If your course offered a qualification, check your certificate for the name and level of the qualification. Check where the qualification is placed on the National Qualification Framework.  The NFQ is a system of ten levels that incorporates awards made for all kinds of learning, whether it is gained in schools, the workplace, the community, training centres, colleges or universities. It allows learners to compare and contrast courses according to their level and to understand their opportunities to progress. It also helps employers to identify which level of qualification they require.

Look for qualifications in your subject at a higher level by following the suggestions in the Finding Course Information section, e.g. if you have achieved a QQI Level 5 certificate in Childcare you might want to do a search on the Qualifax database in childcare or related courses at level 6 or upwards. QQI or the Quality and Qualifications Ireland is the body which accredits further education courses typically from levels 4 to 6 on the NFQ. Further Education is that which is completed some time after second level education but is not at the level of Higher Education. Higher Education usually refers to education completed sometime after second level education and is between the NFQ levels of 6 to 8.

Speak to the education provider where you have just studied to find out about the availability of advanced courses in your subject area. Is it typical for students of the course to go onto advanced courses in that subject area?

If you are considering continuing in education to improve your job prospects it is important to check that you are studying for the qualification the employer you wish to work for requires. Studying a subject at a higher level does not necessarily improve your job prospects. For each career area you are interested in you will need to consider the following:

  1. What are the qualifications required?
  2. What other skills and personal qualities are required for the job?