So, your business recently started offering continuing education (CE) opportunities for employees. That’s fantastic! However, continuing education opportunities can be deceptively attractive and your employees may end up wasting their time working with material that won’t actually help them advance their careers. If you’re an employee, let’s examine what you should look for in CE opportunities so that you can invest in a course that will help you become an elite professional in a specific industry.
Common types of continuing education courses
Among the many CE opportunities, CollegeTransfer.net names the following as some of the most common:
- Professional certification. Certifying in a specialty sets you apart from others in the field and lets you bring unique talents to a company.
- On-the-job training. Experts train you and other employees at work to help you master certain skills or to introduce new skills.
- Corporate training and universities. As part of a group of employees, the company teaches you about newly updated rules, regulations, and techniques that are used in an industry. This helps employees keep up with what’s happening now.
- Industry associations and conferences. An event provides a chance to recharge your batteries, learn some new techniques and practices, and renew your sense of purpose in your career.
How to identify a good continuing education opportunity
When you’re excited about CE opportunities, but hesitant to start a program out of the fear that it’ll be a waste of time, there are things to look for to ensure that you’re getting the best out of the opportunity.
According to the American Speech-Learning-Hearing Association, you can avoid wasting your time and money by closely examining the course. Does the CE opportunity offer learning outcomes? If the course description fails to mention specific results or if the results are unrealistic for the course time frame, there’s a chance it won’t offer the value you need.
It’s also smart to consider the target audience. If you don’t fit in the target audience or if the course offers education that doesn’t pertain to you or your occupation, it’s likely a waste of time and money.
Another way to identify a beneficial opportunity is by researching the credentials of the faculty. If the professor or trainer is not a specialist in the field, it’s unlikely that you’ll learn as much as you would from a specialized professional.
Lastly, consider the credit you’ll receive when taking the course. If the course fails to offer CE credit or certification, it may not offer much value for your investment.
How to decide between two attractive continuing education opportunities
If you’re weighing two CE opportunities and can’t decide which to choose, Securities Training Corporation is happy to help you. When considering the courses, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which course focuses on your areas of weakness? According to SimplePractice, a quality CE course is one that specifically addresses your weaknesses. By focusing on personal growth, you know you’ll get as much out of the course as possible.
- Which results are more beneficial for you in the long run? Identify the results of the courses and determine which outcome will best benefit you now and in the future. It’s easy to look at the learning objectives and select the course that sounds the best, but you need to do your research and select the course that will benefit you the most.
- Which course challenges you? By choosing a course at a lower but acceptable level, you won’t get as much out of it as you deserve. So, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and choose a course that makes your brain work and helps you grow.
How to approach continuing education opportunities after starting a course
According to SimplePractice, in order to get the most out of the opportunity, you need to approach the course with a beginner’s mindset. Not only can this be very refreshing, it can help you keep an open mind that’s ready to learn.
As you take the course, pay attention to indicators of evidence-based concepts. According to AHSA, it’s best to consume information that has evidence to back it up, rather than accept concepts that are just the speaker’s opinion based on experience. Remember to keep an open mind, but also be cautious about how you allow your perspective to change.
At this point, you should be ready to select the CE opportunity that can help you advance in your career and become an elite professional. If you have any questions or if you’d like to know more about how to take full advantage of a continuing education course, please contact the experts at Securities Training Corporation today.