Kevin Gardner

Debating on going back to school? Here are 4 compelling reasons why you should.

Many of the world’s most successful people acknowledge that moving forward and upward in life means that you never stop learning. Despite how much education and experience you have, you should always be willing to seek new knowledge and understanding. Some fields like medicine, engineering and law have formal requirements for continuing education. Because these fields continue to evolve, professionals are expected to take courses to stay knowledgeable of their particular discipline. You may not work in an industry with a formal requirement, but continuing education provides several personal and professional benefits. Here are some things you should consider.

Staying Fresh

Some industries require professionals to stay on top of changes in knowledge, understanding and approach. This not only includes disciplines like medicine and engineering, but also cosmetology and insurance as well. Being up to date on the latest research and data can be especially crucial in certain client-facing professions. Even if you aren’t required by company policy or state regulations, keeping fresh makes you better at your job. You’re aware of trends in your industry and you’re better equipped to adapt to changes. People who don’t grow in their learning tend to get stuck in their ways and can’t respond to new information. Whether you formally enroll in classes or you read industry research journals and articles, it’s never a bad idea to stay informed.

Moving Up

Continuing education is often a great way to advance professionally. When you’re looking for a promotion or a salary increase, taking formal courses for a certificate or an undergraduate or advanced degree can be your ticket. Some new positions may require completion of formal education to be eligible. This additional training can be a differentiator when it comes to you getting a promotion and/or a pay raise. Specialized schooling may impart the knowledge and wisdom that increases your marketability and makes you more valuable to your organization, resulting not only in advancement, but also improving your job security. Continuing education also demonstrates your commitment to excellence in your position, which is a quality many companies value in their employees. Often employers will fund or partially fund these additional education efforts as a matter of company policy.

Making Changes

Many people come to a point in their career where they decide they want to do something else. Whether it’s a slight pivot or a complete turn, continuing education often provides the skills and training to help you make a successful change. One popular move is to secure a Masters of business administration or MBA to transition either into a new market or a new field altogether. Because many MBA students work full or part time, there are a lot of options for securing this advanced degree, including distance and online options. Consider earning your online MBA at USC for a formal business education that enhances your areas of expertise and exposes you to new opportunities.

Pursuing Passions

Continuing education doesn’t always have to have a professional motivation. Many people have hobbies and passions that are different from their chosen career. Do you have hobbies or other activities you love? You can take courses that not only enhance what you already know, but also expose you to new things and ideas within that hobby. For example, a person that likes to bake cakes and other desserts as a hobby, could benefit from taking courses that expose them to pastry techniques that improve their culinary creations. There’s a wealth of knowledge available for various topics that can benefit you, especially when offered through a formal continuing education program.

When you’re not learning, you’re not growing. No matter what your career or interests are, you should always have an interest in becoming better, which is best fueled by continuing education. Acquiring more knowledge offers several professional and personal benefits, whether done formally or informally. From earning a degree to looking up information from reliable sources online, a continuous thirst for knowledge will serve you in every aspect of life.

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Economics, Finance and Investing

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