In the past, employees either brought skills and knowledge to the table or they were trained on-site. Now, professional development courses are available to individuals and employees to ensure consistent growth in the career field. The future of professional development is contingent upon empowering individuals to pursue additional knowledge and skills they can use to leverage their value in the workforce.
What Is Professional Development?
Professional development is an umbrella term that refers to a collection of courses, educational events, and training that support an individual in their career goals. Professional development work is ideal for anyone who wishes to become more proficient in their chosen line of work, wants to qualify for a promotion, is seeking to attain a higher title, and those wishing to transition from a job to a career.
Professional development can take many forms, including:
- Hands-on training
- Short-term classes
Of these, courses are considered to offer the most value in terms of professional development because they are usually offered by an accredited educational institution such as Post University. Depending upon the coursework that is completed, this can translate into valuable certificates of completion that can be leveraged to attain certain career goals.
Why Do People Pursue Professional Development?
People pursue professional development for a variety of reasons. A common reason is that the industry in which a person works undergoes a lot of advancement or changes. One good example of this would be the tech field of cybersecurity. The world of cybersecurity is a hot-button topic right now, as many high-level institutions have been targeted by hackers. A person working in this field would likely want to pursue professional development to get up to speed on the latest hardening strategies to protect against data breaches. Professional development empowers employees to provide more value to themselves and their employees, making them more competitive in the workforce and giving them a distinct advantage.
Another common reason people seek professional development is to retain their license to practice. Certain professions require a minimum number of professional development hours in order to keep their license current. These can include everything from police officers to IT staff and business owners. Once the professional development coursework has been satisfactorily completed, the professional can then have their license renewed for another two or three years.
There are numerous other reasons why people take professional development courses, and since there are absolutely no drawbacks to developing as a professional, all the reasons are valid.
Areas of Professional Development
The areas of study in professional development support learners who wish to advance in their chosen career. Examples include:
- Communication skills – writing, speaking, and conversing
- Organization skills – time management and file management
- Creativity skills – developing intuition and thinking outside the box
- Productivity skills – developing focus and practicing efficiency
- Conflict resolution – crisis management, de-escalating, and handling disputes
- Leadership skills – managing and motivating a team and setting realistic goals
- Crisis intervention – including suicide recognition and abuse awareness
- Criminal justice skills – investigating, insight into crimes and criminals, and more
Chances are, if you are working in a field where professional skills are needed, you will find professional development courses that can help.
Benefits Of Professional Development
All kinds of people have realized the merits of professional development courses. If you’ve been waiting to sign up for professional development courses, consider all the benefits you could reap:
Develop New Ideas
Professional development courses often refresh passion for your chosen career. They invite new ideas which may give insight into how to move your career in a new direction or up the ladder of success.
Develop New Goals
Identifying professional development goals helps to keep you on track in your career. If you have been in your career for a long time, you may have gotten off course from where you started to where you always wanted to be. Professional development can steer you back on track.
Improved Employee Retention
If you are a manager or lead a team, you should know that another great benefit of professional development is improved employee retention. Employees who see that the company values them by enrolling them in professional development courses are more likely to remain in their current position for longer. This translates to money saved on recruiting and training new hires.
Determining Your Professional Development Goals
When considering professional development courses, it helps to first determine your professional development goals. Creating a metric so that you can measure progress does a great deal for motivation, as well as ensures that you get the most out of your time spent in the professional development course. This process is commonly referred to as a professional development plan.
The first step in the professional development plan is to identify your current role. Where are you right now in your career; what is your title; what are your job responsibilities; how many people do you supervise, etc. The next step is to list your existing skills and knowledge. Include both tangible skills and soft skills in this list. Now, write down your goals. What title, role, or position do you aspire to? What responsibilities would you like to have? Assess anything you’re missing and think about which skills you need to reach those goals. Finally, create an action plan.
Need help finding the right courses that align with your needs and goals? Email Post University’s School of Continuing Education for help!
Professional Development Courses at Post
When you peruse the list of available professional development courses at Post University’s School of Continuing Education, you will see a wide array of available coursework covering multiple areas of study. They include things like:
Ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and knowledge in the area of digital content marketing. This course is for writers, content managers, marketing professionals, influencers, bloggers, and many more.
Conflict Management Training
This course falls under the category of police recertification since it focuses on police work and problem solving within departments, between the public, and much more.
This one-hour, self-paced course is also a police recertification course, but it could also benefit managers with employees who work in areas with hazardous materials, such as warehouses and distribution centers.
Accounting Fundamentals for Small Business
This is based in the Malcom Baldridge School of Business and teaches small business accounting principles, GAAP, pricing strategies, assessing returns on investment, and more. It is ideal for entrepreneurs, anyone running a small business, or someone interested in opening one.
Typically, professional development courses are focused on helping either existing professionals or those who desire to build a career in a certain field. Whatever the reason you are interested in taking professional development courses, you will find that they offer inherent value and support for you to achieve both your professional and personal goals.