Monday, January 26, 2015

Confronting The Stigma of Continuing Education

It's difficult to remove the idea from our minds that people who return to school after completing their post-secondary education were somehow unable to "make it" in the real world, or are delaying entry into it. The reality is that it's a harmful stereotype, born out of outdated ideas about the economy and job market. The world we live in now is different than the previous generation, and continuing education programs are both helpful, and sometimes necessary for your career. Here's a look at some hard facts that conflict with these notions we have, and why Continuing Education in Toronto is actually a positive move.

The traditional school to job model doesn't work anymore
The idea, like many of these misconceptions, is rooted in the educational and career experience of the Boomer generation (those born in the 1950's), where such a thing was possible. At the time, a post-secondary education wasn't actually seen as the norm, so getting one was that thing that would make you stand out in the job market, and achieve career success. Given the influence of that generation, it's hard not to take their viewpoints as timeless truths. But it's a different economy and a different job market now, and a post-secondary education is no longer special in and of itself, being more so a mandatory thing almost everyone does. Standing out in the current market requires a little bit more, and con-ed can provide you with that extra boost in qualification.

Even if you did go directly school-to-job, education may still be needed
Another holdover from a different time that's no longer true today is the idea that education ends once you have that job, and anything else you need can be learned on the fly. In reality, con-ed can also be used for career upgrading and upkeep. Technology changes at a faster rate in the 21st century than the 20th, and what you learned in school may no longer be as relevant to the job you're in as you like. Pretty much every position uses a computer nowadays, and social media is inevitably creeping into every company. Knowing how to use these things effectively will become the key to keeping your current job, and picking up new skills and knowledge is the key to advancement. This becomes doubly important if you work in the technology or engineering sector, where technological advancement is grandfathered into your profession. The main idea is that further education is both necessary and inevitable.

You should never stop learning
Even if you've found a job, and are secure in it, that's no reason to stop your learning. Picking up new skills will always benefit you, and you can take con-ed programs for other languages, car repair, writing, and all sorts of other things outside your career. It'll better you as a person, keep your mind spinning into your later years, and provide you with useful life skills.

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