Back-to-School for #highered pros: 5 ways to stay relevant in your job

August 25th, 2014 Karine Joly 6 Comments

In higher ed, learning is ALWAYS part of your job

Now that most students and faculty members have made it back to campus (or will this week), it’s time for you to think about YOUR back-to-school, right?

Whether you are a web professional or a social media practitioner working in higher education, you know that learning is always part of your job description. It comes with the ever-changing territory that is the digital realm AND the organizational culture at institutions of higher education.

If you want to stay relevant in your higher ed jobs, learning new skills or topics is NOT an option as you know.
So, here are 5 ways to do so this fall:

1) Earn a Higher Ed Experts professional certificate recognized by hundreds of institutions in the US & Canada

Higher Ed Experts Professional CertificateThe next session starts on October 14, but registrations will close soon and places are limited.
You can earn your professional certificate in 4 weeks in most of the cases (it takes 8 weeks for social media marketing) by studying online whenever it’s convenient for you as long as you follow the weekly schedule & deadlines with your classmates – all working in universities and colleges.

There’s a certificate for each professional skill that will make a difference in your career: web writing, social media marketing, responsive web design, search engine optimization and web analytics.

Oh, and if you are already trained in analytics and want to get to the next level, check out our brand new program in advanced and predictive web analytics for higher ed. It’s the only program that will turn higher ed digital professionals into real “analytics ninjas.”

2) Attend a conference

Guide to top higher ed conferences & events

There are few great conferences taking place this fall: HighEdWeb, ConfabEdu, the AMA Symposium, etc.

If you want to find out more about these conferences, check out my guide of the top higher ed conferences and events.

Oh, and if you attended one of these events in the past, just leave a short comment to say what you enjoyed at this conference.

I’m trying to build a permanent resource for the community – crowdsourcing conference reviews that will be useful in the future. Each conference page in this guide gets updated every year with new location and dates details, but your reviews will always be available to help your colleagues make their decision or their case to attend this event (well, you know, like on TripAdvisor :-).

3) Present at a conference

The big conference proposal season has come and gone, but it will soon open again.

If you have never presented at a conference before, you have to try. This is always a great learning opportunity and also a fantastic way to boost your career in higher education.

So, get out of your comfort zone to get into your conference proposal zone. Why not start to think about it now instead of waiting for the calls for proposals to drop when you are too busy to write your best proposal:

  • Use my guide to top higher ed conferences and events to check the conference websites – and programs – and look for what’s missing or maybe a new angle on a very popular topic.
  • Come up with a catchy presentation title and a short description of the session you’d like to present.
  • Focus on what your audience will learn after listening to your presentation.
  • Keep the description short (2 to 3 paragraphs maximum).
  • Get a good headshot ready (your social media photo works usually great) and write a short speaker bio.
  • Save everything into a folder on your computer and just wait for the calls for proposals.

Tada!

4) Read my weekly newsletter

Not because I say so, but because 2,567 of your higher ed colleagues – all newsletter subscribers – can’t be wrong, right? :-)

For almost 6 years now I’ve been reviewing and curating the most important news, blog posts, trends, research studies and events that matter for digital professsionals working in higher education. Your colleagues often tell me how they rely on this newsletter to keep up with what’s important for their job and their career.

Subscribe to my newsletter

So, if you don’t get it already, subscribe today if you want to stop missing important news for your job, because you’re just too busy doing everything else.

5) Follow professional twitter hashtags

If you’re a social media professional, you’re probably doing it. If you are not, time to follow some of the most active and interesting twitter hashtags or chats where great conversations happens and where you can find answers to your questions.

Here’s a selection of my favorite twitter hashtags/chats: