Career-Building Education Is Essential: Here are three ways to fit it into your busy life
It’s no secret that the working world is in a state of flux. The “what, where, and how” of jobs is shifting. In fact, the World Economic Forum’s January 2016 report, “The Future of Jobs,” estimates that in the five years between 2015 and 2020, an average of 35 percent of core skill sets needed for most jobs will change. In some industries, such as financial services and infrastructure, skills that are not considered part of today’s core skill set will comprise more than 40 percent of tomorrow’s jobs.
In this environment, employees have to find an efficient path towards the qualifications they need. As Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, Dean, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, puts it, “It’s not enough to train and get qualified once to build a successful career. Increasingly, jobs of every type require employees to build their skills continuously. Fortunately, educational institutions have responded by making it easier to add strategically to your skills, choosing precisely what you need so you get the best return on your educational investment.”
Fit career-building education into your busy life with these three strategies:
1. PREPARE FOR EMERGING TRENDS WITH A SHORT, NARROWLY FOCUSED COURSE SERIES
Course series are a very flexible model for people who want to equip themselves for the future of their work. Comprising of courses in a defined area of knowledge or skill, the open admission, open enrolment course series at The Chang School lead to lifeeither a Professional Development Award or Academic Achievement Award and are an efficient way to acquire marketable skills in a specialized area, such as Computer Programming for Game Developers, Entering Foreign Markets, and Social Media Practices and Reputation Management. One-on-one coaching modules and hands-on master classes from the Experiential Learning Exchange (ELX) are another way to get exactly what you need, quickly.
2. FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CAREER BY BUILDING SKILLS FOR THE SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM
Certificate programs provide relevant, targeted credentials without the time required to complete a degree, and they offer more depth than a course series. Look for certificate programs that build skills for the short term and long term at the same time. One new offering at The Chang School addresses emerging opportunities in the public and private sector with a Certificate in Local Economic Development. Importantly, beyond developing immediate expertise, the certificate is geared towards developing transferable skills in areas such as creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, and collaboration and flexibility.
3. GET A TECHNICAL, TACTICAL SKILLS UPGRADE
When you need to upgrade technical skills, seek out programs that can serve as stepping stones towards other goals. For example, the Certificate in Advanced Accounting at The Chang School provides in-demand technical skills in managerial accounting, finance, taxation, and accounting information systems, and develops broad competencies in analyzing, identifying and prioritizing issues, evaluating alternatives, and making appropriate recommendations that are feasible, ethical, and professionally sound. In addition, the courses are applicable to the CPA preparatory course requirements and count towards an Accounting Minor or Finance Minor in the School of Business Management. Study once, and use the credits wherever you need them.
WHY MAKE LIFELONG LEARNING A PRIORITY?
“In a knowledge-driven economy, skills are currency,” says Bountrogianni. “Backed by the credentials that come from education — whether it’s a degree, a certificate, or a course series — it’s skills that make a job candidate stand out and an employee indispensable. And, with the skills required in many jobs changing so rapidly, lifelong learning is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ It’s essential for long-term career success.”