Continuous Learning Requires Planning and Setting Personal Goals
Everyone needs to sit down at some point in his life and write down his personal continuing education goals. These goals must be interwoven within short term (5 years) and long term (10 years or more) to allow achievement of all goals. For adults who are seeking continuing professional development or baby boomers who are seeking to enter a new career field after retiring from their current career, it’s never too late.
This plan will help adults who have limited budgets and time to help ensure only courses which meet personal learning objectives are completed. For lifelong learning baby boomers, this plan can help in the same manner or it came help establish a priority of courses to continue expanding knowledge. Whichever the case may be, developing an education plan will support achievement of personal education goals.
Personal Education Planning For Adults
If you are thinking of changing careers or improving your professional knowledge for promotions within your company, you need to assess current skills. Assess current skills for the following:
- Basic Skills – areas such as math, communicating, writing, and computers
- Social Skills – teaching, counseling, coaching, and persuasion on the job
- Technical Skills – designing, using, installing, and repairing
- Complex Skills – problem solving, decision making, and innovation
- Management Skills – financial planning, leading, delegating, goal setting, and meeting performance goals
Determining skills is the first step for determining direction of continuing education.
Career Assessment of Interests
After listing current skills, the next step is to determine professional interests to guide continuing education. For example:
- Technical – enjoys working with machines, maintain equipment, using tools to construct things, and related work
- Research – enjoys investigative work or scientific studies, along with problem solving
- Artistic – creative and have the ability to use innovative and imaginative methods for expressing views
- Social – concerned with welfare of others and enjoys teaching, counseling, advising, and influencing others
- Leading – prefers to be the group leader, directing others, and persuading others to achieve goals
- Control – prefers to organize, summarize, and evaluate data needed for decision making
There are several venues for achieving continuing education. These include:
Community Education – enrolling in non-credit courses offered in a wide variety of topics, such as:
- Basic computer skills
- Writing for business, technical, and creativity
- Financial planning for businesses
- Business planning for success
- Leadership seminars
Community College, Vocational, Trade, and Technical Education – provide the opportunity to enroll in a wide variety of programs leading to two year degrees or certificates, such as:
- Healthcare Field – nursing, x-ray technicians, and more
- Information Technology and Computer Science – network administrators, computer repair and more
- Construction Industry – electrician, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and more
- Business – management, accounting, financial planning, and more
- Social Work – welfare work, counselor, and more
- Creativity Arts – artists, advertising, and more
- Teaching – preschool, teacher’s aide, and more
- Technical Fields – automotive repair, manufacturing, equipment repair, and more
Four Year Colleges – provide the opportunity to move into the management arena of a business. Most companies will not promote or hire employees for management positions without a bachelor’s degree. Earning a degree from a four year college opens doors to management for those seeking these positions of responsibility.
Planning to meet your short and long term goals requires education planning. Proper planning and research will avoid going into the wrong direction and the need to regroup, resulting in the waste of financial funds and time.
Visit Distance Learning: Online Education for Adults for pursuing continuing education using the Internet.