Benefits of Continuing Education

Are you stuck in a rut at work, doing the same job year after year with little or no hope of moving up the ladder? Do you constantly wish you could switch gears midway through your career in pursuit of that dream job? Are you the idealist who believes education is a continuous process and has an undying thirst for knowledge or the realist who just wants that promotion and the consequent increase in salary?

The situations described above may be different, but the solution to all of them is one – continuing education. The term continuing education, which includes degree credit courses amongst many other types of learning activities, is generally used to refer to education that is imparted to students who are older than the traditional age of university-going students.

According to a national survey of students in continuing education, the adult learners in both two-year and four-year college degree programs were considerably older than traditional students.

Rising Numbers

In it’s latest higher education projection, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported that the total enrollment of students who are 35 years or older in degree granting institutions is expected to increase 7 percent between 2005 and 2016.

One of the important reasons for continuing education could be the state of economy. According to an annual report by Sloan Consortium, a group of organizations dedicated to quality online education, bad economic times often have a good impact on education. It pushes working professionals to enhance their skills not just to retain their current jobs, but also to improve their chances of advancing as well as increase their employability.

Some of the common benefits of continuing education are:

• By enrolling in advanced or graduate degrees in their field, adults improve their chances of climbing up the corporate ladder and an increase in salary. There are certain specialized roles, such as nursing administration, which usually require professionals to obtain advanced degrees.

• Many people pursue an education to enhance their skills and position themselves favorably in the job market.

• Sometimes, continuing education becomes necessary if you want to switch careers and you don’t have the qualification, training, or experience to enter the new profession of your choice.

• Some adults pursue education because they have a hunger for learning. For them, education is a lifelong quest. Some pursue degree programs related to their professions, while others choose fields that they are interested in, which may or may not be related to their professions.

• For some, the reasons for continuing education have nothing to do with learning or earning. They look at it as something which will improve their image amongst friends and family.

• Successfully completing continuing education courses is known to have a positive impact on people’s self-esteem and quality of life.

Education may be a necessity for some and a passion for others. But the fact remains that for many, it may not be possible to give up a full-time job for continuing education. That’s where online degrees and distance learning programs are helpful – as they allow working adults to learn and earn at the same time.

A wise old man (or woman) once said that it’s never too late to go back to school. The greatest tribute to that age-old adage is being paid by the working adult population of our country that fights all odds to go back to school!

Continuing Education Requirements – Plan Ahead to Avoid the Last Minute Rush!

Have you completed your continuing education requirements yet this year? If you have, congratulations on planning ahead! If not, now is the time to start looking for classes so that you don’t find yourself scrambling for hours at the last minute. Waiting until the last minute to take care of mandatory CE can be very stressful and counterproductive.

If you work in a field that requires continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure, you know how important it is to complete mandatory training in a timely manner. When you find yourself having to complete most, or even all, of your continuing education hours in a short period of time, you often end up having to sign up for expensive classes that cover subjects that don’t interest you at all. This defeats the purpose of continuing education, and causes you to spend valuable time taking classes that aren’t likely to benefit you.

How to Avoid the Last Minute Crunch for CE

The best way to make sure that you don’t find yourself short on CE hours when it is time to reapply for your professional license is to develop a plan for working the training you need into your schedule throughout the year.

For example, Alabama nurses have to earn 24 hours of continuing education credit every two years. It makes sense for nurses in Alabama to plan on taking 12 hours each year. Depending on work schedules and class availability, it is a good idea, if this is your requirement, to take an average of three hours of continuing education credit every quarter.

It is much easier to find three hours of approved continuing education training in a three month period than it is to find up to 24 hours in the last month or two before your license renewal application is due.

The best way of scheduling your continuing education classes depends partially on the ebb and flow of your work schedule. Most nurses have similar schedules year round, so it is logical for them to try to spread their classes out evenly each quarter.

Accountants, however, deal with the huge rush of tax season in the winter and spring, so it makes more sense for them to concentrate on completing continuing education requirements during the summer and fall months.

Heating Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractors tend to be the busiest during the warmest and coldest months of the year, so it makes sense for them to schedule their HVAC CE classes during the mildest months, when their workloads aren’t likely to be as hectic as the rest of the year.

Whatever your profession, and regardless of the number of continuing education credits you must complete to renew your license, it is not in your best interest to put off taking your classes until the last minute. If you can spread your CE requirements out evenly through the year, or plan to take classes during times when your workload is at its lightest, you will be much stressed out when it is time to renew your license.

Professional Continuing Education Is Important In Many Fields

As the world continues to get more complex, careers are becoming more specialized and require continuing education credits to remain in good standing. This is especially true in the medical fields although many professions and professional organizations also demand their members to continue to develop the skills necessary for today’s changing environments.

