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What is professional development?

Professional development is working on skills that can help you to further and develop your career in the workplace. This can include anything from going on a relevant course, to learning additional skills and gaining professional certifications.

Professional development courses are focused specifically on obtaining skills that will benefit you in the workplace, whilst personal development is more about personal goals and skills, such as improving communication or emotional intelligence.

By engaging in professional development, employees can advance their career and earn opportunities that they might not be suitable for otherwise.

What are the benefits of continuous professional development?

Learning doesn’t have to stop when you finish school or university, it can be a lifelong commitment.

Continuous professional development is all about continuing with learning and development in the workplace, progressing strengths and addressing weaknesses in individual skillsets.

This mindset has several benefits, including opening up new career paths and opportunities that require additional learning or the gaining of certain certifications. Those who wish to progress through a company or industry will benefit from an attitude of always looking to attain new skills.

With many businesses facing a digital skills gap, having employees that are keen to upskill or reskill into in-demand areas may be extremely beneficial. This could be through training, like cyber security courses or data science training, or by investing in tech apprenticeships.

More about professional development courses

When it comes to professional development, there are many different routes available.

People can look to learning new software, like Microsoft Power Bi, or attain a certification in PRINCE2 or APM to further their aspirations of project management.

Alternatively, there may be certain soft skill courses, like organisational or decision making training that can help develop skills that are vital in the workplace.

QA offer a wide range of in-person and online training to support learners in their professional development, as well as bespoke training solutions for businesses that wish to support employees with their development.

Another form of professional development could be to become an apprentice, and reskill into in-demand roles such as cyber security, data or it.

What are personal development courses?

Personal development courses are training that can help someone to reach their potential and attain new skills. People are always learning, so in some ways personal development is a lifelong process but zeroing in on certain skills and development can help to achieve goals faster and make specific improvements.

There’s a wide range of learning that can be undertaken for personal development, including courses on effective communication and decision-making training, as well as how to better organise, influence or manage people.

Personal development can come in other forms too, such as taking on a mentor, or becoming a coach, depending on what you’re looking to develop. Focusing on personal development can people to become more effective at work, as well as build better and longer-lasting relationships in and outside of their team.

Why is personal development important?

Personal development is such a broad term that includes many different skills. It is also often something that is self-driven and self-determined, with people needing to look inward at the qualities they need to strengthen the most.

Someone hoping to become a manager or leader in the future, may need to focus on the skills that will benefit them when leading people. This could be anything from managing conflict, to emotional intelligence and coaching and mentoring.

Someone looking to become a manager for the first team may to build confidence, or improve their presenting ability, all of which will help them achieve the next step in their career.

Personal development isn’t solely reliant on the individual, businesses may need to give their team the access and encouragement to drive their personal development.