After graduating with a degree in your chosen field, it can be difficult to keep up with industry changes and trends. Even if your schooling has you up-to-date on everything you need to know now, changing technologies may leave you in the dark without a ready source of updated information. This is particularly true if you are unable to find a job in your field immediately after graduating. Here are some ways alumni can keep up with the times:
Subscribe to Everything
After graduation, get yourself a subscription to to trade journals, industry blogs, e-mail newsletters and other publications. This keeps you in touch with your field whether you’re currently working in it or not. Online subscriptions and free blogs make it easy to subscribe to information even when you’re on a tight budget.
Trade shows, conferences and other industry events are excellent places to network and see the latest innovations in your area of study. Webinars and teleconferences are increasingly common as well, and allow you to learn the latest news without the time and expense of traveling.
If you’ve just graduated, the idea of continuing training and education might seem strange, but taking a class or two on new technologies every year is an excellent way to keep up. A few hands on classes at the HVAC Technical Institute, for example, can set you apart from the competition. Gaining the necessary technical skills can give you an edge when applying for jobs.
Frequent Job Boards
Even if you already have a good job in your area of study, keep searching the newspaper and online job sites frequently. The qualifications and skills they list will tell you if there are any certifications or emerging technologies that employers are searching for. If there are, you can highlight the skills you have on your resume and acquire the ones you don’t through additional training.
Social media pages of industry leaders are a great place to see what everyone is talking about. Here you can find out what industry trends are taking off and which are languishing by chatting with other professionals. You can even follow your competitors to see what they’re doing.
In fast-paced industries you can find yourself out of the loop alarmingly quickly after graduation. Stay relevant and keep your skills sharp by staying on top of industry trends through these means. Your learning shouldn’t stop after graduation, so embrace every opportunity to discover new things.
This article was contributed by guest author Anita Ginsburg.