How Continuing Education Helps You Get Ahead

You want your career trajectory to go in one direction–upwards. There are several things you can do to ensure that you keep moving onward and upward, and one of the most important is to pursue continuing education opportunities. You will never run out of courses you can take to enrich your skills, including those related to your career and soft skills that are necessary and transferrable to any job you have in any career.

Continuing Education–Is Your Employer Responsible?

Many employees see continuing education as something their employer should provide, but this is not typically the best way to approach your career. First of all, many employers can’t provide continuing education beyond the most basic training needed to complete daily tasks because their limited budgets don’t allow it.

Second, employers do not always choose the type of continuing education that will advance workers’ careers, either because they’re not interested in promoting from within or because they just don’t know that the worker wants to advance.  You really are not best served by letting your employer control your continuing education, but by self-directed planning that will be more likely to take you in the direction you want to go.

What Skills Do You Need?

When you invest in continuing education, one thing to consider is the skills you want to gain. Knowing where you want to go in your career will help you choose courses that will help you get there, whether it is more knowledge and skills in your field or other necessary skills.

There are all kinds of certificate programs and other courses that can augment or build your skills base in your field and create future opportunities to advance, be promoted or get other, better jobs. There are also courses that teach soft skills, which most employers now consider important criteria in the hiring process.

Interpersonal skills like communication are important for almost every career because of the level of collaboration required in today’s team environment. Other soft skills that are also required for career advancement in many fields are problem solving, evaluation and analysis, which are helpful in troubleshooting problems that occur during projects and maximizing effectiveness in getting them completed.

Continuing Education–More Than Just Advancing Your Skills

Besides advancing all kinds of skills, continuing education also has other benefits for career development as well. Taking courses gives you the opportunity to meet others in your field or other professional contacts that can be helpful to your career in many ways: support, mentorship, and referrals to new jobs, to name a few.

CCSU offers courses in many different career fields including certifications in project management, human resources management, and others. Courses in soft skills are also offered, along with enrichment courses related to many different hobbies that can offer work-life balance or a way to relax. To join the mailing list contact Christa Sterling at csterling@ccsu.edu

 

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