There’s never a wrong time to start working on your resume. However, as the financial year draws to a close, you have the perfect opportunity to consider brushing up your skills.
A range of education expenses, including short courses, can be claimed as tax deductions, providing they directly relate to your position and will help you advance your career, you can claim your expenses back. It’s always best to seek clarification from your accountant first, but tax time does provide a trigger to investigate short course options.
It’s easy to fall behind when you don’t keep up with new trends and practices. Susan Heron, CEO of the Australian Institute of Management, says it’s all about CV management.
“You have to build up your CV with the right skills,” she says. “A short course is a great way to build those skills and ignite a stagnant career.”
The job market in Australia is tight, mostly brought on by tough global economic conditions and a skill shortage. There’s been an increase in the number of companies advertising for certain skills to fill positions.
Heron says that the tight labour market is exactly why executive education is becoming more important. “When people spend their money [on a short course] it’s not a one-off; they’re investing in their career,” she says.
Short courses can be perfect for executives, whose schedules are already packed to capacity.
“They allow managers to focus more on specific areas and sometimes it’s more convenient,” says Jayne Jennings, Director of the Mt Eliza Program at the Melbourne Business School.
Some of the most sought after areas are project management, sales and performance conversations.
However, finance skills often pop up as one of the most requested topics of training. “Finance is really important,” says Heron. “People have to be on top of their budget.”
LeadingCompany spoke to three of Australia’s top providers of executive and manager training to ask them what their most popular courses were:
1. The New Manager – Australian Institute of Management (three days)
Taking workers under your wing and getting the best results from them can be tricky. This program offers “practical management techniques” to help you get the most out of your position and refine your management style.
2. Leadership Development Program (LDP) – Mt Eliza, MBS (five days)
Being at the top of the food chain is stressful. This course is for mid-to-senior-level managers who are the go-between for senior leadership and frontline staff. It works to refocus your leadership priorities and refines your “leadership fundamentals”.
3. Foundations of Directorship – Australian Institute of Company Directors (three days)
Do you feel a bit lost or overwhelmed having just taken up a position of senior responsibility? In this program – designed for new directors, senior executives and managers – you’ll get a general overview of the duties of directors, including “the governance environment”, finance, strategy and risk at a board level.
4. Finance for Non-Finance Managers – Australian Institute of Management (two days)
This practical course assists you in getting on top of all the financial information that comes your way as a manager. Designed for managers, senior executives and business owners, you’ll learn how to analyse financial information and budget effectively.
5. Accelerated Development for Emerging Managers – Mt Eliza, MBS (five days)
Are you a member of Gen X or Y who is climbing the corporate ladder quickly? This program, which provides attendees with a free iPad, helps you learn how to deliver outcomes efficiently and effectively and gives you a hand with managing your team to the best of your ability.
With courses like these, and the many others available throughout Australia, your CV will always be the most impressive to come across a recruiter’s desk. That’s as it should be, according to Ms Heron.
“It’s up to you to manage your CV and to sell it. You are the product, your CV is the advertising,” she says.