Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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Introduction and guidance

This free badged course, Understanding your sector, will help you to understand the difference between sectors, industries and professions. It will also help you to gain the inside knowledge to impress in applications and at interviews and to put together an action plan that is tailored to you.

The course lasts eight weeks, with approximately three hours’ study time each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week’s study.

You'll start this course by considering the way in which the world of employment is structured into sectors, industries, professions, jobs and so on and the differences between these. As you move on, you will investigate the factors that affect organisations at different levels, the job market within different sectors and the sources of information and support available to you. Finally, you will identify how this understanding might be applied to your own situation and devise a practical action plan that is appropriate for you. There will be plenty of examples to help you as you progress together with opportunities to practise your understanding.

The weekly interactive quizzes form part of this practice and those at Weeks 4 and 8 will provide you with an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course and about badges in the next sections.

As part of the course you have been provided you with an interactive toolkit in which you can collect all your thoughts together in one place. You will use the toolkit and the templates within it as you complete activities throughout the course and it will provide a resouce that you can draw on in the future to help shape your career. Using the toolkit is optional: if you would rather note your responses down in a different way, that is fine.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • outline the differences between sectors, industries, professions and jobs
  • describe the main factors that affect organisations and their performance
  • describe different types of employer and the ways in which they recruit staff
  • identify the principal sources of information to help you understand a sector
  • reflect in light of this understanding and devise an appropriate plan of action.

Moving around the course

The easiest way to navigate around the course is through the ‘My course progress’ page. You can get back there at any time by clicking on ‘Back to course’ in the menu bar.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

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