Why We Need Continuing Education

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Why We Need Continuing



It may feel like well-trodden ground, but the fact remains true: Women aren’t equal to men in the workplace. The truth of this is manifest:

  • Women are under-represented in higher positions within most organizations, holding just about one-sixth of CEO positions and about 28 percent of management personnel positions. In fact, more than one-quarter of all organizations have no women in leadership positions.
  • Women earn lower salaries than men, even when they work in the same field and claim identical responsibilities. The exact amount of the pay gap depends on the skill level of the occupation: The higher the position, the greater the skill needed, the less women get paid compared to male peers.
  • Women are the last to be hired and the first to be let go when organizations experience distress, as what happened to millions of businesses during the Great Recession. Therefore, women experience disproportionate amounts of job insecurity and unemployment.

Women need to go above and beyond to achieve high-paying, stable employment. That’s why women should look into continuing education programs.

Continuing education is the act of returning to school to boost essential skills. In some professions, continuing education is mandatory to ensure workers remain up-to-date on the latest knowledge and techniques. In other professions, continuing education allows workers to be competitive in their fields, able to demand better positions, pay, and benefits. Continuing education is especially useful for women because it gives them a much-needed advantage in the workforce — for the following reasons.

More Qualification

There are plenty of jobs that require specific training and experience, and there are plenty more jobs where advanced education isn’t mandatory but is certainly sought after. Thus, those who fail to provide proof of qualification for certain positions will never be considered. By returning to school — and continuing to do so — women gain access to positions that otherwise they might not have been suitable for.

Expanded Network

Often in a career, what you know is as important as whom you know. Continuing education programs tend to introduce students to peers and professionals who may be able to provide assistance in climbing the career ladder. In the classroom, women can ally with fellow women in their industry, forming strong networks that improves women’s likelihood of securing employment and increases women’s authority. If more women have jobs — especially jobs at high levels — we may be able to gain greater influence over workplaces, closing the pay gap and preventing other gender discrimination.

Proven Discipline

Returning to school is far from easy, especially for women who might have responsibilities besides work, such as small children or aging parents. Therefore, pursuing a continuing education course — especially within an online program, where self-motivation is of utmost importance — demonstrates discipline and follow-through. Personal drive and self-control are particularly valuable personality traits, and they are incredibly difficult to teach, so women who can exhibit these qualities in their application materials are more likely to find employment.

History of Success

A completed continuing education course on a resume is a shining example of an applicant’s history of success. It is a significant personal success to enroll in continuing education courses of one’s own will, and it is an even greater personal achievement to complete a program. Thus, hiring managers are often pleased to see instances of continuing education within application materials because they can capitalize on your success rate.

Clear Commitment

In a world where hopping jobs must occur every three to five years, changing careers isn’t terribly uncommon. In fact, many less-glamorous fields are noticing high rates of desertion. Women can take advantage of this by committing to a career through continuing education. Because education typically requires personal investment, employers see certifications and degrees as marks of commitment to particular career paths, which means they should have tried-and-true employees for a few years.

Added Confidence

While employers certainly do benefit by hiring women with continuing education credentials, women themselves also gain the confidence that comes with advanced qualifications. When a worker is supported by additional training, she can feel certain in her decisions and actions, thereby becoming more self-reliant. Confidence is a trait typically lacking in the female population, so women should enthusiastically flock toward any program that helps them grow their self-assurance. When women are confident enough to pursue the same positions, the same wages, and the same tenures as men, we will succeed.