Studying as an adult
Entering the financial services industry as an adult
There are plenty of opportunities to enter the financial services industry as an adult, whether it be returning to the labour market from a career break or changing careers. In order to prepare to enter the industry it may be necessary to take a course and gain a relevant qualification. This does of course depend on the employer and the job itself, but it is important to remember that the financial services industry is one that is regulated and therefore there are certain jobs that cannot be done unsupervised without the appropriate qualification. There are options to study full time or part time in local FE colleges. To find a course or speak to a careers adviser, contact Careers Advice Service on careersadvice.direct.gov.uk or learndirect Scotland.
Apprenticeships in financial services are available for adults throughout the UK in Providing Financial Services and Advising on Financial Products. Please see the apprenticeships section for more information.
NVQs / SVQs
Some colleges offer the opportunity to study occupational subjects such as Business Administration. These are known as NVQs and SVQs and generally include a work based element, as it is important to develop the skills required to do the job and be assessed on the job.
Some colleges offer vocational courses such as BTEC awards in subjects such as Business. Vocational courses enable people to find out about the sector and develop skills related to the sector. There is a lot of coursework and presentations involved in vocational courses and students who take this route have to be able to manage their workload very well.
If you are returning to learning and intend to progress to higher education, an access course could be useful to consider. Access courses are subject related, for example Business, and are designed specifically for entry to higher education.
Many students now choose to go to higher education and, for some careers in financial services, a degree is the minimum entry qualification required by employers. There are a range of courses that you can choose to study at university, some which are financial services specific. You can search for courses at universities around the UK on the UCAS website - www.ucas.com. Please see the Higher Education section for more information.
For many jobs in financial services, employers expect staff to be in possession of, studying towards or demonstrate a commitment to gaining relevant professional qualifications. Please see the section on professional qualifications for more information.