For most careers, education plays a key role in securing a good job and successful career. Many careers don’t require university degrees, but whether you have decided to enter the workforce without a college degree or pursue continuing education, a solid pre-college education is key. While most attend public schools, private schools can give you an additional edge.
For certain career choices, continuing education may not necessarily be a requirement, but it can certainly be a smart investment. Post-secondary education is a term that is commonly used and it generally refers to:
- Courses that provide college credit that you can take to earn your degree
- Career training that does not necessarily provide a degree
- Workforce training (training within your field of work)
- Self-directed learning that can include your own research projects, and/or joining community groups.
The choice to continue your education past the required amount of schooling is a personal one, but it’s often a smart one if you’d like to touch up or hone certain skills. Most colleges and universities offer some type of continuing education courses, though you would certainly want to check with each potential school individually to find out what courses are offered and what — if any — degrees would be offered, and what the associated costs would be.
- Learn New Skills – Learning new skills will help ensure that you are “up to date” with current trends in your industry, helping secure your current position.
- Earn a Higher Salary – New skills or education often leads to a higher salary. While nothing in life is guaranteed, additional education is certainly a step in the right direction to getting a higher salary.
- Become More Marketable – New skills and additional education makes you more marketable, giving you options to further your career to do new and more rewarding things.
- Get a Promotion – Maybe there is a new role at your current company, or maybe there is a new product and/or division. Continuing education may give you what you need to get that promotion.
- Change Careers – Maybe your current company or industry is a dead-end. Continuing education gives you more options to change careers and industries.
Besides going the traditional route of a college or graduate school for continuing education, there are also dedicated schools that can provide you with this type of education. Commonly covered courses by these schools include cosmetologists and hair stylists, security officers, tow operators, truck drivers, real estate, insurance, mortgage and many more.
Those interested in the medical field will find that there are a number of continuing education opportunities that can provide you with the necessary certification to become a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA), or even a registered nurse (RN). If you’re already working in one of these fields, you may even be able to reduce the number of courses you need to take, or the length you need to take them in order to get the certification you need. You may even find that you only need one continuing education course in order to graduate.
When browsing the selection of continuing education programs in your area, keep in mind that most of these schools offer incredibly flexible courses. So whether you’re fresh out of college, or are already working or even have a family to look after, chances are there is a course load that you’ll be able to adapt your schedule to. Also, it’s worth considering any available online or mail-in courses. While these types of courses require that you be focused, disciplined, and self-directed, the pay-off is saving on the time and expense associated with a commute to and from a traditional classroom.
Finally, the topic of finances will come up when looking at secondary educational choices. There are traditional student loans available, as well as grants and scholarships. Your employer may be able to assist with the cost of attending school, and you may also be able to apply for private loans, or set up a financing agreement that fits within your budget.
Some resources to help:
- Explore Career Options
- 21 Educational Podcasts That’ll Make You Smarter
- EDUCATION HACKING WITH SCOTT YOUNG
- Use These 5 Strategies to Pay for Graduate School
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Good luck in your search,