The best careers to retrain for and required qualifications

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are many advantages to retraining and enhancing your credentials. Continuous technological developments create new roles that require new skills. Retraining can be a way to refresh your skills or gain new qualifications for a new career. In this article, we discuss several of the best jobs to retrain for in four different industries and how to do it.

What are the best careers to retrain for?

The best careers to retrain for have evolving skills and certifications that can be updated. There are currently severe staff shortages in many industries. These include cybersecurity, healthcare, education and construction.

Related: Retraining: what to know when broadening your skills

Why retrain?

Before retraining, establish your reason for doing so. Common reasons include:

  • Better pay: Along with the salary, take the job perks and employee benefits into account.

  • After a career break: You may wish to update your skills to catch up with recent development or changes within your field.

  • Career prospects: You may have reached a plateau in your current career and require retraining to equip you for promotion. Alternatively, perhaps you're looking for a new job with the potential for career progression.

  • Work-life balance: You may be looking for a part-time or remote position that allows you to fulfil your family obligations, such as after-school childcare. Or you may want a job that requires less travelling away from home.

How to retrain for a career

Conduct some research into the roles that appeal to you. Consider their location and potential employers. Follow these steps to help you retrain:

1. Determine your reason for retraining

Decide whether you're updating your credentials or looking for a new qualification to equip you for a new career. If you're seeking a promotion or a sideways shift to a role in the same sector, you may require additional certification. Some roles require refresher courses to keep up to date or to maintain certification.

Related: 10 new career ideas (with salaries and job responsibilities)

2. Establish the role requirements

Explore the various job options. Make sure the role responsibilities are within your capabilities. Check which qualifications apply for each role and confirm that you don't already hold the required certifications.

3. Choose a certification programme

There are hundreds of certification programmes offered by many academic institutions, trade organisations and vendors at various prices. Things to consider when choosing a training course include your level of experience, how valuable the certification is, whether it's available online or only in a classroom. Confirm that the programme cost is within your budget and whether there are any pre-requisites for the course.

Related: What are the benefits of making a career change to IT?

Retrain as a cybersecurity professional

The increase in incidents for organisations of all sizes means there are many vacancies for cybersecurity professionals. While most cybersecurity professionals hold at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, many companies prefer candidates to have specific cybersecurity certification, and they continually update their knowledge and skills.

IT Governance offers a range of courses, starting at entry-level right up to advanced programmes for professionals with a minimum of five years' experience in IT security. Some of these programmes have entry requirements, as you can see below:

1. Certified Cyber Security Foundation

Learn the fundamentals of cyber security, including social engineering and Cloud security:

  • Duration: one day

  • Type: online, classroom or in-house

  • Price: £595 excluding VAT

2. Certified Cyber Security Practitioner

Learn how to implement security controls and deal with cybersecurity incidents:

  • Duration: four days

  • Type: online

  • Price: £2,195 excluding VAT

3. Managing Cyber Security Risk

Learn how to formulate plans and strategies to improve cybersecurity risk management:

  • Duration: three days

  • Type: classroom or in-house

  • Price: £1,495 excluding VAT

4. Cyber Security for IT Support

A complete introduction to cyber security risk awareness for your IT support department, ensuring the entire team is aware of cyber security threats and vulnerabilities:

  • Duration: four hours

  • Type: online or in-house

  • Price: £140 excluding VAT

5. Cyber Incident Response Management Foundation

Learn how to develop an incident response programme in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations:

  • Duration: one day

  • Type: classroom or in-house

  • Price: £495 excluding VAT

6. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Intensive training course to help you pass the CISM exam the first time:

  • Duration: four days

  • Type: classroom or in-house

  • Price: £1,695 excluding VAT

7. Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP)

A foundation-level course providing a solid basis for a successful information security career:

  • Duration: five days

  • Type: online, classroom or in-house

  • Price: £2,195 excluding VAT

8. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Intensive course for those seeking a senior position in information security:

  • Duration: five days

  • Type: classroom or in-house

  • Price: £1,995 excluding VAT and exam fee

9. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Designed to ensure candidates pass the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) CISA exam on the first attempt:

