Professional Qualification Funding

A professional qualification is often the way to go nowadays if you’re serious about progression in a finance career. Some of these courses can be on the rather pricey side, and you may wonder what kind of professional qualification funding is out there. Here are some of your options…

Career Development Loan…

With or without a degree, a Career Development Loan is one  way of gaining funding for professional qualifications in any field. Provided by banks, the loan pays for up to 80% of the cost of your qualification and up to 100% of expenses, be it the first step in accounting or an MBA.

There’s the possibility to borrow up to £10,000 at a reduced interest rate that is paid by the government during the course of your studies. They’re perfect for postgrads, or just those 18 and over, that want to gain an extra or vocational qualification to enhance their career prospects.

Other benefits include an almost unlimited range of eligible professional qualifications. These are courses offered at a UK institution that last no longer than two years – or three, including a year of industry experience.

Something to think about…

It’s worth considering however that despite the special conditions, the Career Development Loan is a commercial bank loan and, like any debt, should be considered carefully beforehand. Sadly they do have to be repaid with interest after your training is completed.

And unlike a normal student loan, repayments aren’t dependent on income, which could be a problem if you’re not working soon after receiving your qualification. Good news however is that payments are flexible, from one to five years at a fixed rate – meaning you can take things at your own pace.

Other professional qualification funding options…

There’s also the possibility of asking your employer to cover the costs of your training.  This is quite common in the finance industry, as firms are keen to have their people trained up to the highest standards – particularly following the changes in how things are regulated and the stress on the importance of integrity in financial practices.

Finally if you already have a degree, there’s the opportunity to apply your academic education within a professional environment with a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Formed as part of a three-way collaboration between universities, organisations and graduates, a KTP is sort of like a postgraduate apprenticeship, allowing those fresh from university to enhance their career prospects in a corporate environment. It’s a great way to improve your employability and gain new qualifications and skills.

As part of the programme, KTP associates – as they’re known – have the opportunity to spend around 10% of the project on further study towards a relevant qualification, covering everything from industry-specific vocational training to skills in finance, leadership and project management.

As well as having achieved further recognition for your specialism and skills, the experience of having completed at KTP project can also count towards the professional experience necessary for achieving chartered status in a number of professions.