Growing Your Career: Continuing education pays off

Growing Your Career
Continuing education pays off

by Carolyn White, Client Service Manager, Acclivity Healthcare

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Time is money.” This is certainly true when you apply it to your education. It’s a fact – the more time you put into your education, the more money you’re likely to make. The U.S. Census Bureau surveys show that those with college degrees make around $45,400 a year while people with only high school diplomas make about $25,900 annually.

Going back to school to get your degree definitely pays off. But what if you already have your degree? No matter what your field, it’s critical to make yourself as highly valued as possible. Continuing your education can allow you to add new skills to your resume, making you more desirable to potential employers as well as your current one. In a tough job market, in particular, increased levels of expertise can help you stand out among other job-seekers. And should you change careers, additional education is almost always necessary.

There are many certificate programs available that can help you increase your knowledge as well as your portfolio. We’ve put together a list of in-demand professional certificate programs, some are industry-specific, while others can help ignite careers in a variety of fields. The majority of professional certificate programs are for people who are already working in their field and are not for people with limited work experience or who are just out of high school.

Professional Project Management – Project managers can be found in just about any company or industry that has projects, from information technology to construction to government. While PMP certification, administered by the Project Management Institute, is now an expectation for project managers, it has become a bragging right for anyone who has managerial duties.

Foreign Language – In many careers, especially customer service, knowing more than one language can provide a major career boost. Proving you’re proficient in those languages is easier with a certificate of foreign languages. There are many tests and certificates offered through local community colleges or online courses.

Desktop Support Administration – IT support specialists have a wide variety of certifications that can expand their portfolio of skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re not in a computer-related field. Even if you’re working in a general support position, having a Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Administrator certification can be a big plus. The certification provides the knowledge to install, maintain and manage the Windows 7 Desktop operating system.

Professional Sales – You may not be able to find a college degree in sales, but many certificate programs can give you the knowledge and experience to prepare for a career selling goods and services. Many of these programs are industry-specific. While there are nearly as many professional sales certificates as there are professions, the National Association of Sales Professionals is a place for sales generalists to get started.

Web Design and Development – Nearly every business has an online presence so there are many opportunities for professionals who design, develop and maintain company websites. For people who don’t want to specialize as Web designers or developers, but may occasionally pitch in to help with web-related tasks, there are many certificate programs. Your local college may even have online courses available.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant – If you have general skills and experience but don’t have the time or money to get a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in a healthcare field, there are certificate programs that can provide a boost to your healthcare career. A certified clinical medical assistant understands clinical and laboratory procedures, as well as many administrative roles. For anyone with an administrative background, CCMA programs can open doors for working in a variety of clinical areas.