We no longer live in a world where the learning opportunities available to us are determined by where we live and who we work for.
You need to put up some new shelves? There’s a YouTube video for that.
School starts tomorrow and your tamariki need emergency haircuts? Check wikiHow.
Uh oh – you need to learn how to fix a bad haircut? Google it – you’ll get 8,190,000 results in 0.54 seconds!
Of course, there’s a flipside to having a world of information at our fingertips. We’re expected to know more. We’re expected to keep pace with accelerating technological advancements. We’re expected to keep moving forward. For employers, standing still is no longer enough.
While we can teach ourselves certain skills using online guides and tutorials, Google doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to professional development. As a result, the education sector is seeing an increasing demand for bite-sized learning opportunities that help learners gain new skills or formal recognition of existing skills.
For example, micro-credentials are becoming a popular choice for learners in the workforce. Micro-credentials focus on the development of specific industry knowledge and workplace skills. This kind of learning is a great option for those who work with rapidly changing technology, need to train on the job, or want to gain credit for skills they already have.
Short online courses that target specific skills, like short IT Certification Training courses, are also increasingly valuable to employees looking for low-investment, high-return learning opportunities.
Here are a five reasons why you should consider getting your skills certified:
Get formal recognition of your skills.
Just like we need a driving licence to prove we have the skills to drive, we need formal recognition of our professional achievements to showcase our skillset to current and future employers.
For example, the IT training courses TANZ eCampus offers lead to a certification, while our micro-credentials courses lead to the award of Open Badges. Open Badges are online certifications which are stored in an online profile, allowing learns to instantly share their achievements with employesr, colleagues, and professional networks.
Sharing your professional achievements online can really increase your marketability to future employers. According to LinkedIn, “Members with 5 or more skills listed are contacted up to 33 times more by recruiters and other LinkedIn members, and receive up to 17 times more profile views.” If you’re looking for work, these are statistics you don’t want to ignore.
Of course, getting certified also adds massive weight to negotiations for career advancement and wage increases. The outcome of these meetings can come down to an your ability to demonstrate your value to the organisation you work for, and professional development provides concrete evidence of your career progression.
Show you’re committed to learning new skills
All employers want their organisation to move forward, and the driving force behind the success of any organisation is a skilled workforce.
Even professionals who have reached their career goals need to demonstrate their commitment to staying on top.
In making a commitment to your own professional development through online learning, you’re sending a clear message to your employer: I care about the future of this organisation, and I’m willing to take active steps towards our shared success.
Keep your expertise current
Technology is evolving at an ever-increasing rate, with new tools and software quickly making old versions redundant. Of course, you can’t complete an entire qualification every time a new version of the software you use is released – and that’s where IT Certification courses come in. Short online professional development courses are the best way to keep pace with the latest technological developments, ensuring you’re never on the back foot.
If you want your tech skills to count to your current and future employers, you need to make sure that the learning materials you’re using are current, trustworthy, developed by experts, and lead to a credential.
Become a catalyst for positive change
Employers know that a workplace can become an echo chamber in which the same ideas are bounced around until eventually everyone seems to agree on…well…everything. While this sounds like a recipe for a harmonious place of work, this can come at the expense of innovation, as new ideas and opposing opinions are drowned out by the status quo.
This is where professional development becomes incredibly valuable. Throw some new ideas, strategies, and areas of skill into the mix, and things start moving forward again.
What’s more, when one employee comes back to the workplace with a new micro–credentials badge or certification, it can create a positive ripple effect, leading to a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.
With the world changing as quickly as it is, we’ve got to be open to the idea that learning doesn’t finish when we throw away our high school textbooks or finish further study.
In order to be competitive players, we need to commit to lifelong learning, to brushing up on new skills, to learning about new technologies as they enter our professional spheres.
That’s how we’ll continue to move forward, innovate, achieve, and keep things moving forward for our industry, our employers, our whānau, our iwi and our communities.