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Old 04.05.2011, 11:34
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Which Degree?

I am hoping someone on the forum can give me some advice as I am not really sure what Swiss employers look for in a candidate.

A little history :

After leaving school with not a great list of exam results behind me I went on to college and took a Business Administration course where I learnt secretarial skills, some years later this was backed up by another NVQ 3 in Administration dealing more with office supervision. I worked in Administration for 5 years.

Between 2002 and 2009, I was a UK police officer, a detective for the latter 5 years. Although skills and internal qualifications were learnt and gained, these are not always particularly transferable qualifications.

We moved here in 2009 and I have two small children. I am looking into the future where I would like the opportunity to work here. I am learning German slowly but surely, although this seems to be a lengthy process. My German has come a long way in 2 years, but is still pretty sketchy!

Last year I decided to complete a German course with the Open University and passed that. I am now just at the beginning of a Social Science module lasting for 6 months.

Initially I thought about gaining an Open Degree, which means that you can choose modules from various areas of interest and once you have gained enough points, you have a degree. My interest areas are : Social Science, Law, Psychology and Criminology.

However, I am a bit concerned that if I complete this type of degree it will show that I can learn to degree level, but not within once subject area and that this will not be viewed favourably by employers.

I am not at this time certain what my next career move would be, I would rather not go into a purely administrative role, but would like to incorporate skills from my policing days as well (ie, research/investigation, interviewing etc)

Does anyone have any personal experience of applying for jobs here without the exact qualifications required?

Any advice gratefully received.
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Old 04.05.2011, 12:03
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Re: Which Degree?

Two things strike me - all opinion(ated) of course

1) it is hard to say how relevant your degree will be as you don't really seen to know what you want

2) Swiss employees tend to be quite "by the tick box" about such things, especially at the mo as there is a shortage of jobs. This means that lots of people have all the right qualifications/basics covered and they are differentiating based on the "extras". In this situation, I think it would be hard to justify not having what the employer wants

That all said, there are some industries where this doesn't matter, but IMO, you're looking at graduate entry level jobs where the companies take "young guns" from Uni and train them up. I don't know if this would apply to you.

Good luck whatever you do.
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Old 04.05.2011, 13:07
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Re: Which Degree?

CarlosR - you are so right about point 1! I so wish I was one of those people with a plan, I have always been the same though

Although I am sure I would be looking at graduate entry jobs, I don't think I qualify for the graduate schemes. I believe there is usually an upper age limit, and I would guess that if I am not past that now, I will be by the time I have the degree in my hand!
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