As the world turns, I know you may be thinking of the soap opera, businesses are changing and technology continues to evolve. As this evolution continues, in some parts of the business it may feel as if technology is being forced on you. However, the fact is, you cannot stop a locomotive that is on the tracks moving full speed ahead and this is exactly what technology represents. So as a professional, you must be able to move with technology. The question for some is, how does one bridge the gap?
A Degree – This is where technology helps the non-traditional student. Professionals have families that limit the time in which one may be able to skill-up. Online learning gives the professional an opportunity to pursue those educational opportunities that may seem out of reach 20 years ago. Most institutions offer an online platform that is flexible and give the professional time to balance home, work, and school. With AT&T offering the transformational degree series, you have multiple programs to help gain those skills that are required to keep moving with the company. As for myself, I obtained my MBA in 2013 and just completed a MSTM degree from North Carolina A&T State University in the Spring. I can say that the degrees have helped me in my management roles become a better communicator and an all-around professional. Yes, it is impossible to know everything about the new wave of technology, but a willingness to learn is needed in order to be successful and that includes seeking the knowledge for yourself.
Certifications – For the professional that has a college degree and wants to be rooted in a certain skill, a certification might be the better option. With offerings such as CompTIA, PMI (Project Management), Scaled Agile (Scrum), Six Sigma, and more you will be able to have a specialty that can bring value to your organization.
Courses – With the pandemic, schools are now offering free courses to help those who are not interested in the 1st two options. With Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and edX, you can simply enroll and immediately be able to apply what you are learning to your job.
With career and professional opportunities everywhere, one can benefit from gaining knowledge in Cybersecurity, Big Data and Analytics, Project Management, and Information Technology. However, it is important that analytical and logical thinking are key components to your success. A quote from one of my favorite poems, “The eye is a better pupil and more willing than the ear.” See the bigger picture and your willingness to listen will only get better. As you expand your knowledge base, you will find that you are working in collaboration with other groups and teams. Your success depends on how you can effectively communicate and build those relationships to better the organization. So, as you learn and achieve academic success to better yourself and the business, do it with some “EPMD” (Enthusiasm Passion Motivation Drive) because there is no room for the letter “I” when we are a “TEAM”.