Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Week 7: How does understanding your sector help you?


You have now investigated your sector, or the sector that you wish to work in, from several perspectives. You have looked at the differences between jobs, professions, industries and sectors, thought about global and international factors that affect economies and sectors, and analysed the impact of customers, competitors and suppliers. You have also considered the role of organisations such as professional bodies, trade bodies and trade unions in contributing to your understanding of your sector, and how you might make contacts and network effectively. Finally, you have thought about how job markets in different sectors and industries vary.

This week, you will use a tool called a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to help you think through how this knowledge and understanding will help you. You will reflect on how this information can be used in different ways depending on your circumstances and your aims and aspirations.

Watch Lynne Johnson as she introduces Week 7.

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_uys_1_video_week7_intro.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

As with other weeks, you’ll need to use your notebook or the Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   to jot down your thoughts and responses to the activities.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • describe the concept of a SWOT analysis and how this can help you to understand your current situation
  • undertake a SWOT analysis on your current situation using what you know about yourself and your sector
  • identify how you might improve your performance in your current job
  • describe possible steps you could take in order to (re)train or gain further qualifications
  • outline how a job or career change might be beneficial for you personally.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371