With summer quickly coming to a close, many people are spending more and more time reflecting on their education. Will you be returning to the classroom? If so, why? Whether you’re a senior executive or in an entry level position hoping to make your way up the corporate ladder, many people find themselves considering more education and training as they make their way in their career. However, many people aren’t sure where to start when pursuing continued education. There are many different options not just over what to learn but also how to learn. This article is here to help you understand the best educational fit for your future.
How dated is your education?
Before determining whether or not you need to further your education, you need to have a good assessment of how dated your education is currently. When was the last time you were in school, took a training course, or attended a seminar? If the answer is recently, then you may already be on the right educational path. You must also determine whether or not you intend to learn something entirely new, like an additional college major, or to hone the knowledge and training you already have. Dated education, such as a college degree you earned twenty years ago can be honed through a variety of methods we will discuss below. An entirely new educational target may require much more legwork through traditional means.
Has your field developed?
Before we dive into the different ways you can sharpen yourself as a student, you need to reflect on how your field has developed. What is it that is driving you to pursue continued education? Have the tools and systems that you were taught to use become outdated? Are you simply out of touch with new technology despite your continued mastery of your field?
Depending on how you answer these questions, the unique needs you’ll have for your continued education will change greatly. In order to successfully pursue and put to good use continued education, you must first determine what is pushing you to pursue it. Are you seeking this of your own volition? Are you being pushed to do so by your boss or company? Ask yourself these deeper questions and make sure you’re investing your resources for the right reasons.
How can I continue my education?
There are many ways to continue your education, and the remainder of this article will cover them in brief. Whether you’re nearing the end of your career, just starting out, or somewhere in between, there is always something new to learn. We’ll break down the most popular options for how to continue your education as well as how each option will benefit people with different interests at different times in their individual careers.
The brick and mortar schooling model is by far the oldest on this list and one of the most proven. However, it is also one of the costliest. When it comes to time and money, traditional classes require the lion’s share of an investment. However, this gives you access to a variety of in-depth courses, knowledgeable professors, and a variety of students. Most institutions will also assist with tailoring your course load to your unique needs and assisting with financial costs. This is perhaps the best method for people early on in their careers as it can open up new career fields and skillsets that allow you to change course move into higher level positions within your industry. Traditional college education can also be a great place for young entrepreneurs wishing to meet likeminded individuals and to master a variety of courses, subjects, and skillsets that they need to establish a new business within the industry.
Online courses come in a multitude of different forms and have become increasingly popular because of the variety and accessibility associated with them. Online courses can be offered through a traditional institution or through a variety of online outlets, professionals, or organizations. These courses can typically be completed a la carte, allowing you to create your own personalized programs that feature content directly aligned with your interests.
Online courses are a great option for people already set in their career path or who may not have time available to dedicate to the traditional approach. These courses can help you quickly master specific topics, new technologies, and any number of related interests. Best of all, these typically come at a fraction of the cost of a college course and can be completed at your own pace.
Seminars a great way to get the depth and interaction of a college course while taking much less of a financial or temporal commitment. Most seminars will last for a weekend or a week at best and equip you with lots of information, new contacts, and great discussion at a brisk pace. These can be a great way to charge yourself or your team with new ideas, new energy, and new enthusiasm for what they know and what they can do.
Seminars are great for individuals and teams, and they can be chosen with little commitment, often allowing for people to explore different subjects and speakers in a limited amount of time. These can help refresh your existing education, highlight new educational paths for you to follow, or provide you with new information and skills.
Mentorships and Internships
Mentorships are some of the most intimate experiences building you’ll find and both can be a terrific way to continue your education. Mentorships allow you to ask questions from people with certified experience. More importantly, however, it allows you to connect with someone on a personal level and to gain advice on difficult topics, decisions, and any number of other pitfalls that comes with navigating your career field or operating a small business.
There are many different ways to further your education. Whether you’re committed to earning a new degree, mastering a single topic, of seeking advice on how to overcome specific hurdles, there are plenty of options available for you. Hopefully this article helped you ask yourself why you’re seeking continued education and helped paint some of the options available for you.