Learning Beyond the Classroom

The last thing a new graduate wants to think about is more education, but it’s always an idea to have in the back of your mind.

Many careers require licenses that then require their holders to continue their education, as the world and technology are always changing. Some career fields do not require this, but it’s always a good idea to stay on top of the trends in your industry and continue your education beyond the classroom.

Take a Class

I know the idea of more classes to a college graduate makes you want to cringe, but some courses in the real world are not as long or as intense as a full college course.

Classes at local career centers, trade shows and yes, sometimes at colleges help you learn new techniques, refine old skills or pick up new self-promotional techniques if you plan on owning your own business.

If you are lucky enough, some employers might even pay for these courses to help you become a valuable asset to the team.

Find a Mentor

You can find a mentor in your place of employment, out in the world or right here at Sinclair. Your mentor should be someone you trust with ideas and advice. These figures can help you with office etiquette, career growth advice, workplace politics and much more.

Having someone to turn to who has walked this path before can provide you with priceless knowledge well beyond the classroom setting.

Join a Group or Association

With social media, there is no excuse for not staying connected. Staying in contact with your graduating class can have the same feel as having a mentor.

These individuals are following the same path or one very similar to yours and also bring with them the knowledge and experience they have from their unique pasts.

If your college isn’t the place you turn to, try reaching out and joining local groups or national associations and become a member of a wider community.

Read, Read, Read

You may not have to lug around those oversized textbooks any longer, but that doesn’t mean you should stop reading. It’s still the oldest way to learn aside from word of mouth.

If you have a textbook you really feel stuck with you throughout your education, keep it! Use it as a resource guide, find other books, scientific journals and publications in your industry to keep up on the latest trends, technologies and strategies. If reading really isn’t your thing, try a podcast or audiobook you can listen to during a commute.

Attend Lectures

You would be surprised at the number of resources out there for further education even if it is just casual. Museums, research institutes, wholesale facilities and even colleges offer free lectures of readings that anyone can attend to widen their span of knowledge.

Sign up for newsletters or even reach out to these locations to be notified of upcoming events.

Intern with Someone

Did you think interning was just for a grade? While some may intern just anywhere to graduate, this is an able opportunity to truly see the ins and outs of your career and doesn’t just have to take place while in school!

Many places will allow you to see the behind the scenes and are more than happy to accept free help. Local nonprofits are a perfect place to start looking for internships as they are always in need of additional hands and sometimes don’t come with the red tape that national brands hold onto.

Attend Trade Shows

Many industries, if not all of them, offer tradeshows and conventions across the country, especially if CE hours are needed in your industry.

Even if your industry does not require a licensure, there are facilities that often get together to share ideas and of course, sell products. These are perfect times to get to know others in your field, network and learn.

Some benefits of continuing your education are entering a higher pay bracket, boosting yourself above the competition, possibly earning a promotion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, setting an example for your children and much more.

Continuing your education beyond the classroom may not be a requirement for your profession, but is always a good idea to keep in mind when choosing a career you love.

James Novotny
Staff Writer

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