Why Professional Development is Important

With many people entering the job market throughout the pandemic, the workforce has become increasingly competitive. With the enhancements in technology and accessibility, professional development and lifelong learning are critical for new and experienced professionals to brush up on their current skills or to develop new ones.

Professional development refers to continuing education and career training to improve skills, remain knowledgeable on industry best practices, or advance one’s career. There are many types of professional development opportunities that you can participate in depending on your personal and professional career goals.

Here are three benefits of professional development and how you can get started today:

Expand your Knowledge Base and Keep Up with Industry Trends
With the many resources available online, there are numerous ways to increase expertise in the field and learn new practices and techniques.

  1. Read an industry-related book.
  2. Subscribe to email newsletters so you can get industry updates weekly.
  3. Watch webinars/online content presented by subject matter experts.

Boost Confidence and Credibility

In order to feel confident in one’s career, it is important to constantly enhance knowledge, skills and abilities.

  1. Obtain a certification, license, or professional designation. Many fields often require professionals to maintain their credentials through professional development opportunities such as recertification, continuing education, attending conferences, facilitating workshops, etc.
  2. Acquire new skills related to the industry. Training can open the door to a new career or increase potential earnings.

Networking Opportunities

Networking is a great way to meet industry experts and like-minded professionals. If you are interested in advancing in your career or making a complete career change, expand and foster your professional relationships.

  1. Attend a professional conference/workshop.
  2. Join a professional membership organization.
  3. Seek a mentor or job shadow a colleague.

No one can be successful without the constant need to learn or refresh their skill set. Whether it is improving technical skills, such as knowledge of programming languages, design programs, mechanical equipment, tools, etc., or expanding on interpersonal and communication skills, professionals should always be evolving and taking advantage of professional development opportunities.

Looking for a webinar you can watch right now?
Catch up on the latest UCF Alumni offerings with our library of recorded events and webinars. We’ve compiled a variety of recorded events and webinars in one place for you to enjoy at your convenience. Check out our Alumni Virtual Hub today!

UCF Alumni Professional Engagement

Whether you’re a new graduate about to be launched into the workforce or an experienced professional looking for a career transition, we’re here to help. Visit our website for more information!

About the Author

Ashley Colquhoun ’12, SHRM-CP is a human resources management and event services professional with a background in HR generalist affairs, including employee recruitment and retention, staff development and employee relations.

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