Further training: investing in yourself

To stay competitive and advance your career, ongoing training is essential. Here you'll find advice on how to acquire new skills.

Are you planning to take part in continuing education? We've summarised the most important points for you, along with a few things to think about beforehand!

The added value of continuing education

First and foremost, continuing education enables you to remain relevant and competitive in the job market. By acquiring new skills, updating their knowledge or specialising in a particular field, professionals can respond to the changing demands of their sector. This increases their employability and their opportunities for career progression.

Continuing education also encourages personal development. It stimulates intellectual curiosity, encourages innovation and boosts self-confidence. It can also open up new career prospects, allowing individuals to reinvent themselves or to move into areas they are passionate about.

Training costs and solutions

Training fees: The costs of training programmes can vary considerably depending on the duration, level and provider. Training fees generally include tuition, teaching materials and possibly registration fees.

Scholarship system: In some cases, scholarships may be available to support individuals in their continuing education. Applications can be made to the relevant authorities or associations. In Switzerland, examples of scholarship associations include the Swiss Foundation for Continuing Education (Fondation Suisse) and the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation.

Be careful not to get into debt: It is crucial to manage training costs carefully. Drawing up a detailed budget and looking for alternative financing solutions is essential to avoid getting into excessive debt. Training is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money, but it needs to be managed responsibly.

By the way: ask your manager if he or she participates in ongoing training - after all, they will also benefit from your new knowledge. Talk to your line manager or HR about the possibilities that exist. In most cases, companies contribute up to 50% of the costs of continuing training. It is also possible to take part of the training time during working hours. If the company contributes, you undertake in return to remain in your current job.

Special case of financing the subject

Are you aiming to take a Federal Professional Examination (EP/Professional Patents) or a Higher Federal Professional Examination (EPS/Diploma)? Under certain conditions, you may be able to apply for financial assistance via what is known as subject funding. Please note: financial aid is only available for certain preparatory courses that are not organised by a higher education institution or university of applied sciences.

You can find more information on subject funding on the Confederation's website.

Which course is right for me?

Short courses: Short courses, lasting 1 to 2 days, are ideal for professionals in full-time employment. Employers often recognise these courses as working time, which makes it easier to attend.

Federal diploma, CAS, DAS, MAS or EMBA :

  • The Continuing Education Certificate (CAS) is a university-level course that deepens knowledge in a specific field. It generally consists of several modules and can be taken part-time.
  • The Diplôme de formation approfondie (DAS) is a postgraduate programme that provides advanced skills in a particular field. It is designed for professionals who already have significant experience in the field concerned.
  • The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) is a university degree at Master's level that offers in-depth specialisation in a specific field. It can be taken part-time and often focuses on professional practice.
  • The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is an MBA programme designed specifically for experienced executives and professionals. It focuses on leadership, strategic management and the development of management skills.

Recognised schools: Bologna ECTS or not?

Recognised schools often offer programmes that comply with the Bologna ECTS credit system, which guarantees international recognition of the qualifications obtained. This recognition can be a decisive factor in choosing a training institution.

Important information

Continuing education is much more than just a financial investment. It's an investment in oneself that pays dividends in the long term, enriching knowledge, developing skills and opening up new career opportunities. By engaging in continuing education, individuals can enhance their employability, broaden their horizons and adapt to the demands of an ever-changing world.

Angestellte Schweiz met Adrienne, who agreed to answer our questions.
Why did you decide to do further training, and which one did you choose?

After obtaining a Master's degree in Social Sciences and seven years' experience in communications and public relations in the transport sector, I wanted to get a better theoretical grounding and strengthen my skills in conceptualising communications projects.

Finally, as the communications sector is dynamic and constantly evolving, with the democratisation of artificial intelligence tools for example, I also realised that, to pursue my career in corporate communications, I needed an additional degree in the field. That's why I decided to take on a new challenge: to get a Federal Certificate in Public Relations.

How did your employer react to this decision?

He supported me straight away by deciding to finance part of my training and exams. I feel lucky to work for a company that invests in the professional development of its employees. This contributes not only to improving my own skills, but also those of my team and, more broadly, the competitiveness of the company as a whole.

How did you experience your training?

It's a demanding course, with two days of lessons a week for about seven months. Initially, I managed to balance work and study, but after five months I started to feel very tired and stressed as the exams approached. So I asked for my percentage to be lowered. My employer was sympathetic and understanding, and we were soon able to put a solution in place so that I could continue my training and work with peace of mind. It was a relief, and the exam days were even offered to me. In the end, I passed my certificate, which confirmed my ability to produce quality work. Today, I feel better equipped for my day-to-day work.

How would you and your employer rate the training?

The training has been extremely beneficial for both my employer and myself. As far as I'm concerned, I've acquired new conceptual and strategic skills that have enriched my professional practice. I was also able to expand my professional network by meeting other specialists, with whom I still have regular exchanges.

At the end of last year, during the annual discussion, my boss told me that she had noticed that the training had had a positive impact on the quality of my work and on my ability to make a significant contribution to the company's PR objectives. As a result, I've been given more responsibility.

Thank you very much, Adrienne!

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Anne-Valérie Geinoz

Anne-Valérie Geinoz

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