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Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

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2.3 Update your skills or study for another qualification

If you are thinking about updating your skills or retraining and making a career change, you will need to do some investigation into possible courses.

Informal learning such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) can be a quick (and low cost) way to update sector-specific skills and knowledge, and also to test out new subject areas that you might be interested in pursuing. Online and distance qualifications in many STEM areas are available for part-time study at The Open University. You might also want to look at local colleges and universities in your area (UCAS can provide lists of courses, including postgraduate options.

In making your decision about which course to study, remember to check what the expanding areas of employment are in your region, including forecasts of sectors of growth, as indicated in the previous section. You can find links to local labour market information in the Further Reading section for this week.

For industry-specific training, look at the training options that are available from your professional body.

You may also want to investigate funding sources to help you with your retraining. Are you eligible for a student loan? Are there any suitable scholarships targeting mature students/part-time students?

In the next section we turn back to your profile and how to present yourself to potential employers.