Importance of Career Development

Why is professional development or additional training important? You have the skills (and maybe a little more) to get the job, right? Isn’t that enough? The short answer is simply, No.

Two generations ago, careers were generally static, lacking any real change or growth other than from “worker bee” to “manager”, but the career landscape is much different now. Today’s employers have realized that employees are much happier, and therefore more likely to stick around if there are opportunities to learn and grow professionally. As a result, many employers now look for candidates who have a proven record of continuing education or training. Just as there isn’t a static option for living organisms (they are either growing or are in a process of decline) – the same is true for careers and employees.  

There are several avenues to demonstrate your professional growth: education, training/certification, and/or professional development.

Education – degree plans through higher education institutions. These options take longer to complete and should be carefully considered. A bachelor’s degree is often stated as an entry-level qualification for jobs or for promotion to management. Be sure to carefully consider whether your career path will truly benefit from graduate or post-graduate education before investing the time and resources; is the cost worth the result or is another avenue more effective?

Training/Certification – The more advances there are in technology of all kinds, the more important current training is. Technology that was state of the art and considered cutting edge just 5 years ago is nearly or completely obsolete now. This trend will only become stronger as advancements continue. Even roles that are not technology-based, such as administration or human resources, see changes and improvements in processes or laws. Many credentials require continuing education units or courses to maintain or renew the credential to ensure an equitable minimum level of expertise.

Professional Development – These are valuable opportunities to invest in yourself and your own growth. You can “upskill” (add to skills that you already have and position yourself for promotion) or you can “reskill” (refresh or update skills you already possess). If your employer offers specific training courses or has a fund to pay for the training you choose, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity so you can continue to demonstrate your value as an employee and your investment in your own growth.

Hire Heroes USA has partnered with many different Training Partners to provide vetted options to support you in your career growth. All of our partners provide some means for lowering the cost barrier to education or training from accepting a variety of VA funding options to providing scholarships. If you would like more information on a specific topic or training partner, you can submit a training request through your MyTrak portal or email