Company-sponsored professional development and training programs can be great, but there are many more options to take control of your own continuing education. It is important to stay on top of emerging trends, new skills, and best practices in your field, especially if you plan to launch a job search or vie for a promotion in the near future.
Professional development, certifications, and courses are also important if you are trying to change careers or grow into a role you’ve not held before. This can help bridge the skills gap between your current experience and where you’re trying to go.
How to Get Started:
Making a plan and working through professional development and training with a specific goal in mind will be a much more effective use of your time and investment than taking random courses.
Think about what courses, certifications, or skills would be most beneficial to you in your career or to help you get to the next level. You can get inspiration from:
Looking up ideal job descriptions to see what certifications or skills are required.
Searching for other professionals on LinkedIn who are already in your ideal roles (or in similar roles to yours currently) to see what training and certifications they’ve completed.
Where to Find Training Options:
The good news is, there are many ways to find high-quality courses and programs for almost any industry and most are offered online.
1. Low-cost online options include:
- Udemy - Offers a huge variety of courses and certifications online.
- Coursera - Courses, certifications, and even degree programs all taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies.
- LinkedIn Learning - Low-cost subscription to video courses, certification programs, and learning paths to help you gain specific skills AND highlight them on your LinkedIn profile.
2. Industry-specific training and certifications:
Look into professional associations and membership organizations for your industry or job function, as they often have courses and professional development opportunities available to members. Examples include:
- American Marketing Association
- Project Management Professionals Institute
- National Association of Sales Professionals
- National Association of Manufacturers
- Information Technology Industry Council
3. In-person learning opportunities:
If you prefer a live setting over online training, you can seek out in-person events for specific industries or job functions through:
- Meetup - a platform for finding and building local communities that many people use to learn new things and meet new people.
- Search for local organizations, local Chambers of Commerce, or regional conferences held by professional associations.
If you’re ready to elevate your resume or LinkedIn profile with all your new training and professional development, reach out to D&S Professional Coaching to see how we can help.