Four Reasons to Choose to Study for an HND

Keen to continue your education post-18 but not sure a university degree is the right fit for you? Don’t fret - you might be surprised how many options are available.

One of the most popular is a Higher National Diploma or HND. Like a degree, an HND is a higher education qualification suitable for school leavers. But unlike a degree, an HND doesn’t take as long to complete (the qualification is rated as equivalent to completing two of the three years a full-time degree takes), and often has a vocational focus, which makes it ideal for studying while you work.

That makes an HND ideal if you already have a very strong idea about the career path you want to take and want to back that up with a recognised qualification, or if you already have a job and are looking to take the next step up the ladder. HNDs are also great for anyone looking to return to education to support a career change.

Here are four great reasons why enrolling for an HND in 2021 could be the best decision you ever make.

Develop work-relevant skills

One of the big questions people ask about taking a degree is “what job will I be able to do at the end of it?” Particularly with more traditional academic degrees, it is often hard to see the link between your learning and future career opportunities.

With an HND, there are no such concerns. As a vocational qualification, they exist to develop expertise in specific work-related areas, whether it’s business management, engineering, marketing, social care or so on. Even better, you develop these skills through plenty of hands-on practice, so employers recognise you are well and truly ready for the workplace.

Attractive entry criteria

Many young people worry that they won’t get the exam results they need to be accepted on a degree course, and often put themselves through a lot of stress and anxiety striving for the grades they need. By contrast, most HNDs require just a single A-Level or equivalent qualification to enrol. Alternatively, if you choose to go into work first, you will often be accepted onto a relevant HND course on the back of the professional experience you have.

Study locally

Especially in the current climate, a lot of young people have concerns about the idea of moving away to university to carry on their education. Students have had a really tough time with the disruption COVID-19 has caused to their education, and we simply do not know what is going to happen in a few months’ time.

The great thing about an HND is that you can take one at your local college, so there is no need to travel or move away to university. That suits some people down to the ground anyway, and with so much being up in the air at the moment, staying local may just give you that extra peace of mind.

Continue your education step-by-step

For some people, committing to a three-year degree course can seem daunting, but at the same time, you might be a little nervous about a two-year HND, too. What if you don’t like the course or realise you’d rather be doing something else?

The great thing about an HND is that there is no need to commit. If you like, you can start off with a one-year Higher National Certificate (HNC) instead, then decide what you want to do next. From there, it’s just another year to get an HND. And if by then you really have a taste for studying, you can take a top-up course to turn your HND into a full degree, which opens the door to postgraduate study options.

Find out more about studying for a Higher National Diploma at Regent College London.