October 27 2017
Continuing education refers to courses that you take once you are no longer a part of the formal education system. The courses are usually short-term, and exist in a variety of subjects. Instead of focusing on a broad subject like “Finance” or “Marketing,” they are highly-specialized and will help you acquire specific skills. Although you may believe that once you’ve graduated you’re done with school forever, you should reconsider. Continuing education is an important part of career development.
The Importance Of Continuing Education
If you’re looking to take a continuing education course simply to improve your knowledge, that’s great! Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook or ballroom dance. Continuing education courses are a great way to help achieve these life-long goals you’ve had. You’ll be able to do so with professional instruction and little commitment.
But, continuing education can also have a much more practical role. Continuing education will boost your career development, as you’ll learn new skills that will put you ahead of your coworkers. You’ll be able to bring new skills to projects, and you’ll instantly become someone that people want to associate themselves with. The classes are typically affordable, which means you’ll be making a small price to help advance your career. If you find yourself lacking in a specific area of work, a continuing education course can help. Additionally, continuing education gives you the opportunity to expand your professional network. You’ll meet people in different industries that you may not have associated with previously. You’ll never know what opportunity may arise because of a relationship you developed while continuing your education.
Be Open With Your Employer
You should be upfront with your employer about your career development ambitions. Your employer should be receptive and supportive, and should help lend the guidance necessary to help see you succeed. Remember, continuing your education makes you a stronger employee for them as well! Your employer should be willing to share the skills, certifications, and degrees you need to achieve your career ambitions. Some employers, such as Lockwood Companies, will even offer educational assistance to help your dreams become realities. Demonstrating to your boss that you have taken an initiative in your career development should reflect highly on you.
Before you jump into a continuing education course, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. You should have an idea why you want to take the course. You should also have an idea of the course’s schedule, and how it fits into yours. If you can only make 25% of the classes, it probably doesn’t make sense to take that course right now. Considering you’ll be adding onto your traditional workload, you should be realistic about whether you can handle the increase or not. You should also research where your desired course it offered. Your employer may be able to offer some advice in this regard.