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Five Tips For Getting The Most Out of Professional Development

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The technological workforce is constantly evolving. To keep pace, today’s technical professionals need to regularly upskill through continuing professional education.

“As we enter a future where skills are changing at an accelerated pace, upskilling becomes crucial to staying job-relevant,” Raghav Gupta, managing director of India and APAC for Coursera, told Vogue India

A survey from Talent500 by ANSR, which received responses from 20,000 technical professionals in India, found that 98% of respondents are currently upskilling to stay relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic

While upskilling can advance your career, you’ll want to make sure you do it the right way. Start now by taking short courses that augment the skills you already possess. You’ll also want to choose a course that teaches an in-demand skill employers are looking for in candidates. At the same time, make sure the topic is of genuine interest to you. 

While there are plenty of prestigious colleges and universities that offer online degrees, there is also an endless number of continuing education courses for adults who just want to update their skills. However, it is important that the course you choose is accredited. Usually, this information can be found on a course’s website.

Once you have found a suitable course, here are five tips that will help you get the most out of your professional development.

Professional Development Tips

Think of Upskilling As Your New Full Time Job: If you don’t currently have a full-time job, learning new skills should take the place of one. Schedule time for continuing professional education courses into your daily routine. This will not only help you build new skills, it will also ensure that you maintain structure in your day. 

Determine an Objective for What You’re Looking to Accomplish Through Professional Development: Many online learning programs come with objectives, but they may not suit your needs or capabilities. Instead, make sure you set your own objective for what you want to achieve and stick with it.

Designate a Learning Space: Before you begin, make sure you have a quiet, private space where you can learn uninterrupted. Also, be sure to have plenty of snacks and drinks at hand in your learning space so you can limit the amount of time you spend on breaks. Although you don’t want too many distractions nearby, it will help to reduce the number of times you break your focus by leaving your study space. Additionally, stock your learning space with supplies you might need for your online course, like paper and pens, so you won’t have to stop the program to look for them. 

Retain What You’ve Learned: Make sure what you learn during the course sticks with you after it’s over. There are a number of techniques that can help you retain what you learn. For example, spaced repetition is a learning method where learning is spread out over intervals instead of a single lesson. Immediately applying what you learned to a current work project is another great way to retain your new skills. Additionally, getting a full night’s sleep will improve your memory, so you can better learn and retain new skills.

The IEEE Learning Network

The IEEE Learning Network (ILN) has provided continuing education to technical professionals from around the world since its launch in July 2019. With hundreds of hours of learning offered from 25 course providers, ILN offers the latest in continuing education for engineers and technology professionals who want to advance professionally, refresh their skills, or stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

The platform provides users the ability to: 

  • Search through hundreds of online educational offerings from IEEE
  • Access a transcript of in-progress and completed courses
  • Earn professional development hours (PDHs) and continuing education units (CEUs) on many courses
  • Learn what’s new in the world of continuing education at IEEE
  • Earn digital certificates immediately, then view and print on demand
  • Complete dynamic assessments to test knowledge of course content

Start learning today! Visit iln.ieee.org

Resources

(6 July 2020). Indian professionals focus on upskilling for perfect career opportunity in post COVID-19 world: Survey. Business Insider.

Sacher, Anjan. (29 June 2020). What is upskilling, and why do you need to know about it right now. Vogue India.

Wood, Charlie. (1 May 2020). 10 tips for learning new skills successfully during lockdown, whether you’re seeking a degree or just a way to pass the time. Business Insider.

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