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Get Qualified and Ready for the Workplace

Get qualified and ready for the workplace

Without Being Saddled With Debt!

Are you considering higher education but unsure of which route to take, or did not get the grades that you were hoping for? You may want to continue education but you’re not sure that university is quite what you fancy or it may be that you wish to continue education but aren’t sure how it would fit around your existing commitments.

For many students, a full Degree course is the ‘end goal’ of their educational journey.

With graduate debt running at £50,000 upwards, there has been a growing concern about the cost of going to university and whether it represents value for money. Fees in the UK are among the highest in the world, and some doubt there will be a return on such a huge investment in terms of graduate earnings. According to the Guardian, of those graduating in summer 2017, 5% were unemployed six months after leaving – the same rate as the previous two years, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Keep reading for some help in determining the right direction for you and your future, including:

  • Why a HND Is a great choice for your next qualification
  • How a distance learning HND offers flexibility and a host of other advantages
  • The difference between a HND and a university Degree
  • The options open to you on completion of your HND

Choosing an HND as your next qualification is a great choice

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is an excellent alternative to a university Degree programme for many reasons: it can help you prepare for a career in your chosen profession, it’s just two-years long, and it’s much cheaper than an undergraduate Degree.

The majority of HNDs count as the entry level for professional qualifications.  Many employers offer employees the opportunity to study a professional qualification with the employer footing the bill. If this is something that you are interested in then it’s worth exploring whether the company you want to join offers this opportunity. If they do, having a HND will put you in a great position as you will already have knowledge in the area you wish to go into.

Upon completion of an HND, you can go straight into the third year of a Degree course, or complete a specific top-up Degree programme; this gives you the opportunity to graduate in three years with not one, but two undergraduate qualifications (HND and Bachelor’s Degree). Employers will see a diversely skilled candidate, and you’ll finish without a large university student loan, and two qualifications!!

Want flexibility? Choose a distance learning HND with Brighton School of Business and Management

Brighton School of Business and Management  (BSBM), is a sister company within the GBS Corporate Training group, offering a wide range of UK accredited and internationally recognised Management and Business qualifications, at both graduate and postgraduate levels. Now with students in over 110 countries, BSBM has built a reputation for delivering high quality content, support and guidance, which results in high pass rates, as well as contributing to successful career progressions for students.

BSBM offers a range of HND qualifications, which present very flexible study options, qualifications that have been developed in consultation with Business, and are a much cheaper option than going to university.

In fact, a qualification from BSBM, completed by distance learning, means that you can:

  • learn while working and build job-specific skills from the outset
  • achieve qualifications whilst still earning a salary
  • take advantage of opportunities for career progression
  • avoid student debt

“You never get the feeling that you are alone, even though it is an online course. The tutors motivated and encouraged me through the course. They guide and give you really good feedback after every unit”.
Emma Barnes, HND Business and Management student

An HND via distance learning could be the right choice if you want to gain a qualification that is also recognised internationally by potential employers.

Not only is it less expensive than going to university, a distance-learning HND allows you to study at your own pace, with many rewarding career opportunities open to you after qualifying.  HND courses are structured around gaining and developing the hands-on skills needed in particular business sectors, so you’ll be highly valued in the eyes of employers.

BSBM are also able to offer UK students interest-free loans. Learners can spread the cost of the course with a 0% loan, which means that you can gain new skills and qualifications without having to pay for the course in full up front.

Benefits of undertaking a HND

The main benefit of a HND is that it gives students real life work experience. This know-how is invaluable when it comes to applying for jobs as the experience and learning gained from working will give you more to draw upon in both applications and interviews.

Another benefit is the fact that a HND is shorter in nature than a Degree so you will be able to complete it quicker. This means you will have a recognised qualification a year quicker than a Degree and be able to apply for jobs faster. Put simply, you can earn money sooner! It also offers the flexibility to maintain a job or family life whilst studying.

Overall, a HND gives you options. Once completed, you will have the specific skills necessary to pursue a career in your chosen area but you will also have a flavour of further education study. This means you can top your HND up by completing either a year in some cases or two years in others and get a fully-fledged Degree or join the world of work. Essentially, by studying a HND you get the best of both worlds.

How does an HND differ to a University Degree?

A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a Level 5 qualification and is the equivalent to a foundation Degree (basically the first two years of a Degree course). A full Degree typically takes three years to complete.

