Further education consists of learning that continues after compulsory education ends. It could involve one-off courses, online degree programs or doctorate-level qualifications. Some people choose to pursue additional studies for personal growth and some work in a profession that requires continual education. For others, the chance of progressing into a new career rests upon their ability to complete an advanced program so that they are equipped for the responsibilities of the role. There are also many financial ways that further education can be an asset, as impressive qualifications allow people to move up the career ladder swiftly. If you’ve been considering pursuing a further education course and you’re wondering what the benefits could be, here’s a closer look.
You have more chance of transitioning into a new career
Choosing to move into a new career can be stressful, as you’ll often need to gain qualifications before you do so. In the fields of law, education and healthcare, there are very specific requirements for certification and licensure. For people who are interested in a career in nursing, it is recommended to seek out online programs that allow you to qualify in a relatively short space of time. Baylor University nursing programs include the one-year Accelerated Bachelor of Science, which is open to applicants with a degree in an unrelated subject. It combines an intense study program with clinical experience and fully equips students for a successful career in nursing.
Give yourself every chance of getting that promotion
For many employers, a member of staff who is keen to upskill themselves and extend their learning is a good candidate for promotion. This commitment shows that you are willing to invest time and money in becoming better at what you do, and many companies will reward people for doing that. You’ve shown that you have the potential to grow beyond the job you currently have and that you could solve complex problems within your area of expertise. Therefore, an employer could believe that you will bring more value to your role than a colleague who has not taken any additional qualifications.
Further education offers a starting point for reaching greater things
You don’t need a degree to enroll on many further education courses – people often go back to education because they have very few or even no qualifications at all. Even programs that do have entry requirements often give prospective students a pathway to follow, such as an access course, so that they can prepare themselves for the more demanding level of study. Whether you can enroll immediately or you need to work your way onto the course you have in mind, your passion for the subject and your interest in it are great starting points. From here, you can plan your next steps and ultimately follow the career you dream of.
Your transferable skills are enhanced
As well as the academic knowledge you acquire through study, taking a course of further education allows you to develop a range of other skills. Throughout the time you spend researching and fitting in your studies around other commitments, you will become better at problem-solving. You’ll also learn to communicate more effectively, as you’ll speak with your tutor and also discuss the program with your fellow students regularly. In some courses, students are asked to make the occasional presentation, which prepares them for speaking to a group of colleagues in the workplace. These transferrable skills can build your confidence, as well as your abilities, and ready you for taking on more responsibility, both in your personal life and your professional life.
Your network of colleagues and friends increases
Whether you take an online course or you attend your local college, you will be encouraged to interact with your classmates. This could be through project work or socially, so you can support and guide each other when necessary. In some cases, these connections will last for a lifetime, bringing you close to people from other cities, different cultures, and a range of backgrounds. When you all graduate and move off into the professional world, you can still turn to each other for help, to access new opportunities and to share knowledge.
Your earning potential is boosted
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with qualifications are less likely to experience periods of unemployment, and they earn more, on average, than people with a basic high school diploma. By completing courses and passing certifications, you show that you can absorb information and manage your time independently. Furthermore, in using your free time to improve your proficiencies or learn new skills, you are demonstrating an excellent work ethic. This is something that is prized by employers, who want people with a professional attitude and the ability to deliver high-quality work consistently.
You’ll grow as a person
Once you’ve enrolled on a course of further education, you will be responsible for the outcome. Your friends and family might provide support, but ultimately it will be your hard work and aptitude that get you through. This experience will boost your independence and allow you to cultivate a strong sense of self-discipline, as without this you’ll be easily distracted. Furthermore, academic learning broadens your view of the world and encourages you to think independently. Handing in an essay late or failing to complete a task has consequences, but these struggles can be transformed into learning opportunities. You’ll learn to be accountable, to take responsibility for the choices you make, and to rely on your judgement.
Be the best that you can be
Further education can be a life-changing experience. It can give you the chance to reach your full potential, follow your passion and develop into a well-rounded person. You’ll grow in confidence and meet a network of people who are as dedicated to their work as you are. Moreover, success in your studies will give you the confidence to excel in life and your career, regardless of the challenges you face.