(BPT) - As 2019 comes to an end, it marks a time of new possibilities and change. While some might get the itch to tackle a new challenge or hobby, many adults use this time to reflect on their current job and what might be next for their career path.
The good news is that with today's competitive job market and new educational models, now may be the perfect time to go back to school to advance your career.
This article, presented by Capella University, lists five key reasons why:
1. We're experiencing a strong, competitive job market.
The fall season is typically the final hiring period of the year and, therefore, the last opportunity to fill any remaining positions, as well as to create positions for the new year. This presents the perfect time for you to explore new opportunities.
If you are already at an organization, open positions may present an opportunity for you to step up and fill a new role in your current organization. Show your employer that you are capable to take on new responsibilities and are well deserving of a promotion.
2. Flexible learning options are growing.
Don't let the fear of student loans or your busy schedule stop you from advancing your career. Not only do many institutions provide professionally aligned online degree programs, but some design different learning models that benefit working adults.
For example, in addition to the traditional model available at most colleges, Capella University offers a flexible format called FlexPath that allows students to set their own deadlines and move through course work at their own pace, saving time and tuition dollars. This model makes a lot of sense for educators looking to go back for their master's in education. When students have the ability to adapt their courses to meet their busy schedule, they're able to complete their studies on their time. Capella's MEd FlexPath students have also expressed that programs like these meet them where they are, so they can continue learning and improving their craft.
3. Trainings and degree programs have an impact on earning potential and employability.
Workforce training and new credentials at any stage in your career can build your experience and impact your salary. Even polishing up soft skills can improve your employability. A study conducted in 2016 found that soft skills training can boost productivity and deliver higher employee retention. Today's employers have recognized that these traits, like interpersonal communication, time management, and problem solving, are essential qualities and something they look for when hiring and promoting.
4. Many employers are supporting their employees' continued education.
Right now, organizations across all sectors are looking for new ways to train their employees. Amazon recently expanded its postsecondary training programs to retrain 100,000 of its employees for jobs they hold and for their future.
Additionally, organizations are partnering with higher education providers to bring the best training to their employees. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) offers an opportunity to its dealership employees to earn a customized degree through the Degrees@Work program at no cost. With these programs on the rise, don't be afraid to ask your HR manager about what kinds of tuition assistance and other on-the-job training benefits are available to you.
5. It will bring you more happiness and fulfillment.
In the most recent Deloitte Shift Index on worker passion, only 13 percent of respondents exhibited all three attributes of worker passion: commitment to domain, questing, and connecting dispositions. All workers deserve better, and focusing on learning and development can help turn that around. The World Happiness Report found that people who have experienced longer years of education often experience increased employability, job security and faster promotion, all of these factors being conductive to higher happiness.
If you're on the fence about advancing your career or pursuing a new training or degree, consider all the benefits that it could bring you. Don't let another day pass you by. As the leaves change, so can you.