On-going learning and professional development have been attracting a lot of attention of both employers and employees as well as job seekers. And there is a simple explanation for the rapidly growing interest in further education, certificate programmes, professional training, seminars, etc. Skills and knowledge acquired in secondary and higher education are no longer enough to find or keep a job nor for businesses to successfully compete with multinationals from the emerging markets. On-going learning and professional development are thus in both the employers’ and employees’ interest.
Greater employability. A growing number of employers are not only seeking highly skilled and highly educated labour force. They are also seeking for knowledgeable and skilled individuals who are prepared to continue to learn and develop. On-going learning and professional development can thus significantly increase one’s employment opportunities.
Increased chances for promotion and higher salary. By taking part in further education, certificate programme or other form of professional development, you can get more specialised knowledge/skills which in turn can dramatically increase your ‘value’ in the eyes of your employer. As a result, you are more likely to be promoted or ‘motivated’ in some other way including by a higher salary.
Increased flexibility and adaptability. We are living in a world that is dominated by ‘cut-throat’ competition and rapid changes, both of which require a high level of flexibility and adaptability. On-going learning and professional development enable you to both keep up with the changes and adapt to new realities. These among other things also include a shift to more flexible and part-time work arrangements which, while increasing job insecurity, also offer new opportunities. But only for those who are flexible and adaptable.
Personal satisfaction. It feels good to learn something new or deepen one’s knowledge. Besides increasing you value in the labour market, on-going learning and professional development thus also offer a high level of personal satisfaction, making you a more pleasant person to both live and work with.
Improved performance, productivity and competitiveness. A growing number of businesses are encouraging their employees to take part in professional development because it has been shown that better educated and trained workers perform better. Likewise, more educated and skilled workers are more productive, helping their firm increase both profit and competitiveness.