Professional development refers to courses and seminars that focus on job-related knowledge and skills. Classes aimed at personal enrichment also belong to this category. Professional development can be formal or informal. You can take formal programs or sign up for various courses offered by consultants.
The Importance of Professional Development
While professional development is perceived largely as a means for career advancement, it is becoming less of an option and more of necessity. In many occupations, professional development is required for employees to keep their license. It can also help them receive promotions and land better jobs.
Professional development can advance various occupations by giving employees an opportunity to acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge. It also facilitates establishing occupational standards for certain professions.
Benefits of Professional Development
1. Increasing Qualification
Obtaining additional education can increase a person’s marketability. Some professionals think they don’t need continuing education because not all jobs require it. While it’s true in some cases, if you want a job that pays better, then continuing education is almost a must.
Let’s say you are the hiring manager, and you’re reading two resumes from two job applicants. Both have the same level of experience, but one applicant gained a higher education in his field. Who would you pick? You’ll probably choose the applicant with a higher degree of education. Realize that employers are screening a high number of applicants. This means you need to make yourself more qualified than others. And a higher degree of education may help tip the odds in your favor.
2. Higher Salary
Another reason why you should consider continuing education is the fact that people with a higher level of education tend to earn more. Those with graduate degrees have better promotion opportunities and can qualify for higher salaries.
Additionally, some occupations require employees to undergo specialized training to qualify for certain jobs, such as managerial positions. The more educated you are, the higher salary you can get.
3. Image and Prestige
It is common for society to label people in terms of educational attainment. Though this may not be entirely correct, still, it is the reality. Continuing education can improve a person’s image in family and social circles. More often than not, people who hold high positions in business and government are well educated.
Undergoing professional development is a good thing. Not only will a higher level of education give you a higher pay, but it can provide more abstract benefits as well. Earn more respect from your peers in particular and the society in general. It is a win-win situation for you.
4. Widen Your Network
Networking is one of today’s most popular buzzwords. The more extensive your connections, the more people can help you achieve career goals. Professional development can help you widen your social network, and this is another reason why it’s essential to get continuing education.
You will meet industry experts, consultants, and fellow students that share a common interest with you. Connect and collaborate with other people, making things easier for you than doing it solo.
5. Job Security
The job market is very competitive nowadays that downsizing is becoming increasingly common. If you are the employer, who are you going to lay off? The ones with better education and contributes a great deal to the company, or those who do menial work?
Continuing education gives you the upper hand by providing better job security. Once you’ve finished a professional development course, the learnings and skills will stay with you (and your resume). Also, it makes you a good candidate for other employers looking for higher skill sets, experience, and educational attainment.
The job market today is becoming more competitive. One of the things you can do to set yourself above the competition is to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Professional development may cost you time and money, but the benefits that you will get are invaluable. By undergoing professional development, you can increase your qualification, get a higher salary, gain prestige, widen your network, and enjoy job security.