Continuing Education Improves Your Employment Marketability
With the current employment environment being so stressed, it is imperative that you take action to improve your marketability. For most people, times are tough and money may be tight. However there are some relatively inexpensive continuing education options available for enhancing or improving your skills and knowledge.
Local community colleges are one way I have found of enhancing my skills. Many local colleges offer many different educational opportunities, however a favorite of mine is online education. Classes offered online allow you to complete the course at home on your own computer, and at your pace. I have found that the choice of courses is quite varied as well. You could take classes on career development, computer technology, various software packages and even personal development.
Some of the classes I have taken had a six-week format, with two lessons each week. The lessons were well laid out and the instructors were available in an online discussion area for questions that arose. I have completed various courses on project management and most recently introductory courses in using various software packages. The format of the software lessons allowed me to get a comfortable feel of how the software worked. It also provided a feeling of confidence that I would be able to successfully use it in a real-world work environment.
Online continuing education courses are relatively inexpensive for the value received. In my area, the cost of one particular program is around $100 per course. It is possible there will be minimal additional costs associated, depending upon the courses taken. If you are looking into classes on software usage, I would suggest researching the availability of trial version downloads prior to signing up for courses, paying particular attention to the length of the trial period. You want to make sure that the software will be functional for the length of the course. Of course, you could also do what I did and purchase the software. This will allow you to continue to use the program after the class and to become more proficient with it.
If you are the type of person that learns best in a classroom environment, this option is also available. The classes are more structured and allow immediate interaction with the instructor. There is also the possibility of making networking contacts, which is definitely a positive in today’s job market. However, there are additional time commitments and the cost may be higher with this method.
You are the only one that can decide if continuing education is right for you, and if so, which method is best. Just make sure and take classes that interest you and are relevant with your career path.
I personally believe that you get more than enhanced skills out of taking classes. You get a sense of personal fulfillment, they keep you active, and best of all – it gives you a positive attitude.