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Free course

Understanding your sector

Free statement of participation on completion
Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

Are you in a job you don’t like or which doesn’t satisfy you? Do you want a more responsible job with your current employer? Do you want to change jobs into a new career area? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then this free course, Understanding your sector, will help you.

Employers seek people who understand their businesses and the factors that most affect these. Working through this course will help you to explore these factors, to gain the inside knowledge to impress in applications and at interviews and to put together an action plan that is tailored for you.


Enrolling on this course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they are a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Once you are signed in, you can manage your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition, you can download and print your OpenLearn Statement of Participation - which also displays your Open University badge.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Once you complete the course we would also value your feedback and suggestions for future improvement, in our optional end-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

This course is accredited by the CPD Standards Office. It can be used to provide evidence of continuing professional development and on successful completion of the course you will be awarded 24 CPD points. Evidence of your CPD achievement is provided on the free Statement of Participation awarded on completion.

Anyone wishing to provide evidence of their enrolment on this course is able to do so by sharing their Activity Record on their OpenLearn Profile, which is available before completion of the course and earning of the Statement of Participation.

Understanding your sector

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should 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.

First Published: 26/09/2016

Updated: 11/12/2019

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