continuing education


Continuing education: Should you go back to school?

I come from a family of school lovers. I’ve been raised with a deep respect for education and the role it plays in career success. My parents have about four or five Master’s degrees between them, and my little sisters have followed suit, taking every opportunity to gain as much knowledge as possible through different avenues.

I’m pretty sure this thirst for knowledge has played a big role in any success I’ve had in business – not only my post-secondary education, but more specifically the importance I’ve placed on continuing education in my fields.  It’s not always possible or efficient to take a full degree program, and really, it’s not always necessary either. I’ve found that especially in a city like Toronto, the options we have for furthering our skills and knowledge set are numerous. I’ve taken single university classes according to my preferences and enrolled in continuing education courses, online seminars, or weekend workshops to learn more as I’ve taken on different roles within my company or different projects as they come.

What it comes down to is having a good grasp on your strengths and your weaknesses. My strength has always been marketing and communications, but in starting a business from the ground up, I’ve had to learn other skill sets as well. I’ve taken additional courses in accounting and management to build a foundation for skills that I knew were imperative to the functioning of a business.

I’ve also found that not all education takes place in a classroom environment, so I make sure to keep myself open to furthering my development through networking with other professionals to exchange knowledge and advance learning as well. I’ve attended trade shows, conferences, and other industry-specific events that have done wonders in helping me to be more confident in knowledge of any facet of my business. The Internet is also an amazing resource, as are books that provide a convenient way to advance knowledge.

If you’re a business owner who wants to keep learning, through the busy schedules and the demanding itineraries, it is absolutely possible to find a way.  Whether it’s through getting an actual degree or taking short-term courses to bolster my knowledge, in my personal experience, continuing education helps in achieving my ultimate vision of success.