Why Continuing Education Is Important for Career Advancement


continuing education professional

Whether you have a degree already, are on your way to one, or just want to focus on your field in a meaningful way, continuing education is always a good path. Many careers and employers actually require advanced training or professional development to keep employee skills sharp and relevant as a field evolves, especially now that online learning makes it more accessible than ever. Upskilling or continuing education can expand your knowledge in a specific area or provide you with credentials to start a new career in a completely different field. It can help you become a more productive, efficient, and valuable worker. Upskilling also demonstrates to employers that you are committed to your job and ready to advance in your career.

Whether you want to increase your responsibilities in your current company or get a competitive edge over other candidates when you apply for a new job, earned online certificates can be an important component to include in your professional credentials.

Benefits of Continuing Education

Learn New Skills for Your Current Role

Do you ever feel like your job takes more time than it needs to? If you sometimes have difficulty maneuvering around modern technology, a certificate program might be just what you need to learn the skills required to do your current job more efficiently. For example, a course in computer skills could provide you with the fundamental computer competencies you need to survive and thrive in the modern business environment.

Start on the Path to a New Career

Have you ever thought about building a new career in an entirely new field? Maybe you work in retail, but really want to be skilled in the Trades. A certificate in HVAC/R might get you started. Or do you have a passion for healthcare but don’t want to work directly with patients? Billing and Coding might be a great career path if you only had the right Billing and Coding career training.

Build More Advancement Opportunities

The more skills you can bring to your organization, the better positioned you will be to be promoted and take on additional responsibilities. For example, if you are just doing data entry in a finance group, proficient skills in programs like Microsoft Excel or QuickBooks could move you into a more satisfying role. There are many certifications and career training opportunities that could set you up for success.

Get the Credentials

Sometimes it’s not enough to have a wealth of knowledge in your brain. You also need to verify that you have specific skills. Certifications prove your knowledge and they are recognized by employers. You can say you have an abundance of skills, but the piece of paper proves you’ve taken and passed courses that show you know the info.

Learn Important Life Skills

Did you know that continuing education courses don’t just teach you the concrete skills you need to do a specific job? They can also introduce you to a range of soft skills such as time management, self-discipline, communications, and leadership skills.

Network with Others

Continuing education also provides you the chance to meet with likeminded achievers who want to better themselves and advance their careers. You can learn with and from students who know that education unlocks opportunity. And those connections may be people who will be looking to hire you in the future. Or maybe, you’ll be looking to hire them.

If you aren’t sure what type of degree or certificate would best fit your career goals and opportunities for advancement, talk to your employer. They may have suggestions for where there are knowledge gaps within the organization, and what the best way would be to learn skills and perhaps position you for a future promotion. Be sure to ask if tuition reimbursement is available from your company.


National American University recently partnered with Ed2go to offer a new line of online career-training and professional development courses that can augment the skills you already have or set you on the path toward a new career. Learn more at the UpSkill Academy.


Online programs for maximum flexibility
NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
Relevant degree and certificate programs
Years of online educational excellence