Whether you want to kick your career into overdrive, update your skill set, or develop your personal growth, there are many reasons to return to school.
“People no longer stay in the same career for 25 years,” says Kristine Collins, Director of Academic Programs at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. “And if you’re ready to open up new paths to opportunity, you may need to up-skill to meet demands.”

The evolution of technology is one of the many trends driving continued education.

As jobs in data science or computer programming fields become increasingly in-demand, people should consider courses that will help them to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers.

Ongoing innovations — including automation and artificial intelligence — change the fundamental nature of work, making the development of both technical and soft-skills essential to remain competitive. While most employees consider professional growth and development opportunities as an important part of their career, workplaces don’t always offer a diverse range of in-house training. Formal continuing education programs allow for a customized learning experience focused on individual skill development.

“You get a breadth of diversity,” says Collins. “You’re surrounded by different people from various walks of life, bringing together unique perspectives and experiences.”

Available, accessible, possible

With 124 certificate options and over 700 courses to choose from, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies offers ample opportunity for people to unlock their potential.

“Whether it’s writing a book, learning a new language, or completely switching careers, we can help people fulfill their dreams,” Collins says.

For many students, continuing education is not only an engaging and fulfilling professional experience, but it’s also a personal one. Gaining better insight into a topic you enjoy or learning a completely new skill can lead to increased confidence and sense of purpose. It’s all possible with today’s courses and certificates.

Learning in a formal setting also provides a great networking opportunity. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can open the door to new connections and contacts.

“The social component of meeting new people and making friends is important for learners,” Collins adds.

A path for everyone

The University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies makes learning accessible, available, and possible for everyone. Classes are scheduled when professionals are available to learn, on evenings and weekends, and nearly 30 percent are available online.

Corporate programs are also available, offering on-site, organizational training for employees in a variety of industries. “Whether it’s project management, business analysis, leadership, or marketing, courses are flexible and adaptable, tailored specifically to the meet the needs of organizations,” adds Collins.