The benefits of learning new things are numerous, and let’s face it: learning for learning’s sake can be an enjoyable part of anyone’s life. In many cases, though, a professional’s time and energy are limited. Engaging in learning that shows a return on the investment (ROI) will be the best use of limited resources and can keep your career moving forward to meet even the most ambitious goals you set for yourself.
Here are some professional development trends that maximize your ROI.
1. Leadership training.
Most employees that want to advance up the ladder will see the value of leadership training to give them the skills they need to be leaders in the workplace, even if they aren’t in a leadership position yet. Career advancement is often incremental: an entry level employee may become an unofficial trainer for new employees or a team lead before making a bigger move to a management position. When this incremental change happens, it is often a test to see how the employee handles the leadership position and whether they would be likely to do well with an actual promotion. Leadership training will ensure that you are ready when the opportunity comes.
2. Combined e-learning and face-to-face experiences.
One of the drawbacks to an e-learning approach is that it can be too easy to ignore. Engagement and completion levels tend to be lower for straight e-learning courses than for face-to-face ones, but combining elements of the two can give continuing education students the best of both worlds and make sure they are keeping up with the material better than they would be when it is all online. Although a combined approach may require students to be more local than long distance, how much value does an e-learning course bring if it is never completed?
Microlearning breaks down training into tiny pieces that are easier to absorb and digest. While a full-day course can be overwhelming and result in an inability to remember the information over the long term, microlearning may only take five to 10 minutes at a time. When used with repetition and reinforcement, microlearning allows students to retain information much better and put it into practice at higher levels. Microlearning can also be integrated into the work day rather than on an employee’s off hours or by taking hours or days away from the work day.
4. Back to (paper) books.
Recent studies have shown that while students may be able to learn through online materials or digital resources, learning is improved when actual paper books are used. While screens and digital textbooks may work for low-level and basic learning tasks, paper books and materials are far superior for deeper learning and analysis, such as skill-building in order to take on a more advanced position. If students are going to spend time and money on continuing education courses, they surely want to all the benefits of learning they can. And although brand new paper textbooks can be prohibitively expensive for continuing education students, there are many options to buy used or rent textbooks that can mitigate the cost.
CCSU offers continuing education courses in many different career fields as well as multi-disciplinary courses that teach skills needed in most or all fields. View open courses to see what options we can offer that meet your continuing education needs and goals.