Advancing your career toward a promotion is an almost universal goal. This may be your way to more money and more responsibility, or it might be a step in a long-term career advancement plan. Taking this step up, however, may sometimes involve more than the everyday duties of your job. Pursuing additional training or achieving a relevant certification could be the missing piece you need to advance your career.
Training in new skills you can use at work will not only help you do your job more effectively but can also prove your dedication to your managers. Additional certifications can also help you qualify for jobs you may be held back from otherwise. Taking these steps in the middle of your career, with adult-based learning or online courses, means you have had time to get to know your job and set your end career goals. Although extra training can be an inconvenience, using it as part of a career plan can mean an immediate and effective impact on your professional advancement opportunities.
Consider Your Career Path and Goals
When determining whether the pursuit of further training or certification will be worth your time, effort and money, you should consider your current career position. By establishing how you might like to progress from your current situation toward your career goals, you can judge whether you will benefit from formal education, certification or training. You may determine that a broader range of business skills will benefit you, for example, in which case you might take a course in business strategy or customer analytics. Other business skills, such as public speaking, might be less obvious, but will still be worth training for.
If you have a specific vocation you are working toward, you may be able to learn on the job. However, a class could help you learn the skills you need more quickly and effectively. You may be interested in a specialized position at your company, for instance, such as a technician requiring particular training. There may also be positions in your company that automatically require certain qualifications or a degree before you will even be considered for the job.
A higher level of education will often result in a higher level of pay. This can be the case for those who have degrees versus those who do not, or even for those who competed four years of college instead of two. Even an informal course, however, can serve to increase your earning potential and the likelihood of promotion. This is the case for those who work full-time and part-time jobs alike.
For those seeking to advance to the highest levels of income, a formal qualification or degree can be one of the most effective methods of achieving your goal. The average wage for someone with a master’s degree, for example, is typically higher than that of someone with a bachelor’s degree. These qualifications can take longer to attain, but they could prove to be worth the effort.
Keeping Up to Date at Work
Even if you are already on track to achieving your personal career goals, you may find that additional training could be of assistance. In many workplaces, advancements in technology, software and communications strategies may leave your skills and knowledge out of date. You may even find there is a danger of your current work duties and tasks becoming obsolete. In this case, although you may already have a comprehensive understanding of your field and position, you might still need to consider a class or course in order to keep up. If you find you often have to ask your co-workers for help in certain areas, perhaps with new developments or systems, you should consider taking extra training.
The training may not need to result in a formal certification, as simple coaching or a short course or seminar may suffice. However, there will also be formal options available to you. This type of training can help ensure you do not fall behind in your career trajectory, enabling you to maintain the standard set by your experience while also utilizing new skills.
Certifications for Your Existing Skills
If you have been working a long time in a certain industry or field, you may be able to use your experience to your advantage. There are many courses available that will allow you to use your work experience as credit toward getting formally certified. An excellent example of this is project management.
If you have three or more years of experience managing projects for your workplace, you can take a short course and a single exam in order to formally qualify as a Project Management Professional. These types of qualifications are a great opportunity not only for you, but also for your company, as they can benefit from the specialized skills and expertise you have developed within your workplace.
Formal Certification Opportunities
Formal certifications have a variety of benefits, particularly if you wish to take a position that requires an official qualification. This might include becoming certified in a particular type of software, for example. However, choosing to take a course of formal education when you are working a full-time job can be hard.
Some courses can also be prohibitively expensive. Although the courses can be seen as an investment in your future, it is important to make this investment wisely. You may be able to find local courses at a university or college that will allow you to study part time. You may also be able to find distance learning and online course options. Online courses might be particularly useful if you want to improve your computer or communications skills. A private tutor is another option that may cost a little more but could produce faster results depending on your preferred methods of study.
You may even choose to pursue a degree such as a bachelor’s if you have reason to believe it can help you achieve your goals, although this will be a greater commitment in terms of time and money. Alternatively, you might consider other resources, such as adult education classes at a community center or community college. Although you will not receive a degree, you may find an option for formal certification, and these courses are usually inexpensive.