There are many benefits to furthering your education, undertaking extra qualifications and embarking on more training opportunities. You may feel, however, that they are not necessary as you already have a job or a degree. However, with the increasing competitiveness in many fields and industries, having more qualifications can help to set your application apart from the rest. If you are looking to change career and need to retrain or are wanting to further your passion and interest in your job, then undertaking the different kinds of further education options could help you achieve your aims.
What are the options?
When it comes to progressing your education beyond your current level, there are many different options to choose from. Some roles, such as medicine, require you to hold a specific level of qualification, while others allow you to learn on the job. One popular option is a master’s degree, which is typically completed after you have done your bachelor’s degree. However, there are different kinds of master’s degrees, depending on the subject you are studying.
For example, when thinking about Public Safety degrees, there are four different types of master’s courses that you could study. These are:
- MBA- this is a Master of Business Administration, and it is popular with those who wish to hold management or leadership roles. MBAs are concerned with topics such as business ethics, organizational behaviour and management. Graduates work in a range of settings such as financial or healthcare organizations.
- MPA- this is a Master of Public Administration and is concerned with different areas of government and leadership. When studying an MPA you will learn about the development, management and implementation of policy, and can work in settings including nonprofits as directors, or in management consulting. The main difference between the MBA and the MPA is the focus toward the area in which you would like to gain the leadership skills to allow you to apply for jobs in those fields. In the former, the focus is on business and management and in the latter, public and nonprofit sectors.
- Master of Arts in Police Studies- this course is for police officers, in which students learn about social justice, crime and forensics.
- MPS- this is a Master of Public Safety, and this degree combines the best of the previous three. It is for those who want to work in high-ranking public safety roles, as it combines crime reduction, leadership skills and policy analysis, preparing you to work in a role that aligns with one of the four pillars of Public Safety Canada. These are emergency management, countering crime, border strategies and national security.
These are only a few of the further education and qualification options available within a specific industry or field, and you will need to research the levels of experience and qualification that your dream job requires you to hold.
Who is it for?
Anyone can further their education, for personal or professional reasons, or a combination of both. If you are looking to change careers, master’s degrees or online programs can be a great way to do this, as you can choose a course that is flexible and works around your existing commitments. Furthermore, you can bring you prior experiences to your new studies, which can offer new perspectives and the chance to build upon skills you already have. Some jobs require specific qualifications, and therefore you will need to plan out your educational journey towards achieving these career goals. It is important to plan ahead, but keep an open mind, as you may find that your aims or goals change, and you may become interested in different subjects or areas.
What are the benefits?
There are plenty of benefits to furthering your education and training, and these can be personal and professional. If you are considering taking a master’s degree, or other type of educational course, it could provide you with great experiences and opportunities, as well as the chance to grow as a person and meet others who are interested in the same fields as you.
When it comes to further education after school or college, there are so many different courses to choose from and you will be able to find your perfect fit. It is very common to study completely or partially online as this makes the courses more accessible and flexible, but this will of course depend on the subject you are studying. In addition to the different subjects and courses, there is the chance to choose from a range of styles of learning and levels of qualification, so that you can pursue the exact qualification that you need. In general, higher levels of education can provide you with more freedom, helping you make your learning experience as flexible and tailored as you require, with online courses, short courses, part-time learning and full-time learning all common options.
Another one of the benefits of furthering your education is the huge range of opportunities that may become available to you when you are studying at an educational institution. As well as the increased job opportunities, you will also have more chances to interact with fellow students and industry professionals. You may not have access to these kinds of events or people outside of an academic environment, and opportunities may also be more frequent.
In general, with a higher level of qualifications comes higher level jobs, and they often have higher salaries. In this way, further education may be a worthy investment. There are also certain jobs and professions that require specific qualifications, so it important to look at the educational requirements of roles and jobs that you want to work in, to make sure you can plan accordingly so that you are actually qualified to apply for these roles. With a master’s level degree, you could be earning around 40-47% more than your undergraduate counterparts.
In many professions, you need to be willing to constantly learn and adapt, and having a master’s degree shows employers that you are able to learn and are passionate about taking on new information. The medical and technological industries are good examples of this, as technology and ideas are always changing and advancing. Those working in these fields need to be willing to learn constantly and be able to take on new information efficiently. This keeps them at the forefront of the industry. If you are interested in career progression, then a master’s degree could be a stepping-stone on your journey to reaching your ultimate career or educational goal.
How should you study?
With so many courses to choose from, there are also many different ways to study. One of the most flexible and popular options is to take an online course. Depending on the subject and institution, you may be able to study completely online, or the course may use blended learning. This is a combination of online study and in-person learning. Online courses are beneficial for many different reasons. They can help to lower the costs of education, making it more affordable for many people.
When it comes to studying, there are plenty of costs that accompany it, such as tuition, rent, travel and living costs. With online courses, many of these costs can be reduced or even completely removed, and you may also have the option to study alongside your job, which means that you can continue to earn money while you learn. The tuition fees for some online courses may also be cheaper, and you could still be eligible for financial support and student discounts.
Furthermore, online learning gives you the opportunity to develop important personal skills. On top of the technical skills you will learn on your course, there are a set of personal, transferrable skills called soft skills, that can also be developed. These include traits such as communication, teamwork, self-motivation and conflict resolution, and help you thrive in the workplace. For example, organization and time management are soft skills that you will be using throughout your online studies, especially if you are working alongside your course. You will need to be focused and motivated, and be able to schedule your time in order to complete you course and any other tasks you have. This will provide you with practical examples of times when you have used these skills that you can give to employers in an interview.
There are plenty of benefits to furthering your education, and it can be a worthy investment. You will have the chance to develop both personally and professionally, as well as have access to opportunities and resources that you may not have had access to outside of an educational environment. It can help to plan ahead if you are sure of your career goals, so that you understand the path you need to take. However, you can also choose to pursue an area of study just for the enjoyment, or because you are passionate about the subject. Furthering your education gives you the chance to delve deeper into a subject and broaden your knowledge and skillset.