If you're still looking for your dream career, you're not alone. In 2020, a survey published on Statista found that over 60 percent of UK workers aged between 16 and 54 had applied for a new job online.
A further survey conducted in 2018 by Investors in People found that when asked why they were looking to move jobs, many responses centred around unhappiness with general career path and opportunities available, including:
- No career progression (30 percent)
- Not enjoying the work itself (30 percent)
- Lack of training or development opportunities (20 percent)
- Not feeling like I'm making a difference (14 percent)
Such responses suggest that workers want more fulfilling careers with upward mobility. One way to find that career is a retraining course, which can help you develop new skills specific to certain jobs or careers.
Remember, you don't have to dislike your job to take a retraining course. If you aren't looking for a career pivot, retraining courses can give you a leg up allowing you to improve your skill set off the job.
If you want to add new skills to your CV, check out these 20 great retraining options.
Average Base Pay: £28,500/yr
Social media managers are needed within any industry. You'll work with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to help market and grow the audience for a business or brand.
With social media management, there is a wealth of training information available and you can start your retraining while still working at your current job. Refer to the Independent's list of social media courses available in the UK for these current retraining opportunities.
If you prefer an independent learning route, you can take free courses online. Social Media scheduling company Buffer provides an exhaustive list of free online courses accessible on platforms like Coursera or Skillshare, which you can access at home. Once you feel you've learnt the basics, you can also take industry-standard certifications to further hone your abilities. A few certifications to consider:
- Hootsuite Academy: Hootsuite offers industry-recognised accreditations and is perfect for beginners.
- Facebook Blueprint: Facebook offers an eLearning library of courses, and Facebook-recognised certifications. (Read more about one marketer's experience with the testing process).
Parents that are re-entering the workforce can take advantage of the online course and learning community Digital Mum's social media training programme as well.
Average Base Pay: £35,525/yr
Beyond social media management, there are technical digital marketing roles that deal with other areas of marketing, like search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing and data analysis. If you want to work in a more holistic marketing role, this would be the retraining area for you.
The Digital Marketing Institute offers part-time online courses, with multiple levels of training and options for specialised fields. Self-motivated hopeful digital marketers can also train via free online courses (remember this list of online courses), however, for many technical digital marketing roles, you'll need experience with specific platforms, including:
- Google AdWord Certification: Helpful for anyone looking into a role that deals with paid-digital advertising, specifically Google AdWords.
- Google Analytics Certification: Any SEO-based role will require knowledge and understanding of Google Analytics. Google also offers free online courses via their Analytics Academy to prepare for certification assessments.
- HubSpot Certifications: HubSpot is an industry-standard and offers multiple certifications, depending on your specific digital marketing path.
Average Base Pay: £29,580/yr
If you don't feel like you're making a difference with your career, another option to consider is teaching. Especially if you're already an expert in a field, teaching can be an easy transitional path. NowTeach is a programme created specifically for you. Their tagline says, "We exist to help career-changers who've already made a success of one profession retrain as teachers."
If you choose to take a traditional or accelerated teaching programme, you may be able to receive a bursary or scholarship to help financially while you do. If you're not sure where to start with finding a programme, check out Gov.uk's search engine.
Average Base Pay: £39,155/yr
Software developers are in increasingly high demand, and according to a recent survey by Stack Overflow, 78 percent of UK developers are employed full-time, and only 3.2 percent are unemployed and actively looking for work.
For females with no developer experience, Sky Developers is an initiative specifically aimed at closing the gender gap by providing evening courses to learn software development. For other beginners looking to fast-track your path to coding, consider online boot camps, like Just IT.
Onsite classes are also offered by Makers (out of London) or Northcoders (out of Manchester and Leeds), for a hands-on, in-person experience.
Average Base Pay: £26,390/yr
If you have a keen eye for aesthetics and want a career that allows you to be creative and expressive, graphic design may be an ideal field for retraining.
Shillington Education has campuses in both London and Manchester and offers either a three-month, full-time or nine-month, part-time track. The programme not only trains you to be a graphic designer, but helps you build a portfolio to use when applying for jobs.
If you learn well with online courses, there are also multiple remote courses you can take via platforms like Udemy and Skillshare. The most critical skills for graphic designers are extensive knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, so if you're retraining via online courses, make sure to get access to the appropriate programmes.
Average Pay depends on trade
If you've been stuck behind a desk, staring at a computer, and you're looking to be in a more active role, you might consider pivoting to a trade profession. Access Training Academies offers training courses and qualifications for such occupations as electricians, plumbing, carpentry or construction, with multiple locations throughout the UK.
Related: Highest Paying Trade Jobs
Average Base Pay: £25,000/yr
Cybersecurity has a very high employment rate, which means skilled individuals are in very high demand. This opens the door for you to work as an in-house cybersecurity professional, penetration tester or ethical hacker. Alternatively, you may wish to work as an external cybersecurity consultant on contracts with multiple clients at a time.