HNDs tend to be highly practical, and a large emphasis is placed on gaining experience through the completion of work placements and through applying learning rather than merely studying theories.

HNDs are also typically more specialised and less generic, compared to Degree courses, when it comes to the skills learned. Degrees aim to provide students with general skills within a subject area that can be applied across a vast array of sectors. For example, they may teach how to research topics and write essays. HNDs focus on more specific skills designed to equip you with the capability to go and work within your chosen sector.

What sort of subjects can I study for?

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 17% of recent HND graduates studied business studies, while 9% studied computer science and 8% electrical and electronic engineering. Hospitality, leisure, sport, tourism and transport (5%) and general engineering (4%) were also popular choices.

Almost half of HND graduates – 49% – were in further study six months after graduation, with the majority (91%) studying towards a first Degree.

In terms of the type of work HND graduates took on in the UK, 13% were employed in retail, 7% were working as engineering and building professionals and a further 6% in technical occupations in science and engineering.

What are my options after gaining my HND?

While the practical skills gained from a Higher National Diploma (HND) can lead directly to the workplace, many students use the qualification as a stepping stone to an honours Degree.

1. Top-Up to a full Degree

Gaining an HND is the academic equivalent of completing two-thirds of a Bachelor’s Degree, this means that HND graduates are, in most cases, qualified to enrol onto the final year of a Bachelor’s Degree to ‘top up’ their qualification. This may be to become fully qualified for a role or to continue pursuing an area of interest.

Whether you choose to top up your HND depends on the career path you’d like to take. While HND courses offer direct routes into many hands-on jobs, you’ll need a full Bachelor’s Degree to apply for graduate-level jobs. A significant number of HND graduates choose to top up their qualification for this reason.

2. Walk into your preferred career

As HND courses are structured around gaining and developing the hands-on skills needed in particular sectors, you’ll be highly valued in the eyes of employers. Due to the vocational nature of an HND, you may find opportunities will arise during your time in the workplace. If you’re carrying out work experience alongside your studies, not only will you develop and hone the skills employers are looking for, but you’ll build contacts that could be useful in your job hunt.

Once you have your HND qualification, it is possible to go straight into your chosen career depending on what is required by your potential employer. If you have been working whilst studying your HND, it’s always a good idea to see what’s available at the company you are getting experience at. Having already got your foot in the door, it’s the perfect way to explore the criteria needed to work there and the development opportunities available, as you may be able to tailor your studies towards meeting that criteria.

If you are considering an HND which will lead to a successful career in business, you should consider one BSBM’s Level 5 Business HNDs

What is a Business HND?

The HND Business Management course is an Edexcel Level 5 qualification that is the equivalent of the first two years of a BA Honours Degree. The course gives students a strong foundation in various aspects of business management including:

  • Understanding the role of business in the immediate and global environment
  • The importance of human resource management
  • Budget planning for businesses and how to prepare forecasts and accounting
  • Knowledge of business law and how this impacts on running a company
  • Planning a successful business project from inception to completion
  • How to implement change within an organisation
  • Developing teams and getting the best out of individuals

“It has been a great experience studying at Brighton School of Business and Management. Studying distance from home gave me the freedom of studying whenever it was convenient for me, whilst working in a full time position. The study material as well as the student platform were very well organised and easily accessible. After finishing my HND I was motivated enough to deepen my studies with a BA Top Up Degree”.
Corinna Trauri, BSBM HND in Business Management student

All these are key aspects that employers think are important. Developing your knowledge and skill in these areas therefore gives you a solid background in business management. This particular HND is designed to provide you with a strong grounding in every aspect of running a business and is a recognised qualification around the world. It’s increasingly becoming the standard that many businesses are looking for when they think about hiring new staff.

BSBM offer a suite of HND Level 5 qualifications, which also allow you to specialise in specific areas of Business Management:

By taking an online HND course, you not only get an excellent qualification that employers recognise world-wide, but you will leave equipped with the practical skills that you will need in a wide range of business settings, placing you ahead of others in the job market.

Key Benefits of studying for a Business-related HND from BSBM

  • A Level 5 HND will increase your earning potential
  • Successful completion will give you a nationally and internationally recognised qualification.
  • The HND qualification is recognised as an access course onto a BA Honours Degree
  • The HND course gives you a very strong foundation in your specific business discipline
  • Develops your knowledge and academic ability, the HND is viewed by employers as a vocational course as it prepares you for careers in the workplace.
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