With the job market buoyant and the cost of living in Auckland rising, choosing study over work is getting harder and harder.
“I wanted to do a Bachelor’s but never had the time as I was constantly working,” says Nazyd Ahmed, “I was not keen on doing a three-year degree, because that’s a lot of time off.”
After arriving in New Zealand ten years ago, the 40-year-old – originally from the Maldives – worked his way up to heading international sales and marketing at a private training establishment.
“When you have a team that works under you, it makes you nervous because many of them have degrees and you don’t.”
Ahmed, who left school at 16, but had years of on-the-job experience chose to study at the Manukau Institute of Technology because of its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme.
It will allow him to complete the normally three-year Bachelor of Applied Management in half that time.
“What it means is if you’ve worked in a specific area, say if you’ve been an operations manager for five years we can assess how that translates in terms of the qualifications we teach,” says Dr Lehan Stemmet, associate dean of MIT’s Faculty of Business and IT.
MIT assesses whether previous experience and qualifications gained in the workplace make an applicant eligible for RPL. From there students are assigned a mentor who will hold professional conversations so they can demonstrate relevant knowledge while their existing skills are matched to course credits.
These skills are assessed under six criteria including whether they are course requirements, currently in use in the workforce and up to the standards expected by employers.
“We need to have evidence you meet the requirements. We look at ‘who are you, where do you want to go, what have you done, where are the gaps and then we come up with an individualised programme to fill those gaps,” says Dr Stemmet.
“People who work in hospitality are a classic example. They may have started off young sweeping floors and worked themselves up to management in a hotel chain in operations or human resources but they don’t have a qualification to match that experience. They might have trouble moving up or find they can’t jump sectors.”
Nazyd Ahmed – who started his working life as a chef – looked into the programmes offered by AUT and Massey, but chose MIT because he found staff at the business school approachable and responsive to his needs as a learner.
“It’s been a very pleasant journey. I’m not young as such. It was hard to get my head around being in class again. I don’t have an academic background so coming back to school was a challenge but they made me feel comfortable and confident,” he says.
After graduating, Ahmed will have plenty of options in front of him, returning to the education sector is one of them, while moving into the area of change management is another.
Every year, 16,000 students choose to study at the Manukau Institute of Technology. MIT is one of the country’s largest providers of technical, vocational and professional education. First established in 1970, the institute now has nine campuses across the greater Auckland region.
MIT’s stated purpose is ‘to get people into great jobs.’ Last year, 79% of graduates went into employment or further study.
To make an appointment, speak with one of the institute’s RPL facilitators, phone 0800-626252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Manukau Institute of Technology (Faculty of Business & IT) is the Sponsor of the ‘Business Excellence in International Trade with India’ category of the Tenth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2017.