It’s that time of year again. The back-to-school frenzy has begun. Stores are running sales on backpacks and pencils, and computer companies are pushing laptops for the college-bound set. The smells of new crayons, dusty textbooks, and greasy cafeteria food are in the air. Kids everywhere are dreading getting up early to catch the bus.
What about you? Are you going back to school? A Bureau of Labor Statistics report that came out yesterday reported the job market for blue-collar workers showed almost no change during the last month but that the job market for skilled, educated workers continues to show good growth. The market showed such good growth for this segment of workers that some professions are actually showing a shortage of workers.
If you are neglecting continuing education in your career field, you are setting yourself up for fewer opportunities. Employers pay attention to the education section of your resume and if it only shows a degree that was earned ten years ago, it is a red flag that the candidate is simply “treading water” and not a go-getter. Seminars, training, special classes, and advanced degrees are all important to career advancement and should be shown on a resume.
It is important to remember, though, that only the most recent training should be included. The fact that you took a class in Windows 95 ten years ago is not relevant to the current work environment. If you have taken a class within the past three years, it is eligible for inclusion in the resume as long as it pertains to your career goal. If you are a security analyst and you took a class in growing orchids, that information should not appear on your resume because it is not relevant to your career.
If you have been lax in continuing education, now is the time to get back into the swing of things. All community colleges offer Continuing Education classes that are designed specifically for the schedules and needs of professionals in the workforce. You can find courses that directly relate to your career field or you can select a course that will make you a better worker overall (such as Business Writing or Conflict Management).
So pack your crayons and your school glue and get back to school!