Top 5 Benefits of professional development

1/3 of employers experience difficulties finding qualified employees, identifying “a lack of candidates with appropriate skills” as the most common reason. Professional development is your chance to stand out.

Post by: Chantel Sciore, ECO Canada

Over the next decade, 14% of the environmental workforce is set to retire and employers will be looking for highly qualified professionals to fill the gap. Do you have the skills and knowledge to take on a new opportunity?
According to ECO Canada’s report, Profile of Canadian Environmental Employment, about one-third of employers experience difficulties finding the workers they need, identifying “a lack of candidates with appropriate skills” as the most common reason.

What does this mean for professionals? Now is the time to advance your skills!

Check out these top 5 professional development benefits:

1) Feeling a little rusty? Sharpen your knowledge

Remember studying for hours and memorizing technical information in post-secondary, only to forget a week after the big test? Five years later your employer brings up the very same concepts, and you draw a blank.

Refreshing with events or seminars in your area can help you stay up-to-date on the knowledge acquired during your early years of education and the hands-on skills you’ve gained on the job.

2) Want to learn something new? Develop your skills

Whether you’re looking for a new role or wanting to grow your current position, taking on professional development courses can give you a competitive edge. 

One of the students from our lifelong learning says, “The course seemed like an easy way to quickly gain the knowledge that would be important to employers. It’s not just academy stuff that you learn in university.”

3) Lost touch with your industry niche? Keep up-to-date

Are you in the know about labour market information, innovative best practices and changing regulations? Continuing education helps professionals stay informed about the sector and shows employers you have ongoing dedication and engagement with your career.

The Canadian Centre for Environmental Education’s Master in Environmental Practice (MEP) may be just what you are looking for. James Will, a current MEP student who works as General Manager of Human Resources with the City of Medicine Hat states: “the (Master in Environmental Practice) has been great and we have lots of recognized Ph.D.’s in the field … This has been the best educational experience that I have had so far.”

4) Interested in meeting new contacts? Start networking

It’s easy to get stuck in the same social circles. Branching out and meeting new professionals exposes you to new ideas and gives you the opportunity to meet others who may be able to help your career in the future.

Kenneth Law, Health and Environment Officer at Health Canada, used EP Events to make new connections. “First (I would) like to express how much I enjoyed the ECO Canada networking event – the workshop was helpful and I met several notable people in the industry.”

5) Uninspired with your projects? Reenergize your ideas

Working on the same assignment for a long period of time can become lacklustre.  To increase your dedication and creativity, some professionals find continuing education helps them to reconnect with their passion for a particular industry niche.

Check out these online professional development options:

Online Training from ECO Canada

Reflecting 20+ years of labour market research, and built with direct input from environmental employers, we offer targeted online courses designed to swiftly build relevant job skills.  

The courses take only 15-25 hours to complete, and once enrolled, students have 6 months of full access. The courses are also mobile-friendly, letting you learn on the go.

Master in Environmental Practice
from the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education

The Master in Environmental Practice provides you with strategic knowledge and critical skills needed to become a leader within your environmental field of expertise. It is online and self-paced — great benefits for those who want to pursue a career while continuing their education.

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