Now that summer is over and fall upon us, it is the time of year I focus on reflection. I find myself looking to add to my ‘toolbox’ even though I have my MSW degree. Every professional should add to their skill set, improve or expand their knowledge base and continue to learn.
I find myself researching online designations, certificate programs and online courses that interest me and can be taken independently that will enhance my professionalism. I have found a few that grabbed my attention and now I have to narrow down the choice. I am debating between 2 actually, one of which is a designation and one a certificate program. The price for each is reasonable and can be paid in installments and I have 6 months for one and 18 months for the other to complete the coursework, exams and both are online programs. One through a reputable company and the other through a university.
The question to ask is which will better enhance my knowledge and skill set along with providing me with information that I do not already have or have in limited amounts? The designation is related to my current practice of working with seniors/older adults and would certainly enhance my knowledge while the other can be applied to any demographic, but is easily applied to working with the 65+ demographic. The elective course I am required to take could focus on many different areas, although one on grief is the direction I would go.
My interests are aging, advocacy, health care, education, end-of-life issues and grief. Both the designation and the certificate fit into my interests, but I cannot do both at this time. Both can be taken at any point in time and are available online. Not an easy decision. I will continue to reflect, seek guidance and then make a choice.
I hope that other professionals will do the same and see the benefits to adding to their “toolbox.”
By Victoria Brewster, MSW
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