Average Base Pay: £30,510/yr
Working in healthcare can be incredibly rewarding and is a great choice if you want to deal directly with people on a daily basis. Training to be a doctor takes a long time but there are plenty of nursing assistant and support worker roles that you can enter after a relatively short period of training.
Average Base Pay: £22,300/yr
If you're bored of an office job, construction could provide the change of pace you're looking for. Building properties and infrastructure can be extremely satisfying: you get to see the results of your labour and you'll often work in the open air, with all the fitness benefits that come from working in a physically active job too.
10. HGV Driver
Average Base Pay: £25,803/yr
Lorry drivers often appreciate the chance to cover some miles of open road and enjoy a change of scenery, and it's a job you can easily train for. Whether you choose to be a long-distance HGV driver or a local courier, there is currently huge demand for qualified individuals due to a significant shortage in the industry.
Average Base Pay: £51,860/yr
You'll usually need a strong background in computer science or mathematics to work on Artificial Intelligence, or AI. For senior roles, a master's degree, PhD or long proven career history may be required, but you should be able to get in at entry-level with a relevant bachelor's degree or equivalent training. This is still an emerging discipline but the rates of pay are extremely high for talented individuals.
Average Pay depends on chosen field
Consumers are increasingly moving away from mass-produced goods in search of the human touch. Online marketplaces like Etsy have fuelled this trend over the past decade, and there is a corresponding pattern for people quitting traditional office jobs and turning to artisan disciplines such as crafts, handmade products and artisan foods. It's a broad field, so there are plenty of different disciplines to choose between, with varying rates of pay.
Average Base Pay: £33,023/yr
Hospitality jobs put you in a consumer-facing role, helping to deliver the best quality of service for your guests. Training courses can help you to pick up the necessary skills for more senior roles, including hospitality management, which can feel more appropriate if you are changing jobs late in your career and want to avoid junior and entry-level positions.
Average Base Pay: £40,470/yr
There are many different types of engineering, from chemical engineers and materials engineers, to electrical engineers and mechanical engineers. Dedicated training courses can get you into your discipline of choice. It helps to have a good grasp of STEM subjects, as you may need to work with quantities and measurements, as well as a strong understanding of physical forces and how they affect built structures.
15. Veterinary Nurse
Average Base Pay: £40,406/yr
Veterinary medicine remains a highly demanded role with excellent prospects. It's also an alternative to working in human healthcare, if you like the thought of helping and healing others as part of your day-to-day job. Being a veterinarian is not for the faint-hearted, as you may encounter distressing injuries to animals, but the rewards - both financial and spiritual - can be substantial.
Average Base Pay: £35,676/yr
Sales roles often carry an element of pay by commission, allowing you to significantly increase your take-home earnings, even on a relatively high base rate of pay. If you have the gift of the gab and find it easy to persuade other people to your way of thinking, sales and marketing jobs are an excellent way to capitalise on those soft skills.
Average Base Pay: £25,299/yr
Working as an administrative assistant allows you to use your organisational skills, and training courses in office administration can strengthen your CV by showing your abilities in those areas. At work, you're likely to become an essential member of a larger team, without holding the level of personal responsibility that is placed on a team leader - a best of both worlds solution if you want to contribute without being exposed to the stress of a senior role.
Average Pay depends on chosen discipline
We've already mentioned graphic designers above, but there are many other creative disciplines to consider. You could work as a writer (either in-house or freelance), an animator, audio-visual editor, or brand designer. Training courses help you to prove your capabilities with industry-leading software like Adobe Photoshop and After Effects, enhancing your CV in addition to your natural creative talents.
19. Health & Safety
Average Base Pay: £47,253/yr
Jobs in health and safety allow you to keep people safe while travelling around different venues and locations. You might work as a health & safety inspector, or for a single employer as a safety officer, if the travel element does not appeal to you. Good site safety is practically a science in its own right, and by retraining for jobs in health and safety, you can quickly gain a good understanding of the issues that apply to the role.
Average Base Pay: £42,925/yr
Web design and development has become an absolutely essential role, and this will remain the case for many years to come. As websites continue to become more sophisticated, talented web developers will be in high demand, with equivalently high salaries. New techniques and markup languages like HTML5 are emerging all the time, so by retraining on an up-to-date course, you can easily enter the profession without being at a disadvantage.
Take a Retraining Course and Find Your Perfect Career
If you're in a career rut, or unhappy with your work, don't be complacent. Retraining courses can often be taken in addition to your current job, and many can be done remotely from the comfort of your own home. Whether you want to pivot to an entirely new industry or just build valuable skills for your professional advancement, retraining courses can put you on the path to success.