To stay at the top of your game, you need to stay on top of the latest developments in your field. With company profitability under duress, sometimes the continuing education and training budget can take a hit. But that doesn’t mean that you can forgo this crucial element in career advancement.
Continuing education and training can take many forms. Are you being held back because you lack a degree that is expected or advocated in your industry or company? If a degree upgrade is needed for advancement, it’s important to determine the cost/value benefit — many times it’s impossible to advance if you don’t have the degree needed. Some companies will pay for your degree, which is a benefit you should always take advantage of.
Most people automatically think of a degree when they consider ongoing education, and while that is one way to go, that is not the only option. There are many continuing education and training options available through community colleges. You can also check out your professional association for a wide variety of options. Whether they are seminars or conferences, staying abreast of options offered locally allows you not only to learn more about new trends and best practices in your industry, but to forge connections with other local professionals. Networking can always be a great byproduct of most continuing education opportunities.
Your company might foot the bill, especially if you volunteer to attend and then come back and teach the rest of your department. It’s a great way to assert your leadership and show your superiors that you are committed to your career. You could even see if there are opportunities to share your knowledge with other departments.
Don’t forget to look into any training offered by your company. It can allow you to touch base with people from other departments whom you might not interact with regularly but whom can prove to be important connections.
There are also so many opportunities for training online through webinars and video training. Again, check with professional associations, as they often provide valuable training. But look beyond that, there are tons of free opportunities offered by leading professionals in your field. Many of them have blogs that share the latest news and best practices. Find leaders in your industry and subscribe to their newsletters or blogs.
In today’s workplace, unless you are moving forward, you are moving backward. Stay on top of your profession and learn about complementary disciplines by checking out the latest in continuing education and training, whether it comes through your workplace, your professional organization, a school or online.
Articles on continuing education and training:
- Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether or Not to Do an MBA
- Factors to Consider if You Are Thinking of Earning an Online Degree
- Keeping the Saw Sharp: How to Remain Valuable and Relevant Over the Years