What relationship do think exists between Higher education and professional competence?
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The original question had to be edited. I would suggest that there is a very strong link between advanced learning and professional competency. Certainly, in many domains, this involves pursuing education beyond what one might have initially studied. In other domains, this can involve attending workshops, seminars, or other professional growth venues. The reality is that if one wishes to become more professionally competent, further study in that particular field is required. One cannot grow as a professional or develop further competencies if they are not invested in the process of reflection and seeking how to enhance their craft. In this light, I think that there is a clear relationship between higher education and professional competence.
The idea of higher education or further education after a job has been secured means that individuals are engaging in vocational reflection. The education that one receives to attain a particular position or advance in a chosen field helps immensely. Yet, to become a better professional and develop further competencies, I think that further education is needed. One cannot consider themselves to have gained greater competencies and skills if they have not invested the time and effort to do so. Involving themselves in more education allows greater understanding about specific fields to emerge, as well as understanding relevant discourse in particular domains. In addition to this, the ability to forge professional learning communities helps to build solidarity and enhance professional competence. This means that individuals have to commit, in some form, to being a lifelong learner. Many fields of work reward this life long learning element in different ways. These incentives acknowledge the link between professional competence and enhanced education. Such a link involves learning about a chosen craft or vocation as often as possible. It is in this investment of time and energy that one can see a link between further education and professional competency.
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