  • Duration: four days

  • Type: online or classroom

  • Price: £1,795 excluding VAT and exam fee

10. CompTIA Security+

For IT and network professionals who wish to develop a career in information security:

  • Duration: five days

  • Type: online, classroom or a combination of both

  • Price: £2,830 excluding VAT

Retrain as a healthcare worker

The public healthcare sector is facing a severe staffing crisis, especially for doctors, paramedics, midwives, nurses and carers. Most healthcare roles require some kind of professional qualification or on-the-job training. Developments in treatments, therapies and the pharmaceutical industry as well as the proliferation of new virus mutations mean people returning to the healthcare sector after a career break may wish to refresh their skills. Here are three roles in great demand in this sector:

Retraining as a nurse

This role requires a nursing degree. Alternatively, you can complete a registered nurse degree apprenticeship (RNDA) or become a nursing associate and then train up to become a registered nurse. You may also choose to specialise in a specific field, some of which require additional training.

Retraining as a paramedic

This role required an approved three or four-year degree in paramedic science, the ability to work under pressure and make quick decisions and a clean manual driver's licence. Some ambulance trusts allow you to study while working. A registered nurse or health professional can gain registration as a paramedic by taking one of the two MSc pre-registration courses (level 7).

Related: A guide to degrees for paramedics: skills, careers and salaries

Retraining as a midwife

Retraining to become a midwife depends on whether you already have a medical qualification. A midwifery degree is a three-year programme. A qualified nurse can complete a fast-track course within 18 months.

Related: Midwife vs. nurse: key differences between the two careers

Retrain as a teacher

Curricula changes, developments in teaching methods and updates to education regulations mean people returning to this career after a break may wish to update their skills. Alternatively, people seeking promotion may require additional certification. Teaching requires specific knowledge, skills and a great deal of patience. A Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is an essential teacher qualification. Alternatively, you could complete a work-based National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) or complete an apprenticeship.

Related: Qualifications to be a teacher (undergrad to leadership)

Retrain as an EFL teacher

Popular and well-paid teacher jobs are those teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL). You can often fulfil these roles online and there are lucrative opportunities for overseas positions. While EFL and ESL teachers require certifications to teach English to non-English-speaking students, previous teaching experience isn't always essential. Some courses require a degree, not necessarily in English, but the primary requirement is fluency in English. TEFL Org offers several EFL or ESL certification courses.

Related: The highest-paid teaching jobs abroad (plus requirements)

Retrain as a construction worker

There are some entry-level jobs in the industry, but specialised roles are in high demand. There are few official certifications required for basic construction labourer jobs. For one of the more specialised roles, many companies offer apprenticeships. If you're retraining, you may already hold one or more of the certifications required.

Retrain as a scaffolder

The only entry requirement for a scaffolder role is a Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) card, which you can earn by completing a CISRS one-day training course. This is typically followed by an 18-month apprenticeship, or you may enrol in a part-time 11-week training programme which you complete over two years. You may also complete a Level 1 or 2 Certificate in construction operations.

Retrain as a plumber

No degree is required, but it's advisable to gain a Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies, which you can complete within ten weeks. Alternatively, you can complete an apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship (NVQ Level 2 Diploma), duration 12-18 months

  • Advanced apprenticeship Plumbing & Heating (Advanced NVQ Level 3 Diploma), duration of four years

Retrain as an electrician

This role requires the following:

  • Level 3 technical and NVQ qualification or Level 3 diploma

  • or you can complete a three- to four-year apprenticeship

Related: Domestic vs. commercial electrician: what's the difference?

Retrain as a gas engineer

This role requires one or more of the following qualifications plus approval on the Gas Safe Register:

  • Core Domestic Gas Safety (CCN1)

  • Combustion Performance Analysis (CPA1)

  • Domestic Gas Central Heating, Boilers, and Water Heaters (CENWAT)

  • Domestic Gas Cookers (CKR1)

  • Domestic Gas Fires and Wall Heaters (HTR1)

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