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Career Advice

What is a Professional Academy Diploma?

A Professional Academy Diploma from UCD Professional Academy is a short, sharp, focused, and impactful course, giving professionals like you a skill set and certification to meet a specific training need at any given point in their career. 

Use what you learn during a Professional Academy Diploma from UCD Professional Academy as a platform for a career pivot, or as a springboard for career advancement; or it may be a gateway for a deeper dive into professional education in time to come.

A UCD Professional Academy Diploma helps workers fill professional skills gaps on their terms. Courses can be studied on-demand, live online and in the classroom, fitting around busy professional lives. 

You can study for a Professional Academy Diploma with UCD Professional Academy in many soft skills and technical skills required in today’s workplace. Taught by industry professionals, learning outcomes are focussed on career-ready skills. Courses are specifically geared towards advancing students’ knowledge in a professional capacity.

A UCD Professional Academy diploma delivers practical, tangible, and useable skills and knowledge that translate to your work and business. You learn from practitioners, on your terms – relevant, and bite-sized learning.

Read on to discover answers to the following questions:

  • What are the benefits to obtaining a Professional Academy Diploma from UCD Professional Academy?

  • Are Professional Academy Diplomas from UCD Professional Academy a recognised certification?

  • What sort of career options are available through Professional Academy Diplomas?

  • What other study options are available to me?

  • How can I manage my work/life balance when pursuing a Professional Academy Diploma?

What are the benefits of obtaining a UCD Professional Academy Diploma?

The main benefits of studying for a Professional Academy Diploma with UCD Professional Academy centre around your ability to rapidly upskill and obtain a certification in applicable professional skills, taught by industry practitioners, via a short and flexible learning schedule.

Short and intensive in nature, our Professional Academy Diplomas demonstrate your commitment and drive to an employer, either to validate and enhance your existing skills acquired through work experience; for an upcoming promotion or a potential career move;  or demonstrate interest and commitment to a new area for a side-ways move within a company.

Obtaining a UCD Professional Academy diploma allows professionals to formalise and affirm the knowledge and skills you might informally practice ‘on the job’. It helps maintain relevance as your career progresses and industries advance - building new skills as you segue from one role to the next. Precise, industry relevant upskilling helps you keep up, or, stay ahead in a rapidly shifting professional landscape. Learn more about making the most out of your Professional Academy diploma!

As well as your Professional Academy Diploma certification and new skill set, you will have accessed a network of like minded professionals as you study alongside each other. Peer to peer learning will bring theory to life through active learning, as you problem solve and explore practical applications of relevant topics in breakout rooms, facilitated conversations and workshops.

Upcoming Online Courses

Check out our upcoming Professional Academy Diplomas and take the next step in your professional career.

Project ManagementStart TodayOn DemandView Details
Leadership & ManagementStart TodayOn DemandView Details
HR ManagementStarts on Jan 8thFull-timeView Details
Digital MarketingStart TodayOn DemandView Details

Are Professional Academy Diplomas a recognised certification?

UCD Professional Academy diplomas tend to be short, averaging 36 hours in length; designed and delivered by industry practitioners to impart directly applicable knowledge to professionals, they are not part of nor do they lead to a traditional university award such as a degree or a masters or any other award on the NFQ. 

Professional upskilling credentials, such as our Professional Academy Diplomas, certify the learning outcomes of short-term learning experiences. They offer a flexible, targeted way to help people develop the knowledge, skills and competences they need for their professional development and are widely accepted by employers, as many as 40% of our students are sponsored to study by their organisation.

What sort of career options are available through Professional Academy Diplomas?

Professional Academy Diplomas are generally taken by people who are wishing to advance in their own field or to pivot into another. The knowledge that is built into these courses is current and up-to-date and can be used straight away either in the workplace or in an interview setting.

Take for example a marketing professional who is very creative but lacks insight in technical areas such as analytics. A Professional Academy Diploma in digital marketing will rubber stamp their knowledge of current data trends and approaches while also advancing their knowledge and expertise on a practical level.

Beyond successfully completing your course from UCD Professional Academy, your career and learning options really open up.  A Professional Academy Diploma from UCD Professional Academy shows a willingness to learn and an openness to new concepts, adding credibility to skills claims on your CV. You might choose to develop your current role using your newly acquired learning, or segue into a new field.

What other options are available to me?

UCD has a wide range of deeper dive graduate education options, from specific executive education programmes to full and part time business masters. The vast majority of students who decided to upskill with UCD Professional Academy were not thinking about taking any longer form education, but a significant percentage were considering it after completing a course with us.

A short, focused period of professional study might be exactly what you need to solve a current skills gap and give your career renewed momentum. With the confidence and energy gained from dipping your toe back into education, you may even ignite a thirst for greater knowledge and look to explore a larger commitment to professional, graduate study.

How can I manage my work/life balance when pursuing a Professional Academy Diploma?

Staying ahead in the world of work and continually improving your skills is key. But that’s not always easy, time is precious and life has a habit of getting in the way. 

Short, focused study courses like our Professional Academy Diplomas are built with that exact problem in mind. You need to feel confident that when you take on a professional development commitment, you’ll swim not sink. Flexibility is built into our courses, so they’re easy to access on your terms. You could choose to study any of our courses live online, with some also available on-demand (entirely at your own pace) or in the classroom on UCD Campus.  

You should find the learning environment supportive, helpful and encouraging, and dare we say even fun! If you are already in work while you take this course, you will be in a position to put the skills you have learned into practice as quickly as possible. Check out our top tips for online learning to help you get the most out of your Professional Academy course.

If you’re reaching a roadblock in your career and aren’t sure of the next step you need to pursue to help push you forward, then a Professional Academy Diploma from UCD Professional Academy could be exactly the thing you need. Ensuring you are always on top of the latest developments in your professional field, keeping your career advancing in the right direction and grasping every opportunity that comes your way... Find your course today and thrive.