What are the Benefits of Completing a Professional Development Program?
Maintaining the credentials to remain competitive in today’s workforce is an ongoing challenge for professionals across industries. In light of increasing competition, the term professional development gets thrown around quite often – it has become the mantra of many organizations, a catchall phrase used to encourage continual career growth.
Defining professional development can be a bit more challenging. It’s difficult to quantify knowledge gleaned from events such as seminars or conferences or skills learned at a daylong workshop. The question then becomes how to accurately represent your skillset to employers in your portfolio?
That’s one reason professional development programs are perfect for those wishing to advance or change career paths. Completion represents a specific learned skillset, and credentials can easily be added to standout on a resume. Moreover, up-to-date certifications gained in these programs are often mandatory for specialized positions.
Northwestern School of Professional Studies offers a wide range of professional development programs on-campus and online in areas such as business analytics, mediation, human , science and technology, project management, financial planning, museums and fundraising, and leadership.
So what are the benefits of registering for a professional development program at SPS? Here are a few:
Earn quantifiable credentials
A certification from Northwestern can supplement your portfolio and help you build a competitive edge, as well as potentially open up doors if you are considering changing roles in or outside of your organization. Additionally, Northwestern’s professional development programs are taught by faculty with diverse professional experience and industry expertise.
Low time investment
Professional development programs at Northwestern are ideal for working professionals since classes are scheduled at a variety of times during the week and on Saturdays, along with courses offered online. Professional development programs also don’t require the same long-term commitment as a master’s degree or post-baccalaureate program. On-campus programs are rigorous and experiential, utilizing case studies and other real-world, applicable projects. The goal of these programs is to provide specific expertise and training efficiently, so that workers can return to their jobs with new knowledge that can be applied right away.
Refresh your industry knowledge
It’s necessary to occasionally brush up on the basics. Relearning technical information in an academic setting rather than on the job provides more space to comfortably ask questions and dig into the details without the pressure of the workplace. Moreover, it’s important to stay up-to-date on new industry developments that you can take back and implement in your organization.
In the case that employers are looking for or demanding specific subject matter expertise, professional development programs can serve as evidence of mastery, and the Northwestern name is highly recognized and respected. In some cases, certifications can serve as a differentiator, because they demonstrate continued professional and personal education.
Expand your professional network
Since professional development programs target niche skills, there’s often industry overlap between peers, creating ample opportunities to make new connections. For alumni, registering for a professional development program is also a great way to reconnect with Northwestern.