Expanding Your Education And Career Horizons: What It Takes To Become A Chief Of Emergency Management
Career Opportunities “My father was a firefighter in downtown Toronto for 28 years,” says Jim Jessop. “I grew up with the fire service. There was never a doubt in my mind of what I was going to be.”
Like his father, Jessop became a firefighter in Toronto and spent just under five years working hard and protecting the city’s inhabitants. In 2001, he made the difficult decision to move from firefighting in Toronto to fire prevention in Niagara Falls. It was here that Jessop met Pat Burke, Ontario Fire Marshal until 2010, who would become a mentor to Jessop.
“Burke encouraged all staff, myself included, to take as much training and professional development as possible, to get experience, exposure and education,” says Jessop who earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Western University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Brock University’s Goodman School of Business. “He encouraged us to take risks, to not be afraid to fail and to challenge ourselves.”
Today, Jessop is the Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management in Ontario.
The struggle to build a career
With the Canadian job market still smarting from the oil slump, a great deal of Canadians are struggling to find employment while many others are finding it increasingly difficult to progress in their careers.
Continuing education is an excellent option for those looking to improve their career prospects, boost their earnings and add competencies to their professional toolboxes.
Completing a graduate school program also provides an excellent way to add a practical application to an academic or generalized undergraduate degree, earn a credential or retool for a job change.
A positive-sum game
Research consistently finds that higher education is a positive sum game. Those who invest in higher learning progress more quickly in their careers and increase their income earning ability.
It is not just rapid career growth and inflated income earning ability that continuing education can equip you with.
“What graduate school taught me was to think critically. It taught me to analyze, it taught me the importance of measuring and using data to make decisions as opposed to just doing things because that’s the way they’ve always been done,” says Jessop.
"Continuing education also provides you with an excellent environment for building a network, interacting with professionals from different backgrounds and can be a hothouse for inter-professional learning."
Continuing education also provides you with an excellent environment for building a network, interacting with professionals from different backgrounds and can be a hothouse for inter-professional learning. During his Master of Business Administration at the Goodman School of Business, Jessop found himself in class with engineers, lawyers and professionals from may other industries.
“That widened my perspective and taught me to look at things from different angles. It taught me to harness ideas from the private sector such as analyzing data and implementing performance metrics to better the public sector.”
Continuing education provides an experience both personally enriching and financially rewarding.
“I certainly would not be in the position I am today had I not earned both my MPA and MBA. There’s no question in my mind.”