I am an Access developer and administrator for a large bank. I am a science graduate with more than two years' experience, but I am having trouble moving jobs. Should I consider paying for training courses to enhance my employability?
Training is a waste without practice
Do not spend any of your own money on training. You are in the classic "is it better to work for a large company or a small to medium-sized one?" scenario. Training without an opportunity to put the new-found knowledge into practice can be wasteful.
I would encourage you to be very clear in your objectives as to what you want.
You could find a smaller company that will reward you with commitment to training and experience in new skills in return for your Access skills in the short-term. Alternatively, once you know the skills you would like to have, identify other companies who use those skills, and apply for trainee development positions in those companies. You might have to start on a salary lower than the one you enjoy now, however, it should not be long before you catch up.
Another option is to go back to your present employer and ask for a transfer to a project team that develops in the skill-set of your choice. Explain that you are keen to learn new skills and you will be willing to pay for some of the training yourself as a demonstration of your commitment.
I think that you will find that there will be a number of companies who would be only too pleased to bring on board someone with your development and administrative skills with a view to giving you training and experience in new areas. I also think that your present company, faced with the risk of losing your experience and business skills, would be willing to retrain you. Good staff are very hard to find - skills can always be taught.
Solution by Peter Searle, managing director, Computer People