If you’re serious about developing your career and bettering yourself, consider this.
When you consider options for continuing education, you may not immediately think of post-baccalaureate certifications. I’m currently in the online data analytics certificate program at Cornell University. At the end of this program, I will have obtained a certificate to demonstrate my competency in the field. But there’s more to it: I’ve interacted with people whom I would never have met otherwise: CEOs, entrepreneurs, healthcare workers, and even people in the food and hospitality industry. For me, coming from a software engineering background, meeting this variety of people is fascinating and motivating. These new connections are not only from around the world and various different industries, but they are all intent on cultivating their career. What’s more, the program directly encourages communication and interaction between students. This is the hidden benefit of independently pursuing further education, besides the certificate itself.
Unlike in college, post-graduate education can expose you to like-minded students who may already have successful careers. They are carving out time to study on top of their work hours and responsibilities because they know what it will mean for their company and their career. There are people I like to surround myself with.
For certificate programs, fortunately, there is usually no test to take, no essay to write, and no admissions team to brave. Yes, for the more technical subjects you must prove that you fulfill certain prerequisites, but besides this, you simply pay and begin. Additionally, some institutions allow these certificates to fulfill coursework for a graduate degree.
Even after finishing college I haven’t stopped learning. If I’m not working, I’m doing something to further my career and my knowledge, like listening to an audiobook, podcast, or language learning program. If I’m awake, I’m putting that time to good use. One of my language tutors asked me recently to explain in the target language what the last movie I watched was–and I couldn’t think of one. My new intensity to not let a day go by without purpose has meant that I have less time for leisure. I am growing, building discipline, and working hard. I’m developing myself, and in the process, I am finding more motivation to continue doing so. May there never be a day where you stop learning.