Whether you’re a real estate agent or a respiratory therapist, continuing education (CE) courses are necessary to remain licensed and informed. But if you want to do well with these courses, you need a plan.
The ‘Why’ of CE Courses
If you want to be successful with continuing education, you have to understand the why. If you don’t know why you’re taking a CE course, it’s hard to take it seriously and do well. Keeping this in mind, here are a few of the reasons for continuing education:
- Requirement. For starters, continuing education is a requirement. If you want to stay certified and active in your chosen career, you have to take certain CE courses at regular intervals.
- More knowledge and skills. The reason CE courses are a requirement is that they help you stay informed, build your knowledge, and add new skills. This makes you a more competent professional in your field.
- New opportunities. As you acquire new skills and experience, you’ll gradually become more qualified for advanced opportunities. This might include a promotion with your current company or a job opportunity in another industry or niche.
- Increased salary potential. As you become more skilled and earn new opportunities, you also see increased earnings and salary potential. And at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to get paid more?
5 CE Study Tips
Once you have a firm grasp on why you’re taking a CE course, you can turn your attention from motivation to execution. Here are some helpful study tips that will allow you to make easy work of almost any course:
- Choose the Right CE Provider
Depending on the career field you’re in, there could be dozens of CE providers in the space. So the first step is to identify and select the best possible one.
As you search for the best CE provider, consider factors like experience, testimonials, and pricing. It’s also wise to think about the format of the class. (Is it live, recorded, online, in-person, etc.?) You want a company that’s going to set you up to be successful.
- Set a Study Schedule
A lot of new information will be thrown at you in your continuing education classes. It’s important that you have a plan for absorbing and applying this information so that it becomes useful for you in your career. And the best way to do this is by creating a study schedule.
You don’t need to spend hours every day studying for a CE course. But if you’re willing to dedicate 20 to 30 minutes on a nightly basis, it’ll help you absorb the information and commit it into long-term memory.
- Find a Good Study Partner
It’s one thing to listen to a lecture and take down some notes. While you might be able to learn some information that way, it’s unlikely that the material will stick for very long. If you really want to learn the information, you must be able to talk about it. And this where having a study partner comes into play.
When you have a good study partner (or group), you’re able to ask them questions, answer their questions, explain ideas, teach concepts, and quiz one another. This open dialogue forces the information into a unique portion of your brain’s memory bank where it’s more likely to be accessed in the future.
- Take Good Notes
As you sit in CE classes, make sure you’re taking good notes. Don’t worry about writing down everything word-for-word. Instead, create a system that works for your brain – something that appeals to your thought process. Good note-taking not only gives you resources to look back on in the future, but the act of writing also helps commit the information to memory.
- Organize Information for Accessibility
You might not need to use the information you learn in a CE course right away. But there will eventually come a time when you do. Don’t just throw out your notes after finishing the course. Create a system by which you organize CE content and information. Whether it’s keeping a physical binder with notes or scanning everything to the cloud, keeping information accessible ensures you can put the course to good use in the future.
Make the Most of Your Continuing Education
Continuing education doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. With the right approach, it can actually be quite simple. It’s all about your approach and execution. And if you perfect the art of studying, you’ll have no trouble advancing your career.