Attending a technical college - again

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It's been more than a decade since I first graduated from a Wisconsin Technical College. I attended full-time for two years while working two jobs and one unpaid internship. What I got out of attending a technical college was much more than just a piece of paper saying I attended. I learned about my subject area, Marketing, but I also learned about technology, decision-making, about leadership and responsibility, things that would ultimately make me a better employee.

The other take-aways were more of a surprise. I walked out of there with my head high and an optimistic sense of what was in front of me. No, I didn't have any full-time job offers, but I was confident that in time, something would turn up. Well, within a couple of months, between working at my two jobs and sending out resumes, I did get and accept an offer. I've worked in several professional positions in my field; I even completed a bachelor's degree not because I needed to, but because I wanted to know I could -- and yet, I find myself returning to technical college - again. But not for the reasons you might think. I'm lucky. I didn't lose my job, or get forced out; unlike many people in this rocky economy. But I'm increasingly aware of the need to remain competitive -- to acquire and retain new skills so I can add to my value over time, not become complacent. I'm not replacing old knowledge with new, but adding new skills altogether that complement what I've previously learned.

So I'm embarking on a class to do just that. I may take several classes, I'm not sure yet. What I do know is that I love the class I'm taking. It makes me want to achieve more in my current job, to go beyond my previous comfort level, to test out what I suspect I can do. The instructor has an unbelievable resume and priceless experiences from which we're benefitting. She also brings in guest speakers that are inspiring and motivating. They make me want to learn more, to push harder and see what else I might have missed out on had I not re-enrolled. I'm not threatened by what I didn't know, rather I believe the technical college experience empowers me to want to learn more. No, I didn't have to go back to school, but I'm sure glad I'm back. I just wish everyone could have a similar experience whether they lost their job or just want to keep things interesting. I'm convinced that the technical colleges have some of the best instructors around and some of the best methods of preparing students to succeed.