Many jobs require continuing education to remain licensed. Doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, engineers and even teachers all have to prove that they are keeping their skills sharp.
Unfortunately, due to busy schedules a lot of us put off that training until the end of the year – a time that is already busy with holidays and deadlines. Scheduling your continuing education classes in advance can give you a number of advantages.
1. Best choices for classes and locations. Certain professions require a specific number of course credits every year, but don't require the course work to happen in specific niches. This means if you work primarily in a niche there may not be a tremendous amount of courses available for you. Registering for those courses early guarantees you a spot in a class that will be both useful and go toward you credit requirement. Some classes are offered at multiple locations. Signing up early gives you the best chance at a class near your home or office, rather than having to travel an hour more.
2. Lower Registration Fees. Many training classes offer an "early bird" savings that can sometimes be as much as 50% off the registration fees. For expensive classes this can be a huge savings. Take it when you can!
3. Take Pressure Off of Yourself. If you are required to complete a specific number of hours annually, planning them throughout the year takes the pressure off you. You can plan your workload and meetings with plenty of notice so that you can focus and get the most out of your class.
4. Leave Room for Re-scheduling. It happens to all of us. Sometimes even the best laid plans develop a kink. Scheduling your classes earlier in the year gives you flexibility in case something comes up. You will have time to reschedule the class, or even retake it if need be.
Putting a little bit of foresight into scheduling your continuing education can reduce stress and save you money. That helps make for a successful training experience.