How Professional Development Positively Impacts Your Career

jennifer Bjorkman | August-16-10


How PD Can Impact Your Career

Many professionals feel they get lost in the crowd, and have difficulty standing out in the workforce. With an increasing number of university and college graduates, is having a post secondary education enough? And how do you stay on top of rapidly changing industries long after you’ve graduated? Professional development is an excellent option for advancing your education, and has many additional benefits, whether you are an emerging professional or have years of experience.

Updated Skills

Participating in a professional development course can help you keep your skills current. Your university or college education provides you with a foundation of knowledge, but what if you want to learn more about a specific profession, or have a desire to keep up with the latest practices? Professional development courses will help you develop the skills necessary to succeed in your unique environmental field. In partnership with Royal Roads University, the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education (CCEE) offers an innovative, university level Certificate in Environmental Practice (CEP) to environmental professionals at any stage in their career.

Increased Marketability

By keeping your abilities up-to-date, you are increasing your marketability to employers, current and potential. Recognized by employers throughout Canada, the Certificate in Environmental Practice (CEP) offered by the CCEE is based on the National Occupational Standards for environmental employment, and therefore ensures you gain the knowledge required for your specific environmental field. 

Yin Chien Liao, a Project Coordinator at Atrion International in Montreal, believes she landed her position in part because of her education through the CCEE, “The program most definitely helps with employability in the environmental sector,” she says. Updating your skills will help you to stand out from other candidates who have similar credentials and will also show employers that you are willing to go that extra mile to improve your abilities.

Flexible Programs

Advanced education is flexible. Most professional development programs are available part time and are often distance based, providing total location and time-frame flexibility. This means that you can update your skills and credentials while you work. Liao’s favorite aspect about the CCEE Certificate program was its flexibility and pace, and she feels the content has been extremely relevant for her current job. Designed with over 11 concentrations to choose from that match your unique field, the Certificate provides you with a foundation of knowledge needed to enter into the Canadian environmental sector, but is also geared towards your own specific interests and intended career path.

Professional development courses may also provide recognition for previous experience. The CEP awards academic credit for learning and employment experience related to the requirements of the Certificate, as demonstrated through work experience, job training, short courses, seminars, workshops, and other forms of relevant experience. This means that you could get professional development credit for work experience or education that you have already completed!

Certification Maintenance

Many practitioners use professional development courses to maintain their certification status. The Certificate in Environmental Practice provides certified environmental professionals with the development hours needed to maintain their EP status.

Personal Value

There are many other reasons for seeking out professional development. Liao believes it is always important to continue learning. Angelica Whetung of Vancouver, British Columbia enjoyed the distance learning format of the CEP and how she could connect with others in the field across the country. Whether your reasons are personal or professional, direct or indirect, it’s never too late or too early to look at professional development opportunities — you can begin at any stage in your career and experience the benefits.

Are you interested in professional development to advance your environmental career? The Canadian Centre for Environmental Education is now accepting applications for the fall session. Visit for more information or to enroll now! 

Let us and others know what drives you to seek professional development! Share your thoughts below.