Almost any field of study that takes a great deal of study to become a recognized member will require continuing education. From engineering, medical nurses and doctors, respiratory therapists, quality managers and many others all are expected to maintain a level of education consistent with the field of knowledge. The reason behind this is to have professionals who have not only maintained but also developed and learned new techniques and skill sets. This is critical in much of the more complex business world.

Quality engineers and managers focus on competence and techniques that not only allow for the lowest cost products to be developed but also understand the trade-offs between cost and quality.

CPA’s or certified public accountants, need to keep up with the latest laws and be up to date with many of the sometimes arcane accounting principles. Teachers and nursing are two other fields that also require continuing education to remain active in the profession.

Although a good education in many of the professional fields can provide a solid understanding of the industry no matter if it be financial, medical, industrial, or scientific. Ongoing competence in any of these fields however requires an ongoing process of continuing education. Continuing education is necessary for the professional to remain up to date with the latest techniques and knowledge base in the field of study.

Typically continuing education translates into a certain number of course credit hours for the professional every so many years. These additional education credits are sometimes mandatory when renewing government controlled certifications like a teaching certificate. Although some groups do not make the ongoing educational process mandatory, almost all provide an opportunity to obtain the educational credits through sponsored classes, seminars, and online “CBT” or computer based training.

In order to stay professional and remain in good standing wit many of the recognized professional organizations ongoing continuing education is critical for a professional career. The small investment in additional training can go a long way to keeping skills fresh and increasing the competence level of any professional.

Continuing Education – The Benefits of Taking Night Classes

Are you considering night classes at a local college, because this is the only free time you have? Another option to consider is online night classes, which can be done from the comfort of your own home. Regardless, here are some of the top benefits of taking night classes for higher education:

  • Night classes may have a smaller pool of students, according to Career Lifestyle Journal, which means a better ratio of student to teachers.
  • According to the same report, a large percent of nighttime students are working adults, which give them the opportunity to socialize and network in their own age group.
  • Students can still make a living while completing higher education and securing a competitive advantage.

Some of the disadvantages of taking night classes include sleep debt, which could directly affects one’s health. This is especially true if the student works a full time job during the daytime. Nevertheless, it’s imperative that students reserve 6-8 hours of sleep daily and go for annual checkups with their physician. This is feasible through discipline and a set routine. As an example, college students can follow these strategies:

Remove Distractions – such as social media and the constant beeps of technology. You may still want to stay in touch with family and friends, and this can be narrowed down to a few minutes that are set each day. This can improve your job performance as well. Remember, the better you perform, the more likely you will be to be recognized by employers.

Set a Schedule – and stick to this. Do you get off at 5 pm and reach home by 6? This is a random example, however dinner, shower and then bed can be scheduled until 6 hours later. Getting up in the middle of the night to take night classes may seem infeasible at first, but students with a goal to make a better life will find this to be more of a routine in the long run.

Remember Goals – if you’re feeling weary about nighttime classes, remember the long-term benefits of these short term sacrifices.

Forbes magazine and Career Builder both have studies agreeing that college graduates earn an estimated $1 million dollars more than high school graduates over their lifetime. In addition, college graduates are most likely to be chosen over those with a high school diploma alone. This is because online business degree holders are regarded as owning more skillsets and critical thinking skills, which are essential in the workplace.

Registered Nursing Continuing Education

The completion of two to four years of education, with an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree, is a basic requirement to become a Registered Nurse. The field of nursing is wide open, because of a shotage of muc needed nurses in hospitals and other venues across the country and the world.

There are many types of courses and providers available. The common goal of these courses is to prepare the future nurses for initial entry into practice and RN licensure [procedure of which differs from state to state in the US] and work their way up the professional ladder.

The candidates should complete a minimum number of hours of CE courses to qualify for licensure. They are also expected to pass the NCLEX-RN® examination. This examination measures the competencies needed to practice nursing safely and effectively as a newly licensed entry-level RN. NCLEX-RN® is used by Boards of Nursing all over the US and its territories.

If a nursing aspirant had her education abroad, she has to take the RNCGFNS, which provides a certification platform and includes a test of English proficiency, and an examination designed to prepare for the NCLEX-RN® examination. The CGFNS certificate program, which is only available for RN candidates, is well-established and serves as a requirement by 42 Boards of Nursing.

The Florida Nurses Association says in the home page of its official website http://www.floridanurse.org, ‘Nursing is not a job. It is a profession requiring specialized knowledge and skills’. A Continuing Education program is the best way to acquire this.