How to Make 2020 the Year You Advance Your Career

With the new year almost upon us, many people have already taken to contemplating their resolutions for 2020. As some sort out how they’ll improve their health or academic standing in the coming year, countless working professionals think about how they’ll advance their careers.  

Continuing one’s education is a helpful, yet frequently overlooked, measure that can lead to professional growth. Continuing education comes in a variety of forms—certificate programs and independent study among them. Both methods offer attractive benefits, but may achieve slightly different goals.

Gathering additional knowledge and skills is paramount to professional growth. Whether you wish to receive a promotion or move from one career field to another, you’ll have to learn something new to get there. Keep reading to learn how to make 2020 the year you advance your career. 

Advance your career in 2020 through a certificate program

Going back to college for a second bachelor’s degree or for a master’s degree is not a feasible option for everyone. Degree programs can have significant or burdensome time and financial commitments, especially for those people who work full-time and have families to support. Certificate programs, on the other hand, tend to offer more reasonably priced courses and flexible scheduling. This is because certificate programs are generally designed for individuals who already hold college degrees, but who are looking to develop a new skill. 

Certificate programs are conducted both online and in-person, and either format can help you reach your goal. Before choosing a format, however, consider your learning preferences and your comfort level with virtual courses. You should also ensure that the institution offering the certificate program is one that is regionally accredited—otherwise, your completion of the program may not be recognized by your employer. Certificate programs are available in a plethora of specialties, such as: 

  • Editing

  • Medical interpretation

  • SEO

  • UX design

Upon successful completion of a certificate program, make sure to request a copy of your certificate, add this accomplishment to your resume, and let your employer know about what you’ve done.    

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Advance your career in 2020 through independent study

The phrase “independent study” often conjures up the image of a student spending late nights researching at the library. However, thanks to modern technology, independent study can now involve a much more enjoyable and interactive process. There are a variety of websites that allow users to enroll in a great number of affordable and high-quality online courses. YouTube is also an excellent source of educational material that is totally free to the public. In addition, you can utilize both online and in-person tutoring to learn a new language or skill. 

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Independent study can be just as effective as a certificate program in helping you acquire new knowledge and skills. A key difference, though, is the degree of discipline required for each. In a certificate program, there’s an instructor who emails students to keep them informed and to remind them of upcoming deadlines. With independent study, staying on task and motivated is purely the individual’s responsibility.

With the variety of continuing education options that exist today, you have many opportunities to advance your career in 2020. 

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