Professional development consists of learning activities that improve knowledge and skills related to your career. It can range from a one-hour webinar to a four-year college degree.
Many individuals invest in professional development to increase their job satisfaction, improve job search prospects, or to earn better pay. By developing the expertise most needed by employers in your field, you will be in a better position to look for a new job, or advance in your current job.
What are my options?
Professional development includes a variety of activities: college courses or degrees, professional conferences, professional skill training offered by your employer, certifications, workshops, joining professional associations, reading trade or industry publications, holding informational interviews with other professionals, taking webinars, working with a mentor, obtaining professional coaching or consultation to improve your skills, and more.
How will it help my career?
Professional development can help you:
- Strengthen your opportunities for promotion, career longevity and personal growth
- Meet annual training hours required by some professions to maintain the ability to practice, i.e. teachers, therapists, medical professionals, and others
- Keep up to date on new equipment or practices in your field, especially new technology
- Observe industry trends and build meaningful professional relationships
Free online learning is also available in many subject areas. Explore options by entering your desired skill area in any search engine, or try one of these websites:
Open Culture offers free online courses in a wide variety of topics
- Math knowledge can be a career strengthener. Khan Academy offers excellent, free courses
- Find free webinars to help manage your career and work relationships on CareeRealism