Give your career a new year’s boost

WITH 2011 on the horizon, now is an excellent time to start thinking about adding a new string to your bow. If you are in search of a New Year’s Resolution, you could do worse than choose to study for a professional qualification. Luckily, there are options this January.

BPP is launching its MBA next month from its offices right in the shadow of the Gherkin – it would be hard to find a more inspiring site for those who see their future in the City. The cost is £16,500.

BPP also has four postgraduate programmes starting in January – unusual, as most start in November, but handy for those turning over a new leaf. Those who take the MSc in Finance, Management or Marketing will also be gifted £2,000 of free professional education in areas such as accounting and finance, tax, City banking and financial services, insolvency, leadership or personal development. To find out more, email admissions@bpp.com or call 08450775566. The MSc in Finance costs £12,950, the others £9,500.

Whatever happens in the City there will always be a call for accountants, or at least those with a grasp of accountancy. While the course for the ACA qualification, one of the gold-standard accountancy qualifications, starts in January, you already have to have a training contract before they’ll accept you. However, you can take one of their “entry-level” qualifications, for example the Certificate in Finance Accounting and Business (CFAB) and the Certificate in Insolvency. “Both these are aimed at individuals in business and finance but who are not necessarily working in the accountancy profession,” says provider ICAEW. They also offer an International Finance Regulatory Standards (IFRS) qualification that might interest City folk. These are far cheaper, with the CFAB, for example, costing around £500. See www.icaew.com.

At London Business School several courses start in January and February with space, including Essentials of Leadership, 13-18 February with a cost of £6,450; the Corporate Finance Valuation Programmes, an evening class starting on 12 January and running until March with a cost of £5,950; and Fixed Income Markets and Bond Portfolio Management, for £4,450 and kicking off on 11 January. See www.london.edu.

If you are a little further on in your career, Cass says that it still has space on its Executive MBA programme that this year starts on 1 March. There is no deadline, and you can apply up to a couple of days before. Although candidates are asked to apply before Christmas “an application in January should be okay.” The cost is £42,000. See: www.cass.city.ac.uk/mba/emba. Go learn new tricks.