The Importance of Ongoing Education

The workplace of today is forever changing. The world is in a transient state, industries are constantly changing as we move forward and nothing is set in stone. Ongoing education is the self-motivated acquiring of knowledge in order to expand your skills, and develop for future opportunities. It allows both professional and personal development, enabling you to reach your full potential.  It might be in your best interest to stay as employable as possible, especially in times like these. Ongoing education in all forms is a good way to stay up to date in your industry, boost your chances of promotion,  and keep you relevant. A study by the E-institute found that 96% of universities believe they produce employable people, whilst employers believe it’s only 11%. Additionally, 80%  of employers don’t believe their employees have all the skills to do their job(. Whatever your reason, whether you want to excel in a growing industry, or keep a position in a shrinking one, ongoing education can be one of the most valuable advantages. New tech that can improve productivity and replace repetitive and menial tasks are being created all the time. Factories that used to run off of human manhours are now mainly machines, with only a few people for quality control. The current rate of change means that even newly learned digital skills and otherwise could be out of date in mere years. Being a record player needle maker was once an important job, so was a CD player repairman. Today, record players are vintage novelty items, and CDs are almost completely out of use. As the cross-over between job roles and functions increases, additional skills gap challenges are likely to arise, only increasing the importance of ongoing education. 

Why Ongoing Education Will Benefit YOU!
Ongoing education allows you to remain relevant. Continuing your education relevant to your sector of work keeps you up to date with trends, and how you need to adapt your skillset. To function in a world rapidly changing at the hands of technology, it is not enough to know the basics; you must learn new things to stay up to date. Graphic design degrees existed before the invention of photoshop, and yet photoshop is now a crucial tool for every graphic designer. To stay relevant all graphic designers have to learn photoshop. Similarly, marketing degrees existed before the invention of Facebook, or social media in general. 

It also increases your ability to make career transitions. Ongoing education comes in many forms, whether specified or broader courses, you are still expanding your knowledge pool. This makes you less expendable to employers as you may have vital skills they need. A marketing director who specializes in SEO is more likely to stay relevant than a marketing director who doesn’t specialize in anything. Just the same, a junior marketer with extra certifications is more likely to be promoted than one without. Prominent countries around the world are experiencing a sharp elevation in unemployment rates, being flexible in your skillset is a great way to increase employability, and even switch careers.

If you’re looking to instead work on yourself, further education may still be the answer. Ongoing education improves your image, marketability, and lifestyle.  Ongoing education is great for your resume. For many jobs, it is required for you to have a certain level of education, but with additional qualifications, you will stand out. Not only because of your extra qualifications but because you have shown initiative and determination to take on a challenge. It will also show you have new insight into current trends and skills in your industry.

Your lifestyle can also be improved. If you want to make more money, switch jobs, or even feel more fulfilled, ongoing education can help achieve these goals. By devoting time and effort to your learning, you can improve many things about yourself including time management, accountability, diligence, and leadership. Often improving your career influences the rest of your life because you’re more satisfied with your job, helping to keep a positive outlook on the rest of life. 

Recertification
There are also different jobs that require recertification. Doctors, nurses, and solicitors are amongst the most popular professions that require recertification. All of them require an exam before getting your practising license, and these licenses need to be renewed with exams every few years. This is to ensure that their information and practising methods are up to date.

For a lawyer, you have to complete a degree in law before anything else. But before you can practise you need to obtain a practising certificate/license. For the USA, it is the bar exam, and for the UK, you must complete the Professional Skills Course and be accepted onto the SRA’s Roll of Solicitors. Even once all this is done, you must renew your practising licence every few years.

The same goes for doctors. The requirement changes depending on your country of study, but a degree in medicine and recognition by the board of medicine for that country is always required. A doctor’s practising licence needs to be recertified roughly every five years. This ensures they stay up to date with new medical practices, laws and regulations. 

What Jobs require ongoing learning to progress?
Although many jobs do not require official recertification, there are many jobs that require ongoing learning in order to proceed in the industry. The tech industry in particular is a brutally fast-paced field. The software, programming languages, and standards used are always shifting. If you don’t keep up with the changes, your skillset can become outdated and unusable in only a few years. Most tech professions require an IT-related degree but if the idea of going back in a classroom deters you, don’t worry there are many online courses that will give you the same advantages. More degrees, courses, and microcredentials can all be done online and some can be completed quite quickly. It’s no surprise that your level of education correlates to the opportunities available to you, and can affect your pay. In the US, the top 25% of web developers have an average salary of $93,670. Compare that to the median average of $67,790, and the obvious advantages of an advanced skillset become clear. 

Teaching is another job that requires ongoing education to progress. There are always new and better ways of teaching being created, and all kinds of theories too. If you’re always up to date with the latest developments in your industry, coworkers and in this case students, will come to you with questions. This can create a favourable reputation and can put you in the right position to seek leadership opportunities.

Many people like to talk about them being ‘done’ with school once they graduate, but without ongoing education, your career will eventually stop progressing and you may miss out on opportunities to progress. Or you may become underqualified for your profession. Ongoing education is key to personal growth and can teach you skills that are transferable in all parts of your life. This is why continuing education throughout your life is so important.