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Why Is Continuing Education So Important?

Published by Nanni on Monday, August 06, 2012

Photo credit by planetc1

There are many reasons beyond a mere desire to learn that make continuing your education a very important aspect of your life. While there are those who spend their lives learning new things just for the sake of knowing, most people have more practical and pragmatic reasons for returning to school.

The world has become increasingly complex. Business markets have become global, and technology continues to integrate itself into more areas of life than ever before. As career paths become more specialized, it more often requires continuing your education in order to keep up with these changes. Such careers as engineering, chemistry and the medical profession make such rapid changes that continuing education is so important as to be needed just to maintain your place in the job market.

The amount of money one can expect to be paid on the job is the primary reason most individuals continue their education beyond the high school level. Entry level jobs tend to pay the lowest and least sustainable rates. A degree shows the person has had extra training in the field of their endeavor, and is thus more valuable to employers. An example of this is most clearly seen in the health care industry. A basic medical job which requires no college degree may provide between $20,000 to $40,000 per year while the physician who is fully trained should easily be able to command between $120,000 to $500,000 per year depending on their specialty.

Many jobs require a college degree as a mandatory prerequisite for consideration. Rarely will any management position be available for someone who has not been trained in the basics of how to run a business. As the business world grows more complex and international, additional training is required to understand new technologies. Even accountants have to take continuing education courses to stay up on the latest accountancy laws and procedures.

The job market continues to become more competitive. Even those who may have been at a job for years may find themselves being passed over for promotion or a raise. The need to stay current on the demands of one's profession also prompts continuing education just to maintain their position. It is becoming increasingly important to learn the most current details in the hopes of not being laid off or let go.

Even retirement does not preclude the need for continuing education. However hard someone has built a retirement fund, the situation may arise that on will need to go back into the job market to seek a new career path. The number of "non-traditional" older students enrolling in college courses is at an all time high. Retirement can also bring the need to remain active just for one's own mental health. Continuing education can not only stimulate the mind but provide a necessary social environment.

Learning can and should be a lifelong pursuit just for the enrichment it can bring. With society as it is, it becomes important just to be more able to maintain as full and satisfying life and lifestyle.

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