How Continuing Education Can Advance Your Career

By | December 3, 2013

Do you feel stagnant in your career, or are you finding it difficult to get your foot in the door of an industry that interests you? It’s hard to make a career move without related experience. One way to make yourself more attractive to employers or gain the knowledge you need to start your own business is through advanced education. University degree programs can help you enter into a certain field, but today’s competitive workplace also demands that professionals continue learning and evolving with new forms of technology. This is where continuing education courses can potentially help you stay profitable.

Benefits of Continuing Education

Taking professional courses or earning a higher degree can put you at a distinct advantage. Ongoing education is beneficial to most professionals, but it’s particularly important for those who want to stay relevant in technical fields. Computer and engineering technology changes rapidly, making skills from even five years ago outdated today. Continuing education is also important for entrepreneurs. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, taking a few marketing and business courses could help you understand today’s global economic climate. Professionals who want to advance to a management position can also show their dedication by improving their education. Continuing education shows your boss and clients that you are committed to your personal and professional growth.

Types of Courses

According to the Department of Education, only 4% of adult learners in the United States enrol in traditional degree programs. The majority of adult education takes place in a more informal environment. You can choose from vocational courses, professional certifications, or online classes leading to a higher degree. To get a sense of the variety available, you can take a look at Now Learning to browse by topic and format. Blended programs are particularly popular with adult students, because they combine the participation of a traditional classroom with the flexibility of an online program.

Choosing a Course with Maximum Benefits 

To sift through all of these options and find a course that will advance your career, it’s important to take a step back to look at your situation. Think about what your goals are. Do you want to learn a specific set of practical skills, or do you want to practice your critical thinking? Are you interested in going back to school for personal reasons or strictly for professional gain? It’s helpful to think about your current weaknesses. Is there an area or topic that you wish you knew more about? This could be management skills, sales skills, or technical skills that will help you understand new technology in the workplace. With your goals and topic of interest defined, you can then take a closer look at the different formats available. It may be best to stick to a part-time online course if you have a busy work schedule, or you may decide you’d flourish in a traditional evening classroom environment.

There’s a wealth of options available for working professionals who want to stay relevant in a competitive marketplace, or simply learn for the sake of learning. Continuing education is well worth a look for any professional who is serious about his or her career.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *