Though I am still a student, I have always made a concentrated effort to look ahead and make some form of plan as to my next move when I finish my degree. The goal, for now, is to get that all important first degree in Finance and then one day look at venturing further afield, and possibly starting my very own consulting business.
However, every few months, particularly after a great study session, I begin to question just what would be the best move for me to make when I do finish this degree.
With so many further education options available after degree level, including that of MA’s and Ph.D.’s, would I be better off staying on and continuing with my education or would the better option be for me to go straight out into the world of work?
I can see so many benefits to continuing this path, with these being just a few of them:
Continuing Education Helps You Access Current Advances
I notice that many conferences that are held for those continuing in education tend to extensively promote the latest innovations, alongside offering various presentations and lectures. This is a great way to access the most up-to-date and current advances in your chosen field, usually way before they’re presented to the wider public.
Continuing Education Helps You Network in the Industry
At such conferences, and indeed many other continuing education events, there is always a chance to network. Making these connections at this stage can prove invaluable a lot further down the line, particularly if you are looking at bringing on board those that you meet to your next venture.
Most networking events arranged by the continuing education establishments will purposely invite several vital professionals along, with the sole objective of creating a further in-depth conversation between the student and the visitor.
Continuing Education Allows You to Enhance Your Skill Set
A select number of those continuing with their education will find they can get a wealth of new experience and work on improving their skills and practical experience in the process. Many see this as a time when they are introduced to various new equipment or new techniques relating to their chosen area.
There is also usually more of an opportunity at this stage of your education to select specific options to add even more credit and thereby compete your continuing education credit hours in a quicker time.
This can work to not only get you that necessary credit but also perhaps introduce you to a new area which you may not have considered beforehand.
Continuing Education Can Gain You Extra Credentials
Several of those professional groups or licensing organizations will demand a specific number of hours to be completed, and countersigned, during continuing education. This is to ascertain that such credentials of individuals remain current. In time, these members then retain those higher standards and continue to do so when they leave the educational establishment.
Certain professions are well-known for demanding such continuing educational hours if the student is to apply for certification or a license, so it is often worth checking ahead of time to ensure you are working towards these necessary specifications where applicable.
Continuing Education Broadens Your Horizons
When you undertake additional education, you expose yourself to further opportunities that you perhaps may not have been able to access if you had left once you received your degree. This is usually because there is more encouragement at this stage to pick and choose your options, therefore offering you a broader exposure to various opportunities.
You can never work on improving your skill set enough, particularly when you know you will be entering an extremely competitive twenty-first-century marketplace when you do eventually leave the grasp of the educational establishment.
An extensive skill set could significantly enhance your job prospects or career change, or even help you in a job that you currently perform.
Continuing Education Increases Your Job Prospects
Lastly, it goes without saying that by making the decision to continue with your education, you ultimately increase your prospects of getting the best job that you can!
When it comes to applying for a job, an employer will look favorably at the time and effort you placed on continuing your education, mainly if the role you are applying for is a more concentrated and specialist area which requires such specialized knowledge.
When added to your resume, the addition of continuing education will always work in your favor, as the extra hours spent on working towards such credit will significantly boost your job prospects as well as your CV’s overall look.
With Such Advantages Comes Disadvantages
So, as you can see, when you examine the sector of continuing education in a little more detail, you can see that there are several advantages to remaining with an educational establishment and working towards gaining that extra credit.
However, this suggestion should always be weighed up alongside that of the associated costs included with doing so. Unfortunately, at this stage in your educational journey, there is less of a chance of getting away from those increasing educational costs.
By this stage, as you take the higher levels than standard, such costs are usually extremely high when compared to that of a primary degree course. Not only that, but there are also many other costs involved with continuing your education.
One of the biggest setbacks to this route is taking time out from work. There are so many people at this stage who will be relying on student grants or loans, and therefore most will have a job of some sort to fund them through this journey. The problem is, with continuing education demanding a set number of hours every week, that job often must fit around your chosen course, and not the other way around!
Thera is also extra expenses to consider such as hotel or travel costs and any attendance fees levied, not to mention any further material that may need purchasing for your courses duration.
That said, if you can see the benefits of continuing education outweighing that of the minor drawbacks mentioned, then this may just be the best decision that you take.