Thinking of Furthering Your Education? 3 Ways You Can Actually Do It

Image by Pat Quinn on Flickr

Image by Pat Quinn, Flickr

When you have entered the workforce, you may feel at first that you’ve “arrived” at your career destination. However, further education can provide you with skills and knowledge to take your career to another level. Sometimes skills will be directly tied to the work you do, while at other times they may be more general. For whatever reasons you decide to further your education, here are 3 ways you can actually do it.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is a catch-all phrase that may include the kinds of online coursework just mentioned, but could also include other types of classes. Many universities and community colleges offer real-time continuing education classes for adult learners. Some may be tied to degree programs, while others are stand-alone classes for personal enrichment or to provide skill “upgrades.” For example, you might take a course in computer skills to stay updated on the latest operating systems or programs that will help you at work.

Take an Online Class or Complete an Online Degree

Online education is opening new doors for adult workers, whether you want to complete your bachelor’s, pursue a civil engineering master’s degree, or take a few courses to increase skills in a given area. Online learning platforms provide flexibility. You don’t need to leave your job to pursue a degree, though if you take courses at an accelerated pace, you may want to step your work hours down to accommodate your commitment. The choice of pacing is up to you, which is the main attraction to online courses. Since many online programs allow you to pay one course at a time, you can make this option fit your budget. Some employers encourage workers in online degree programs by offering forms of tuition reimbursement for classes tied directly to skills needed for the job.

Certificate or Diploma Programs

Whether you go with an online or “brick and mortar” option, you might find yourself wanting to pursue a certificate or diploma in addition to the associate’s or bachelor’s degree you have. This can be especially helpful if you work in a field that has areas of specialization. For instance, a nurse might decide to pursue a certificate in pediatric nursing or an accountant might want to become an expert in tax accounting skills. There are different certificates of various degrees of authority within almost every vocation. Make sure you are selecting one that is recognized by your company as valuable.

Whether you decide to take courses for personal enrichment, to learn a specific job-related skill or just to gain further knowledge or skills to advance your career, there are many paths you can take. Consider following these paths as it can help you better yourself and your station.

This article was contributed by guest author Meghan Belnap.

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