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Old 15.05.2012, 21:37
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Any courses for above average pay for an non academic?

Good day everybody, as my name suggests I do not know much about Switzerland from a practical point of view. I was wondering if there are any ways how to get some kind of short qualification/certificate in order to be able to earn more than the minimum wage? I only have my High School pass from the Netherlands.


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Old 15.05.2012, 22:25
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Re: Any courses for above average pay for an non academic?

Sorry but life is not one big quick fix. If you wish to get along in life then you must be willing to devote time (and in many cases, money) in furthering your education.

Perhaps you should seriously consider what you personally would like to do - it mustn't be in IT or a law degree, for example. If you really consider moving into a new career then now would be the time to think of what you might enjoy doing. After all, it could mean that you would spend the rest of your life doing it. Once you have a basic inkling, then you could start considering how to move towards your goal.

HTH.
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Old 15.05.2012, 23:46
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Re: Any courses for above average pay for an non academic?

I was discussing this with my colleague today. Basically, everyone in Switzerland gets a trade/apprenticeship/traineeship or further studies in order to move up the ladder. You can even do an apprenticeship to work in a supermarket or as a receptionist at a hotel. They take their studies very seriously.

I think you have to find your passion. It's certainly easier for some than others, but I think if you really have a passion for something, and are prepared to sacrifice what it takes, then I think you can do just about anything.

So, question is...what's your passion ? Then be prepared to study 2-3 years to get there, possibly with a couple of detours along the way as you explore options...

I have 4 years of tertiary qualifications, about 10 years equivalent full-time work experience, and three children, and I'm only just starting to feel like I have a 'career' - if I listed down all the jobs/fields that I've tried a little, experienced a little, learnt a little and know a bit about, you'd be quite amazed...

If you are stuck in a dead-end job, and can't get out of it, try volunteering a little around the edges - my best experience has been as a volunteer - I've done things that I'd never be 'qualified' to do when working in a volunteer capacity....
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Old 15.05.2012, 23:47
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Re: Any courses for above average pay for an non academic?

It would help if you gave some more information about yourself. For example, your age, any experience, what you are doing right now, what you are doing in Switzerland...

I'm not saying this out of nosiness, or to tell you off for having a very limited profile, but simply because the more information you give people on this forum, the more likely you are to find someone who can help in your particular situation.

My first question would be how how you came to be here and how you are supporting yourself at the moment. Which would help me know whether it is any good suggesting that you talk to social services, your unemployment advisor, organisations that help young people find their first job etc.

My second question would be about your qualifications. You say you have a High School pass from the Netherlands. Not being an expert in academic equivalences in different countries, I have no idea what that means in real life terms. But that might be important in determining what further training you can access. Try looking here to start with.

Next, do you have any professional experience at all, and in what capacity? I ask because in some professions, if you have 5 years experience in working in that profession, you can get the equivalent of a CFC (Federal Certificate of Capacity) in that profession. My understanding (and I am not an expert) is that this would open more employment doors to you and also allow you to follow further professional development if you wished. See here for more information.

If you have little or no experience, or don't know what you want to do, or even what a reasonable career aim is, orientation.ch is a good website for finding out about professions in Switzerland generally. There is information about what kind of work a profession involves, what qualifications are needed to carry out that profession and you can also investigate training possibilities.

The website also has several useful tools if you have no idea what you might like to do professionally. Here is a questionnaire which aims to identify your interests and what broad areas of work tie in with those interests. You can then explore what professions exist in Switzerland within those areas of work here. Alternatively, you can search for jobs using different interests here.

You could also try getting an appointment with a careers advisor. I personally didn't find them that useful, but I have a university degree I am unable to use for medical reasons and they just weren't able to 'think outside the box' of my field. I got the impression they were more used to advising people who had less specialised qualifications. So they might be able to help you.

I think the bottom line is, unless you have a lot of professional experience but no qualifications (in which case the first link above seems to be your best bet), you should be prepared to work hard and put in time and money into getting a qualification in a career you want to do. Especially here in Switzerland, where because of the way the education system is structured, there seems to be a qualification for practically every imaginable job. So no qualifications = very basic jobs = low pay. As cheekymoneky said, don't expect a quick fix. Especially as here even Swiss people with Swiss qualifications find it hard to move from one field to another if for whatever reason they are unable to continue in their original career. Once you're in that box, it's hard to move out of it, unless you have the time and money to retrain, or unless you have very convincing medical reasons to persuade the state to pay for your retraining. So take your time before choosing a path that will fit you into one particular box, because you could be there a long time.

All the best, and my apologies if those links are not in a useful language for you - your profile doesn't mention any of the national languages, so I went for French because that's the only language I speak, and therefore those are the links I have used!

Perhaps a first step could be a language course?
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Old 16.05.2012, 11:33
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Thank you for your opinion Swisspea, your conclusion summarized the points you were trying to make very clearly.

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Thank you for your opinion Swisspea, your conclusion summarized the points you were trying to make very clearly.
That was meant for Vlh22, sorry Don't see an edit post button.

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I was discussing this with my colleague today. Basically, everyone in Switzerland gets a trade/apprenticeship/traineeship or further studies in order to move up the ladder. You can even do an apprenticeship to work in a supermarket or as a receptionist at a hotel. They take their studies very seriously.

I think you have to find your passion. It's certainly easier for some than others, but I think if you really have a passion for something, and are prepared to sacrifice what it takes, then I think you can do just about anything.

So, question is...what's your passion ? Then be prepared to study 2-3 years to get there, possibly with a couple of detours along the way as you explore options...

I have 4 years of tertiary qualifications, about 10 years equivalent full-time work experience, and three children, and I'm only just starting to feel like I have a 'career' - if I listed down all the jobs/fields that I've tried a little, experienced a little, learnt a little and know a bit about, you'd be quite amazed...

If you are stuck in a dead-end job, and can't get out of it, try volunteering a little around the edges - my best experience has been as a volunteer - I've done things that I'd never be 'qualified' to do when working in a volunteer capacity....

The apprenticeship is something very interesting. And the volunteering a great tip. Thank you.

Last edited by Guest; 27.04.2015 at 10:48. Reason: Merging posts for clarity.
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