In a recent phone discussion with the EIT’s Ric Harrison, a Senior Course Advisor, the student made some very valid comments for people who are contemplating the value of adding a recognised qualification to their CV’s.

This student completed his Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation in 2010, and is just two Modules from finishing his Advanced Diploma of Applied Electrical Engineering.

EIT: You must value these courses, now that you have almost completed your second?

Student: Well, it has not been easy, juggling work, family and study, but the courses material has been very, very useful in my daily work. On more than one occasion I’ve been faced with some issue at work and realised that we’ve covered it in the lectures. Back at home I’ve reviewed my notes or replayed the recording of the webcast then gone back to work the next day and actually been able to apply the knowledge to fix the issue. To me it just proves how practical and “real life” most of the material we study has been.

EIT: Yes, and part of the mix iS the background of the lecturers. They can generally draw from their own experiences to give those real life examples.

Tell us about your career path since you started studies. Has the qualification made a difference?

Student: There’s no doubt. I’ve been made responsible for commissioning some major projects and now work at a level well above where I was before starting these courses. And prospects are very good indeed. If I compare my work now to colleagues who have basically not taken on any extra study, it is even more obvious. Most of them are still “on the tools”, and I am moving on from that. I still like some hands-on work, but now I spend a lot more time in supervision and more challenging project management.

EIT: And you’ve referred a couple of your colleagues to us, too.

Student: Yes, they have started the advanced diploma of industrial automation. Actually a couple of years ago I was on a major project with a big name corporation. The market changed and the entire billion-dollar plus project was shut down. The whole workforce was retrenched, including the trade-qualified staff.  I’ve kept in touch with a few and from what I’ve learned, most of them are still working directly in their trade, but they have not progressed. I am sure that if they wanted to move up in their careers they will need more than experience to get considered for the better jobs. Put the CV of someone with a relevant advanced diploma plus experience alongside a CV from someone who is going to rely upon their experience alone, and it is pretty clear what 99% of employers will choose.

EIT: Thanks. That’s a good way to think about it.