Many professionals realize that continuing education is vital to their career success. The methods of acquiring additional knowledge and skills relative to your unique profession can take a variety of forms and formats, including:
- Company-Sponsored training events.
- Trade Publications
- Post-Secondary Education (College/University)
- Trade Shows/Seminars
- Industry Certifications training/curriculum
- Industry Blogs
- LinkedIn Groups/Similar Forums
- Industry Twitter and News Feeds
- Mentoring Programs
No matter the medium, the content offered to continue the sharpening of one’s skill-set is derived from other people–quite often within one’s own industry. From textbook writers to seminar speakers, college professors, and colleagues running LinkedIn groups we find quite a variety of personalities and viewpoints from those providing the “educational offerings” within our industry.
These multiple viewpoints can cause trouble for some. I mean, how do you handle one industry authority stating Security Procedure “A” is the model that every top security practitioner should follow, while another industry authority states that Security Procedure “A” should rarely, if ever, be implemented?
Further, what about the charges that Industry Blogger “Smith” is a crackpot with ideas that harm the industry, while Blogger “Jones” is the most cogent, authoritative expert on where the industry must head? All subjective, yet I maintain that the varied viewpoints all have value.
So, instead of censoring industry educational information and trying to keep my colleagues from considering viewpoints that may not align with my own, I choose to value the talents of my team and their abilities to discern what educational materials may or may not hold value.
That confidence in my colleagues, as I see it, helps distinguish between paying ‘lip service’ to continuing education and making it a reality.