Being a life-long learner isn’t a luxury. If the economic crisis has taught us anything, it is that people need to continue to learn, in order to update their skills, stay abreast of the current trends, and further development their strengths. And as the information age creates new industries and even more innovative ways of doing, it is incumbent upon everyone to take stock of where they’re headed and how they can add to their knowledge-base in critical areas.
Going back to school to earn my doctorate has worked well for me. Not only have I been able to significantly add to my knowledge base in leadership, talent development, change management, decision-making and operations, I’ve been able to tailor my coursework around my passion for social media, becoming a budding scholar in the process. But for those unsure about going back to school or not interested, here are a few tips.
Continuing Education Tips for Job Seekers
- Check out the free open courses that are available online. MIT’s Open Courseware is a great example of what’s available. In open courses, universities and organizations publish course materials online. Those materials can include lectures, assignments, hand-outs, videos, podcasts, etc.
- Check out the continuing education department at a local college or university, which usually offer courses and workshop. Also, check out community centers or adult education programs. Like the continuing education departments, community centers and adult education programs are designed to meet the continuing educational needs of the community.
- Social networking sites are for more than selling services or handling customer complaints. Sites like Twitter are great platforms for individuals to build a personal learning network, which allows one to connect, interact, and collaborate with professionals and experts from here in the U.S. to those across the globe. A personal learning network is a powerful tool for staying current with what’s happening in one’s field.
- Check out video-based sites like Youtube. There is an insane amount of free content on Youtube. From lectures to panel discussions to conferences to interviews to webinars and vlogs, if you Youtube it, it will come.
Whether you are white collar, blue collar, or have no collar, you have to seek out opportunities to grow professionally. The game has changed. Continuing education is a reality for everyone. Besides, would you go to a doctor who you knew hadn’t been trained on the latest techniques or well-read on the latest treatment options? If not, then why should someone hire you if you are working from the old playbook?