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Career Resources

Professional Development (PD)

Diagram of 4 puzzle pieces in a circle with "Discover Yourself" then "Explore Options" then "Make Choices" and then "Take Action."

What is Professional Development?

Professional Development (PD) refers to continuing education and career training after a person has entered the workforce in order to help them develop new skills, stay up-to-date on current trends, advance their career, and continue to grow and learn. Some fields require PD to maintain licensure, certification, rank, or to keep your position. Some fields (e.g. teaching) have specific Continuing Education (CE) requirements with restrictions on how those may be obtained.

Why is Professional Development important?

The opportunity to learn and apply new knowledge and skills that can help you in your job and further your career. Professional development is all about building your skill set and knowledge base for your field. It is also helpful for your employer, too because as you increase your own worth (skills and knowledge) you also add to your company’s overall value.

Benefits of Professional Development

Participating in Professional Development:

  1. Expands your knowledge base
  2. Boosts confidence and credibility
  3. Increases earning potential and hireability
  4. Provides networking opportunities
  5. Keeps professionals current on industry trends
  6. Opens the door to future career changes

Examples of Professional Development

  • Attend a professional conference
  • Participate in workshops: In-person or online
  • Complete your CE/CPE or a new certificate/credential/badge/license
  • Take a course in your field
  • Take advantage of microlearning opportunities (Short chunks of learning in a variety of formats - such as videos or modules)
  • Shadow a colleague/mentor
  • Read a book that can help you in your field
  • Interview someone who holds a position you aspire to

The content above is adapted from: What Is Professional Development and Why Is It Important? This link opens in a new window by Trevor Antley (July 16, 2020) WebCE This link opens in a new window

Professional Associations

Professional organizations or associations can help you network with colleagues, continue learning and keep up-to-date with current events in your career via newsletters, conferences, publications and webinars, and offer opportunities for grants, scholarships, job opportunities, job-shadowing, and more.

Check out these web resources to find professional organizations or associations in your chosen field:

Lifelong Learning & Professional Development Resources

Online Learning

Continue learning even after college with online, open educational opportunities that can help you grow professionally and keep up-to-date on the latest technologies, issues, and initiatives in your chosen field. The sources below offer professional certificates, micro-credentials, courses, course series, and degrees for further learning.

Webinars, Blogs & Podcasts, Videos and more...

There are countless online resources offering information to keep up with trends & research, learn new skills, update your technological knowledge, expand your cultural understanding, and continue to learn.





Other Resources

Books about Professional Development

Professional and trade associations are the most helpful place to find books being published on new developments in your field. Following authors who are the key writers/speakers in your discipline and setting up author alerts on Amazon and other publisher sites will keep you informed about which books to read to remain current in your field.

The following books are a sample of our library books and eBooks about professional development in the fields of education, business, and nursing. For more books and eBooks please search the Online Library Catalog or ask a librarian for help.

Are you an online student who can't get to the library in person? Request a print book be mailed to you!