Office of Continuing Education

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December 3rd, 2018

Graphic with an upward yellow arrow and the words professional development.

Taking courses for professional development can lead to a promotion or other benefits.

Professional development must continue long after you land your first job if you want to remain relevant and valuable to your employer, as well as have opportunities to advance. Here are the top professional development skills that can enhance your career.

1. Communication skills.

How you communicate with co-workers and supervisors has everything to do with how you are perceived in the workplace and your ability to get the job done. Communication skills is a broad category that includes listening, speaking, writing, and leadership or management abilities, all of which employers value and look for as they promote from within. A good deal of communication is non-verbal, and researchers now have lots of information about how body language can often say more than your words and can impact how others respond to you.

2. Problem-solving skills.

There are always problems to solve in a professional career, and being able to do so effectively takes critical thinking skills, flexibility, and the emotional intelligence to consider others’ viewpoints in addition to your own. Professionals with good problem-solving skills will be seen as effective in their jobs and good team players who can make even the most impossible-seeming situations work out well.

3. Organization and planning skills.

If you want to get a lot done at work and demonstrate that you are highly productive, you need good organization and planning skills to help you maximize productivity and avoid doing things the long and inefficient way. Organization is more than just keeping a calendar or planning out your day; there is much to learn about how to be organized in the workplace.

Classroom with students.

You can learn many valuable professional skills through continuing education courses.

4. Management skills.

Even if you aren’t in management, learning management skills can allow you to take leadership positions within your position and be a pathway to advancement. Learning how to manage people also teaches you about yourself and can be a boost to other skills like communication and emotional intelligence, and improve your value to an employer even if no advancement opportunity presents itself right away.

5. Having a positive attitude and service mindset.

A positive attitude not only makes you someone people want to be around, it can also help you perform better at your job. Looking to serve others, from customers to co-workers, helps maintain a good attitude and is also highly effective, preventing many problems (such as the “that’s not my job” mentality). Even leaders can have a serving attitude and are usually highly respected when they do.

While it may seem like many of the skills you need for professional development are not ones you can learn in a course, there are actually many continuing education courses that teach these skills and help you to develop them. CCSU offers many courses on both technical and soft skills that can foster professional development and growth as you progress in your career.  View all our open courses to see what we can offer you as a professional.