Further education covers learning from school leaving age, through to university entry. When someone goes to a university they are entering higher education. In order to study at a higher education faculty, there are certain prerequisites that have to be met by students. The student will usually need to prove suitable education history and the ability to move to the next level. Another route to higher education is through life experience and this can be gained through working in an environment that uses the skills required for the desired course.
Pros and Cons of Further Education
When someone stays in education past the minimum school leaving age they are generally less aware of practical uses of the knowledge they absorb than someone who has learnt on the job. They may have an excellent grasp of the theory behind the application of their knowledge, but starting a new job may leave them behind someone that has worked in the environment for the previous two years. Each business will have role specific areas of a subject and it would be impossible to cover every scenario in a further education learning environment.
The advantage of further education over hands on experience is a better base knowledge in the subject than someone trained for role specific duties. In many companies, this will help when the student wants to advance in responsibility and position in the workplace. There is also the option to continue through to higher education if they have successfully completed their further education.
Pros and Cons of Work Experience
After two years in a working environment, an employee will know their role and the needs of the company they work for. They will be in a better position to perform well than a recently qualified student who applies for the position. The disadvantage with having no formal qualification is that there will be no access to higher education and career progression without substantial experience.
Universities will generally accept mature students without the usual qualifications based on their working knowledge. Someone who missed out on further education to gain work experience and who is still relatively young are unlikely to have enough life experience to be accepted on a higher education course. This can seriously impede their career prospects in later years.
Picture: Gernot Krautberger – Fotolia
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