Chris Aukland is the managing director of specialist recruitment agency Ambition and is responsible for the growth and management of the Hong Kong business. He has 15 years’ consulting experience in the UK and Asia.
How to combine work and study to land that senior role
I have completed my BE in computer science and would like to continue my studies in Canada. I would like to go for an MBA, so I want to get my career path right. I have some choices, but most probable are a master's or postgraduate diploma. Which is more worthwhile? Are there any other choices? I would have at least two years' experience before applying to do an MBA. GSBhullar
A Bachelor of Engineering in computer science is an excellent qualification to leverage off and add to with a postgraduate diploma or a master's. Overseas study in Canada can also be attractive to future employers if the academic institution has a good reputation. However, before considering what course to study, I would strongly advise planning as far ahead as possible.
Further study will increase your knowledge and expertise and can make you more attractive to potential employers, but it is also critical you gain relevant work experience.
Typically speaking, the higher the qualification, the more qualified you will become, which puts you at an advantage. As such, enrolling in a master's degree would generally be the preferred option.
However, a postgraduate diploma is also an excellent extension of your current education if you do not have the time to embark upon a full master's degree. Many students pursue a postgraduate diploma prior to doing their master's.
The key advantage of doing a diploma is that these courses are typically of a shorter duration than a full-time degree and cost less than a master's, but it still adds the same specialisation against your name.
Remember though, academic qualifications, while important, only form part of the requirements for employment. Ensure you also gain relevant work experience or seek internships to differentiate yourself from other applicants and show your commitment to the industry. To secure an internship, attend university job and career fairs, do extensive online research and approach companies directly to offer your assistance.
Networking through social media, industry events and your contacts is also a great way to get your foot in the door. Then apply for the roles you wish to pursue while you are studying the theory behind the profession.