Hey everyone not so much of a questions but I am currently studying an NVQ and I've been thinking of doing a HNC and HND and maybe even all the way up to a master's degree but I was wondering from people who have maybe done this or atleast the HNC and HND is it really worth it and what kind of jobs could you potentially look at from doing these? 

  • Heya, 
    It is really a personal decision, that will mostly be based on your own career.
    I can say that I myself started as an apprentice a completed a NVQ
    I then went on to do a HNC part time 
    Finishing with a degree (ENG Hon) -  part time 

    I would stress that my path worked best for me as I was working full time, and needed the 'top up' qualifications to progress.
    For me it was worth it, as my personality and career best suited this route.

    I would say think about what you are trying to achieve and why. Then do the route that works for you

  • Hi,  

    I would say look at the course content, and how the course is taught, I did my HND a looooong time ago, so my experience may not be up to date or relevant, but in the day the HND/C was more practical based than Academic like the degree or masters.   For those that jumped over from the HND to the second year degree, it was a large jump especially in Maths.

    I never went on to the degree, just worked my way up from a year machining into Design, and eventually into Design management, and to Company board management.  I became Chartered a few years ago, and for the last10 years I changed tac, and went into Buisness system, PLM and Digital thread management, implementation and Architecture,  so a switch from Meccie to Software.

    so my advice it to think about how you learn best, and see which courses fit best you.   You can Start with HND/HNC and move onto degree and masters, that will get you to where you want to get to faster, but look into apprentice degrees, as having access to practical experience by working in your chosen field will keep the costs down, and get you secure employment sooner.


  • I second the advice from Ash: think hard about a student apprenticeship. I'm sure that colleagues will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that about half of the candidates for professional registration rely on work based learning rather than academic qualifications to demonstrate their underlying knowledge and understanding 

  • Over 70% of applications for Registration with the IET do not hold exemplifying qualifications and relay on a mixture of supporting evidence including other academic qualifications, Work based learning etc. 

  • Hi Sam,

    First and foremost, I applaud your ambition to consider furthering your education up to a master's degree. It's clear from the responses of Rachel, Ash, Dave, and Gerard that the path to higher qualifications can vary widely based on individual experiences.

    From my journey, here's what I've observed:

    1. Personalised Path: Like Rachel highlighted, understanding your personal and career objectives is paramount. My path was similar to hers: I did a time-served apprenticeship, followed by HNC, then HND, and onto my degree - all part-time. This route suited my career progression and allowed me to integrate my work experiences directly with my studies.

    2. Balancing Work and Study: Studying part-time while working presents its own set of challenges, but it's rewarding in the sense that you get to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. It also gives you an edge as you are consistently evolving both academically and professionally.

    3. Work Experience and Theoretical Knowledge: As Ash and Dave mentioned, there's value in both academic knowledge and work experience. By pursuing qualifications like the HNC/HND part-time while working, you get the best of both worlds.

    4. Alternative Paths to Professional Recognition: Gerard's point on alternative routes to Registration with the IET is a reminder that in our field, experience and continual learning often weigh as much as formal qualifications. (As a PRA, this is coming from experience) 

    The combination of practical work experience and academic achievements can be a potent recipe for a successful career. Remember, the journey of further studies, especially when juggling with work, demands dedication, but the results can be profoundly rewarding.

    All the best with your decision, and do reach out if you'd like to discuss more!