Learning and progress do not stop the moment you get your dream job. Continuing education is important even after you have entered the workforce and secured a stable job. There are many forms of continuing education that you can explore, such as taking a post-graduate course, attending seminars and workshops, online courses, and one-time classes.
Depending on your career path and specialization, you may be required to take tests once in a while to maintain your license or to upgrade. Some career paths will require you to take post-graduate courses so that you can advance to new roles and responsibilities.
Why Investing in Your Continuing Education Is Important
1. You have higher chances of getting promoted.
Your employers recognize the investment that you make in improving yourself, especially if they see changes and results in the way you work. Your new qualification makes you ready and ideal for promotion to take on newer challenges and tasks.
Of course, you will not be the only one vying for a promotion. When compared with other employees, one of the things that can help you stand out is your educational attainment. An advanced degree will make you more attractive and suitable for more advanced roles in the company.
2. You can negotiate for a salary increase.
Investing in continuing education can cost you money, but the returns can be for life. Aside from the knowledge and skills that will always be with you, you can also ask for a raise when your qualifications also level up. You can either be offered a promotion that comes with a higher pay grade or you will be given a new post that has better pay. Your master’s and doctorate degrees can give you a better income as you go up to your chosen career ladder.
3. It gives you a competitive edge over your colleagues.
Continuing education empowers you to become a top and competent performer. The skills and new knowledge that you have learned can help you become more effective in your job. It will help you be eligible for incentives and employee awards. Companies recognize the efforts of their hardworking employees through recognition and gifts such as special commemorative coins, plaques, and cash bonuses.
4. It makes you eligible for certain certifications.
Some certifications will require you to take courses first before you apply for the qualifying examinations. There are job positions that require licenses and certifications, making you more eligible to take on tasks that others cannot.
5. It is for your own personal development.
Career development aside, investing in continuing education also contributes to your personal development. You develop your patience, tenacity, and increase your desire to learn. You also get to widen your professional network as you meet same-minded people who have common goals with you and who may also work in the same industry. Taking additional courses is not only hard work, it can also be fun and enriching.
How To Pursue Continuing Education During A Pandemic
Compared to undergraduate studies, pursuing continuing education may not be as difficult. For one, courses designed for continuing education already take into consideration that most of its enrollees are professionals. Most universities have a system in place that will allow for modular and off-site learning for post-graduate studies and continuing education courses. Even before learning management systems (LMS) became popular because of the pandemic, most post-grad offerings already adapted online and modular learning options to cater to their working and professional enrollees.
If you are looking for ways to pursue your learning, here are some pandemic-safe options that you may take.
1. Enroll in free online courses.
There are so many free online courses on the web, you only need to look. edX for one offers free courses, with topics ranging from Languages, Data Science, Engineering, Business Management, to Computer Science. Use the extra time that you now have to learn a thing or two.
Some websites offer paid and more specialization specific courses such as Udemy. You can also take courses that are accepted by colleges and universities worldwide should you want an additional degree.
2. Enroll in certification programs.
Online certification programs are offered by renowned educational institutions, such as Cornell and Harvard. These professional certification programs can last from two months to almost a year. Earn certifications in Leadership, Management, Project Management, Healthcare, and Real Estate among many others.
3. Register in online seminars.
Professional organizations hold conventions and seminars that aim to help you in your continuous learning. However, with the onset of the pandemic, these seminars are now being held online. Contact your accredited professional organizations and stay updated with their webinar offerings.
Learning never ends. Continue to ignite and satisfy that curiosity for new forms of learning. It is beneficial for both your professional and personal development.