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Editorial: Why there’s no such thing as too much education in business

In a perfect world, you could go to school just one time, remember every tidbit you learned, and remain current in your field. But these days, trends evolve so quickly that if you aren’t dedicated to continually learning, you’ll quickly fall behind.

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Staying on top of your field

From the time you were five to the time you were 25, you were probably in school. For some who chose to pursue a doctorate or specialty program, that time was even longer. So, when you finally finished your education, you probably didn’t feel like picking up a textbook anytime soon. Unfortunately, that’s a surefire way to stunt your intellectual growth.

In a perfect world, you could go to school just one time, remember every tidbit you learned, and remain current in your field. However, that’s not how things work in business. These days, trends evolve so quickly that if you aren’t dedicated to continually learning, you’ll quickly fall behind.

The biggest reason for this rapid evolution is the boom of technology. With new products and inventions changing customer perceptions, companies must constantly look for opportunities to learn and grow in their chosen fields.

Luckily, the boom of technology has also brought us a myriad of ways to continue learning. There are many avenues available when pursuing further education as an entrepreneur. From hiring a tutor to subscribing to online content, here are a few ideas to consider.

Hire a tutor

Tutors aren’t only for young students. They’re for anyone looking to further their education in a certain field. For example, if you’re working with a client who specializes in information technology, but you only have basic knowledge of the subject, you could go above and beyond to help your client by receiving lessons from an expert. This goes for any topic that could help you further your career.

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Subscribe to blogs

One of the best ways to keep abreast of current trends and changes is to subscribe to blogs within a certain industry. These subscriptions will send you regular blog posts about what industry professionals are doing to keep up with changes in a certain sector. This information will give you ideas to mimic best practices, as well as to forecast upcoming changes.

Attend Conferences

As often as possible, attend conferences in your industry. These events are loaded with experts in specific industries that gather together to help peers and fellow professionals obtain the most current information within an industry. These conferences can be expensive, but there’s no better way to meet potential clients, learn the ins and outs of your field, experience new products and technologies, and mingle with big business people. Sometimes putting your education first is a necessary expense if you want to succeed in business.

Watch webinars

A more affordable, but smaller version of these conferences can be found in the form of webinars, which are usually put on by small to midsize industry experts. These are basically online conferences you can attend from anywhere to learn what’s new in your field. Webinars are a great opportunity to hear things before your competitors, so you maintain the upper hand.

Take online courses

In some instances, a little research won’t be enough. When this happens, there are always online certification programs and courses you can take. Sometimes this style of formal education is the best option for entrepreneurs because it’s widely recognized by your clients and customers. It gives you more credibility and an element of trustworthiness that you may not have had previously.

These courses are offered in every field and every industry. If you seek out more opportunities for education in various fields, you’ll gain the knowledge and expertise necessary to stay competitive in an ever-changing world.

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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. When he's not consulting, glued to a headset, he's working on one of his many business projects. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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