Not everyone links learning with an adult lifestyle. But more and more people are realising the benefits of continual learning, even after school has finished. Here, we’ll look at the benefits of continual learning for career progression. We’ll also show you some ways that you can start your journey of continual learning to advance your career. These include adult learning through professional development and adult training, through an adult education course.
The benefits of continual adult learning
Ensures future employability
Continual learning helps people stay in paid employment and reduces unemployment. Also known as upskilling or adult learning, continual learning helps employees get the skills that they need to remain relevant. Continual learning also helps protect employees against loss of employment. Whether their company shuts down or their role becomes redundant, upskilling helps people regain employment after losing a job.
Helps you seize new opportunities
Research shows that Australians change their careers several times throughout their lives, and that future generations will continue this trend. Continual learning, whether in the form of professional development or adult training, helps build vital soft skills that can be used to side-step into alternative careers and industries.
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Soft skills, also known as transferable skills, include; creative and critical thinking, communication and presentation skills, problem solving and skills with technology. The research cited above shows that these skills will become more and more important in the future, and will also help keep people relevant in the workplace, minimising unemployment and redundancy in the face of increased automation.
Continual learning can also increase your earning potential, especially through adult education courses. With a new qualification like a diploma, you gain a higher skill level and the ability to do higher-level roles, like managerial roles. Even if you are over 45, studying is still the number one option for advancing your career and increase your salary.
Gives your company a professional edge
Continual learning is as good for employers as it is for employees. By upskilling employees, businesses bring more skills and knowledge to their team. Those skills and knowledge can also be passed on to other team members. Companies also give their company a professional edge against competitors, improve their efficiency, and become more attractive to future employees because they show that they care about their employees. Hiring new staff is very expensive, which is why businesses get a much better return-on-investment by funding professional development like adult education courses.
Boosts job satisfaction
While there are many practical reasons to make continual learning a part of your life, there is one little-recognised benefit. Continual learning is linked to job satisfaction, meaning that people who do adult training or other professional development enjoy their jobs and stay employed for longer. This is because employees feel more competent in their jobs, and feeling more competent minimises stress and increases wellbeing. This also makes employees feel valued, and less fearful of losing their jobs.
How to start continual learning
Adult education courses
Not a lot of people want to drop what they’re doing to go back to school. Similarly, not a lot of people have the time or funds to do so. But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss adult learning altogether.
Adult training such as online diplomas give you the flexibility to fit your studies around your life, not the other way around. For example, the online diplomas offered at College for Adult Learning can be completed in your own time, whether that be after work or before dropping the kids at school. With their generous completion periods of 24 months, you don’t have to meet unreasonable deadlines, attend classes, or make huge changes to your daily routine.
Not sure what course to study? Read our tips on choosing the right course for you.
- Benchmark the job market: Browse the internet for current job ads for your position. What skills are they asking for that you don’t have? Take note of these skills and look for opportunities to develop them.
- Stay on top of technology: Industries such as construction and health care (to name just a couple!) are being radically transformed by technology. Take the time to learn or implement new systems that can maximise efficiency in your everyday tasks.
- Read: Keep up-to-date with the knowledge-exchange in your industry. Set aside some time every week to brush up.
- Get involved: Take advantage of coaching and mentoring opportunities that come your way. Participate in workshops, panels, conferences and events.