There used to be a widely accepted formula for career success: earn a college degree, land a job and work your way up.
That’s still good advice, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. And that’s because today’s professionals, college-educated or not, are encountering a new age of job disruption that is perhaps more radical than anything before.
So what does this mean for today’s professionals?
In a world where competencies are becoming obsolete, adaptability helps you stay competitive. That means being able to regularly respond to and anticipate change by building upon existing knowledge, as well as expanding it to new areas.
“Education isn’t something that stops,” said Dr. Annie Green, a faculty member for the Artificial Intelligence Management Certificate at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. “It continues. Just like the continuous improvement of an organization, it’s the continuous improvement of a person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.”
More and more professionals today are adopting this “continuous learning” mentality. A smaller commitment, certificate programs offer an accelerated way for professionals to stay relevant. And the higher education world is responding to these shifting demands by making certificates more accessible. Today’s certificates are as varied as the needs of the professionals who earn them.
Take Moe Tun, an engineer who earned a Certificate in Cybersecurity Strategy. Cybersecurity impacts many aspects of Tun’s job, so he assembled the information he learned into a framework, similar to those his team members use to process complex technical information outside their areas of expertise. Earning a certificate in a new subject helped him adapt to evolving technologies.
No matter the industry, motivation, or career level, one thing is clear: maintaining the status quo doesn’t cut it anymore. Today’s professionals must adapt, embrace uncharted territory, and create new ways forward — wherever they may lead.