Skip to content
Mar 30

67% of learners believe professional qualifications are worth it


A recent survey has found that two-thirds of employees believe that studying for professional qualifications enhances their career.

The survey of 4,000 UK professionals asked the following questions:

  • Do you feel that studying for professional qualifications within your industry is worth the effort?
  • Has your level of qualification affected your ability to apply for a job – either positively or negatively?
  • What is your preferred source of learning for knowledge that is valuable to your job?

This survey was open to anyone to respond and encompassed respondents from all backgrounds, so long as they had experience of studying for qualifications for use at work. The key findings are as follows.

  • Over two in three respondents (67%) agreed that studying for professional qualifications within their industry was worth the effort.
  • Nearly half of respondents (49%) believed that their level of qualification helped them to get the career role that they wanted.
  • A sizable minority of respondents (18%) were held back from getting the role that they wanted due to their lack of qualifications.
  • The most popular method of learning was on-the-job learning, at 36% of respondents.

In terms of employment sectors, the sectors that felt that the qualifications were most worthwhile were as follows:

  • Social work – 90%
  • Teaching and education – 87%
  • Law – 85%

The industries that felt the qualifications were least worth it were:

  • Energy and utilities – 63%
  • Creative arts and design – 62%
  • Recruitment and HR – 60%

Around two-thirds (67%) of respondents agreed that their levels of professional qualification had an impact on their job search, for better or for worse. 

Interestingly, age was a dividing factor when it came to responses to this question. Of those aged 21-24, a combined 80% stated that their level of qualification had some impact on them getting the role that they wanted, and 70% of those aged 25-34 had similar feelings. Older age groups did not find that their level of qualification had such an impact, with around 60% of respondents saying that their qualifications were irrelevant to them getting their chosen role. 

Perhaps the most interesting result from the survey though was that only 11% of respondents identified professional industry qualifications as their preferred source of learning for work. 

  • On-the-job learning – 36%
  • Courses dedicated to improving a specific skill/explaining a process – 29%
  • Discussion with colleagues – 13%
  • Professional industry qualifications – 11%
  • Online sources of expertise: industry publications, newsletters, social media posts – 10%

Kate Gardner, health and safety trainer at International Workplace, commented on these findings, saying:

“We’re seeing more and more organisations recognising the vital role that training has to play in motivating employees and improving their engagement with the business. If employees are supported at work, their careers can progress in line with their skills and experience. Industry-recognised standards are a great way of developing an individual’s career and keeping on top of best practice, but any kind of on-the-job training is useful to continue individuals’ professional development.”

Share it:
Loading Conversation