Advanced Professional Courses with Excellent Value: Which Ones are Worth Looking into?

By Jamie Hill - 13 January 2020

College & Higher Education

The world of professional education is vast in every field and there is immense potential to boost one’s career prospects. However, the sheer number of options that pros have now can also be quite confusing. If you are looking for job oriented training courses that will help you earn more, open new career opportunities, and maybe even help in making a switch, the following five are all excellent options to consider.

Online MBA from an Accredited Institution

An overwhelming 90% to 95% of employers prefer to hire MBA degree holders in higher executive ranks. Although certain specialisations such as Business Strategy, International Finance and IT Management are more in demand than others, anyone who has an accredited MBA on his/her resume is going to become more valuable and will be paid a higher salary than before. The MBA program’s accreditation, the applicant’s specialisation, and the reputation of the college all play a big role in determining a graduate’s employability and pay scale.

Interactive Professional Development Courses

Multiple courses are included in this category, and they are each designed to improve the specific, essential skills of a working professional. These prepare them so that they can meet the constantly changing industry standards across multiple sectors. Interactive professional development courses can generally be classified under the following categories:

  • Business & Management
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership
  • Sales
  • Communication

There are further subsets to choose from in each category, or students can just complete the entire course in one or more subjects. Being professional courses, interactive professional development programs are usually offered in parts for flexibility.

Health & Safety Courses

Health and safety courses are designed to train employees in being adept at detecting potential safety hazards in any workplace and offer adequate solutions to their clients. HSS Training has over two-hundred, Safe-HIRE, ISO 9000 and OHSAS 18001 certified health & safety training courses for interested individuals to look up.

Project Management

There are multiple routes to becoming a project manager, and aside from significant expertise in the specific sector, a PMP (Project Management Professional) degree is certainly one of the best ways to get there.

A PMP certification is a lucrative augmentation course that software professionals often consider, but these programs are not just for IT managers. Any division of the industry which can benefit from efficient handling of resources, intelligent use of the budget, and preparations for avoiding scope creep, is a sector that will welcome certified PMPs.

Do note that MBA and other management courses also teach similar techniques, but PMP is the most specialised training course for project managers by far.

Advanced Cybersecurity Programs

If you are a software engineer who has not yet completed his/her graduation, an advanced master’s degree in IT security can open up huge opportunities for you.

It’s true that IT professionals have good career potential already and any route taken after completing their technical undergrad degree will almost inevitably make them more valuable. However, given how panicked the biggest names in the industry are in light of the recent hacks, opportunities in cybersecurity, data security, digital forensics and other similar fields are tremendous.

Moreover, this is not a line which is limited to software/networking engineers only, because there are various levels in professional cybersecurity training courses that even entry level IT professionals could look into, without actually being an engineer.

A Crash Course in Coding

If you are currently not working in a particularly prospective sector, you should try a crash course in coding. Learning even comparatively easier coding languages like Python can open up tremendous career prospects for anyone, disregarding previous experience or qualifications.

Software programming, aka coding, is what has essentially created the digital world and if you are good at it, you will earn well too. White hat hackers are not always software programmers, although software programmers with a graduate degree will most likely receive a higher pay. Those willing to try their skills in coding for the first time, should consider the following languages initially:

  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • Swift
  • Ruby

Education in Cloud Computing Technology

There is no shortage of cloud computing programs that can be completed online, even if the students do not have an academic background in technology. However, for hardcore software professionals, it's more of a supplemental training course that opens up opportunities in brand new fields by broadening their skillset.

Given how important cloud computing has become in recent years, understanding the basics is almost mandatory for application developers. On becoming a certified cloud computing specialist, you will work with web app development, information security, quality assurance, database infrastructure development and maintenance, etc. Proficiency in one or more of the frequently used programming languages such as PHP, Java, .NET, Ruby, Perl and Python will be highly helpful.

Soft Skills Training

Soft skills such as communication, teamwork and adaptability sound so intuitive and easy that even the most qualified professional often forgets how influential they can be. Even a short course in soft skill development will improve your abilities in all of them, to varying degrees.

Based on one’s emotional intelligence and honing of innate, natural abilities, the importance of soft skills is not to be undermined by any account. There is a reason why companies spend so much money on training courses with soft skill integration. Each of the following hold individual importance in the corporate sector, but as a collective set the impact can be career changing.

  • Communication – Ability to build connections and rapports, clearly communicate ideas and explain concepts efficiently
  • Teamwork – To work with and lead multiple people as a single productive unit
  • Problem solving – A highly sought after innate skill, it’s the ability to find solutions with the available resources
  • Adaptability – Ability to adapt and change with time and when unforeseen changes are thrust upon the company
  • Leadership – Ability to inspire confidence, unity and productivity in a team
  • Critical observation – Similar to problem solving, it’s more about problem/bottleneck identification
  • Pressure handling – Capacity to work and excel under due stress
  • Time management – Ability to predict project timelines with accuracy and to finish work in due time
  • Confidence/Positivity – Any industry with risk factors needs confident professionals to see the work through day after day
  • Creativity/Innovation – Necessary for problem solving, but creativity works even when there is no problem in sight

When you are looking, look for advanced training courses suited to your skills, education and work history. Find a program that either helps you gain more expertise in the sector that you already work in, or try a cross-disciplinary program which supports and augments your resume.

Cross disciplinary courses are also ideal for professionals who want to broaden their skillsets and maybe even switch over to a different segment altogether. A good example of that is an engineering MBA; a course used by engineers to leave the core technical sector and join the executive ranks as decision makers.

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