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work and education

Balancing Work With Further Education

work and education

People are always looking to better themselves through education in the hope that it will lead to job security or better job opportunities. Further education can be personally and professionally very demanding. It is imperative that perspective students understand their own needs, interests and what time they can give to a part time college course in order to maximise the chance of course completion and doing well in exams. To choose the wrong course is to throw away money and waste time.

 

Colleges have varying options to accommodate the demands of perspective students. Distance learning, Online Courses or Attending Classes are the most viable solutions to completing a course while maintaining a work / life balance. Each option offers advantages and disadvantages:

 

  • Distance Learning has the advantage of not having regular classes. Courses run by institutions such as Open University (UK based) or Oscail (Irish based) run weekend classes once a month while sending out the necessary relevant learning material and asking the student to submit assignments by pre-set timelines. Unfortunately if student hasn’t the ability to self motivate, or has constant distractions, it is very difficult to successfully complete a course this way.
  • Online Courses do not have any classes at all therefore offering no demand on time for attendance. Online courses offer flexibility on when assignments are done to fit in with a busy schedule. The disadvantages are similar to Distance Learning with the added difficulty of not having the tutors to meet, making it onerous to get feedback on queries or guidance on subject matter.
  • Attending part-time college offers all the advantages of full time college students. There is regular access to lecturers through phone, meetings and e-mail. The opportunity to interact with other students gives the opportunity to learn from others and easy access to libraries enhances the ability to read course material without the cost of downloading or needing to buy literature. In saying that, attending college is very demanding on time. College can consume anything from one to three evenings a week for the duration of the course. Colleges do offer the chance to take a course over a longer period in an attempt to lessen the time pressure on students. Weekend courses are also an option but again do consume a lot of time for attendance.

 

On deciding which form of further education to follow, getting the work / college / life balance right is critical. In order to achieve the end goal, of a qualification and retaining a job, time should be taken to prepare for a new course. Some tips to assist in the succeeding of all aspects of college are:

  • Organisation: Write down the agenda of what needs to be done weeks and months in advance. The start of a course can creep up quickly so creating a diary around attendance, studying and exams will help create a constructive pattern to help in progressing. Don’t forget to make time for food…….”A healthy body equals a healthy mind”
  • Time Management: Institutions give a timetable (for classes, exams, assignment submissions etc.) in advance of the college year. Ensure to know the timetable to avoid the stress of “last minute cramming”.
  • Prioritise: Once the course has started it is important to understand subjects that cause more “work” than others. Ensure to allocate appropriate resources to each subject allowing for the maximum chance of passing the course.
  • Hard Work: Working a nine-to-five job is tough, add the pressure of college, and time will come where sleep feels like the only option available. Focus, take each day and each study session as it comes. When in class or studying, commit to the task at hand. Take as many notes as possible as writing helps solidify what has been taught. Further education coupled with work is tough. Remain focused on the goal, it is worth it.
  • Make friends: Getting to know others studying the same course will help, it is a great way to see alternative ways of thinking about subjects. Other students are in the same boat so will be willing to help each other and empathise with the situation and challenges at hand. On the times you can’t make class, friends will take notes for you so nothing is missed.
  • Persistence: Attend college. The longer the year goes on the harder it can be to attend. Winter nights, the rain, snow and darkness make everything tough. Persistence in getting to class and doing assignments will stand you in good stead come exam time.

Posted by Peter Nunan, Former Manufacturing and Supply Chain Manager, Sigmar Recruitment on 28 November 2017

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Sigmar Recruitment wins Recruitment Agency of the Year at ERF Awards 2021

Sigmar Recruitment wins Recruitment Agency of the Year at ERF Awards 2021

We’re thrilled to announce that Sigmar Recruitment picked up Recruitment Agency of the Year and Best in Practice – Sales & Marketing at the 2021 Employment & Recruitment Federation Awards on Friday 25th February 2022. In a year that Sigmar Recruitment will celebrate another major milestone; of being in business for 20 years, we are over the moon to receive this recognition. Speaking on the win, Sigmar CEO, Adie McGennis said; “It is a great testament to every single person in Sigmar and the professionalism, coolness and positivity they displayed over the challenges of the pandemic. Their ability to get involved in not just providing excellent service to our clients and candidates but initiatives such as Talent Summit and Ireland, Gateway to Europe, I’m so pleased for the team to receive this recognition. It has been a record-breaking year and this is the crowning achievement.” Alan Murphy who accepted the Best in Practice – Sales & Marketing Award added, “We are delighted to have won this award again after what has been a challenging but ultimately rewarding year in recruitment. It’s a testament to how the team adapted to the demands of the market and will inspire us to continue to grow our high performing team and offer a best-in-class service to our candidates and clients alike!” The postponed ceremony took place in the Shelbourne Hotel and was attended by over 360 guests. The awards are designed to identify and reward excellence in recruitment in Ireland and is judged by an independent panel, including representatives from the international recruitment sector, the National College of Ireland and DCU. A huge congratulations to all of our fellow ERF Award winners and nominees. Visit the Employment & Recruitment Federation website to see a full list of the 2021 winners.