If you decide to focus full-time on your professional development, there are several different educational options that you can consider.
- Undergraduate programme. Probably the most traditional form of higher education are three to four-year institutions that offer degrees in a wide variety of areas. Different institutions provide expertise in different degree areas. After completing the programme, you receive a Bachelor’s degree and diploma. Students who receive this degree either enter the workforce or pursue higher levels of education in their field of study (Master’s or Doctoral programmes).
- Master or Graduate programme. Master’s programmes are typically reserved for students who already have a Bachelor’s degree. The level of training and research is usually higher and you will acquire specialised education in the selected topics.
- Doctoral programme. Similar to a Master’s programme, doctoral programmes are exclusively available to those who have previously attained a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Doctoral programmes are research intensive by nature and represent the highest level of formal study in most countries.
- Trade Schools
A trade school provides vocational education and focuses on teaching you the skills you will need to perform a specific job, with unique emphasis on the practical application of your newly acquired skills. The defining characteristic of trade schools is their application-intensive nature – they give students more hands-on experience in their specific trade than any other form of education.
- Online education / Distance education
Online education, also known as distance learning or e-learning, differs from traditional education because students are not required to visit an actual classroom and listen to an instructor face-to-face. The convenience of online classes has a direct correlation with its increasing popularity, as they eliminate time restraints in your day.
- Two-year institutions
Traditional two-year institutions, also called community colleges, are most prevalent in the United States, but do exist in similar forms throughout the world. These institutions are often less expensive than four-year universities and typically offer three types of programmes:
- Career education. Students receive an Associate’s degree and directly enter the workforce.
- Industry training. Students’ employers pay for the training and education in specific areas that help the student/employee develop more skills in their job.
- Transfer credit. Students receive credit for courses taken with the plan of applying that credit toward a four-year, higher-level degree (usually accepted at university/college).