Setting Professional Development Goals: Examples & Strategies for Success

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Professional development goals are incredibly valuable in the modern workplace — and they’re worth more than you might initially think. The most common association is individual career advancement, but research shows that professional development is key for a dynamic and resilient workplace culture.

In fact, employers who don’t prioritize training and development for employees have high turnover rates and reduced productivity. 

Fortunately, anyone can take charge of their own professional development goals; opening doors to growth and higher earning potential while also spurring innovation in the workplace. Keep reading for examples of professional development goals and guidance on how to find opportunities worth pursuing.

What Are Professional Development Goals?

Professional development goals are intended to enhance your skills and knowledge to pave the way for career advancement. You can achieve these objectives by earning certifications, attending workshops, or pursuing any opportunity to continue your education.

Professional development goals are unique to each individual and should take personal strengths, areas for growth, and specializations into account.

How to Set Professional Development Goals

These four steps will help guide you to set and achieve professional development goals that empower a strong future.

  1. Set a goal

Dedicate time to identify what you’re working toward. These ambitions can be big or small, from improving public speaking abilities to earning a top title at your company. 

  1. Consider how your goal fits into SMART criteria

The SMART criteria framework — an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound — is intended to help you meaningfully focus your efforts. For each goal you set, run down this list and make sure the objective aligns with the following:

  1. Identify opportunities

Research possible certificate courses, networking events, mentorships, and any other professional development opportunities you would like to pursue. Gather required materials so you are ready to apply/register and begin.

  1. Follow through

Take the first actionable step toward achieving your professional development goals. Set aside the time and resources required to successfully complete your endeavor. 

Examples of Professional Development Goals

Your professional development goals will depend on the industry you are a part of. It’s beneficial to research industry news and trends, job descriptions, and important skill sets in order to align your professional development goals with demand.

Business Professional Development Goals

Education Professional Development Goals

Healthcare Professional Development Goals

Engineering Professional Development Goals

Achieving Your Professional Development Goals

With working professionals in mind, the University of San Diego created a variety of online learning opportunities to achieve your professional development goals. These are just some of the many options available to you through the Professional and Continuing Education program.

Data Analytics and Visualization Certificate – Bundle and save 10% when you enroll in all four courses (must add all 4 courses in one transaction for discount):

  • DAV-X800 Essentials of Analytics in Excel
  • DAV-X801A Data Visualization & Storytelling with Tableau
  • DAV-X801B Data Analytics with Python and R
  • DAV-X802 Data Analytics and Visualization Capstone

To apply credit, select the checkbox and select  "BUS – DAV Bundle and Save 10%" for a discount on each course.

**Only one discount can be applied per course. Discount does not apply to certificate fee. **

Business
Engineering Programs
2 Units
Online Fixed-Date
Business
1 Unit
LMS/Zoom
Online Fixed-Date
Business
1 Unit
Online Fixed-Date

Practical Data Engineering Certificate – Bundle and save 10% when you enroll in all four courses (must add all 4 courses in one transaction for discount):

  • PDE-X800-Data Engineering Fundamentals
  • PDE-X801-Practical Data Extraction
  • PDE-X802-Practical Data Integration
  • PDE-X803-Practical Data Engineering Capstone

To apply credit, select the checkbox and select  "BUS – PDE Bundle and Save 10%" for a discount on each course.
**Only one discount can be applied per course. Discount does not apply to certificate fee. **

Business
Engineering Programs
2 Units
Online Fixed-Date

PM Construction Project Management – Bundle and Save 21% when you enroll in all 5 courses (must add all 5 courses in one transaction for discount):

  • PMP-X804F Project Management Fundamentals 
  • PMP-X805BD Introduction to Construction Project Management
  • PMP-X806BD Scope, Schedule, Cost, and Quality Management
  • PMP-X807BD Resource, Communications, Risk, and Procurement Management
  • PMP-X808BD Stakeholder & Financial Management & Health, Safety, and Security Overview

To apply credit, select the checkbox and select  "PM Construction Bundle & Save 21%" for a discount on each course.

 

Business
1 Unit
Online Self-Paced
Business
1 Unit
Online Self-Paced

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