Advancing

Continuing Education: Can You Afford to Keep Pushing it Off?

continuing education

Training, professional development and/or continuing education is a luxury for many from both a cost and a time perspective.

However, when evaluating the potential ROI, continuing education can open up previously closed doors or lead to better job opportunities, according to Education Corner.

If you are contemplating increasing your knowledge for whatever the reason, in the form of a new skill, certification or even a degree, consider the following before telling yourself to put it off for another year.

Also read: The Best Bang for Your Buck: Weighing Tuition Against ROI for EMBA Programs

  1. Making the Time

The Risk

Scheduling the time for continuing education is challenging but not insurmountable with planning and prep. Consider preparing for a few hours or days off to learn just like you would approach leaving for vacation.

It may require a few extra hours before and after work both before, during and after your coursework, conference or seminar.

The Reward

From productivity tricks to a new skill or certification, the new education may increase your marketability or provide you with the knowledge or required skills critical for a career transition.

  1. Earmarking the Funds

The Risk

For many, time spent on continuing education means time without pay. Consider establishing a budget and setting aside a certain amount every week or month. Better yet – see if your company will pay via a tuition reimbursement program or split the bill with you (many do!)

Another option is to search for virtual training. From podcasts to webinars, screencasts to Lynda.com (free to LinkedIn Premium Members), the cost of virtual learning is often significantly less than live and in person, and can be performed on your own schedule.

The Reward

In addition to fulfilling work goals, continuing education may fulfill personal goals. With courses available through associations, local colleges, and online universities – the possibilities are endless to learn about everything from design to productivity software proficiency, complete countless industry certifications, or even earn a bachelor or master’s degree.

  1. Tangible Return On Investment

  • Command a Higher Level + Salary

Entry-level salaries are often higher and promotion opportunities greater to those with certifications and advanced education. 

  • Remain Up to Date

Technology, professional methodologies and compliance are constantly changing. In many industries and job roles, continuing education is the only way to keep up or risk being left behind. 

Worthwhile No Matter What You Call It

Advanced learning goes by many names – continuing education, professional development, personal enrichment, and for some, degree completion or advancement.

Rather than making excuses about whether you have the time or money, the better question should be can you afford not to?

About the Author

Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW is the founder of Virginia Franco Resumes which offers customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker.