the first 2 years of a bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's degree (undergraduate)

Also known as the first degree. Usually subject related. Can take 3-4 years to complete, depending on the degree.

PGCE (postgraduate)

A postgraduate certificate in education. You usually need a bachelor's degree to do a PGCE. Use this qualification to go straight into teaching. There are PGCEs in early years, primary, secondary and further education. Can take around a year of full-time study.

Master's degree (postgraduate)

Also known as the second degree. You usually need a bachelor's degree (grade 2:1 or higher) to do a master's degree. Can take 1-2 years of full-time study, or 3-4 part time.

PhD (doctorate)

Highest level of degree. Using your own research, you write a thesis to uncover something new. Can take 3-4 years of full-time study, or around 6 part time.

Converting overseas qualifications

You may have gained qualifications abroad. Sometimes these can be converted or count towards a course or another professional qualification. Find out more.

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