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Here’s What Professionals Can Do to Keep up with the Changing Job Market

There used to be a widely accepted formula for career success: earn a college degree, land a job and work your way up.

That’s still good advice, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. And that’s because today’s professionals, college-educated or not, are encountering a new age of job disruption that is perhaps more radical than anything before.

So what does this mean for today’s professionals?

In a world where competencies are becoming obsolete, adaptability helps you stay competitive. That means being able to regularly respond to and anticipate change by building upon existing knowledge, as well as expanding it to new areas.

“Education isn’t something that stops,” said Dr. Annie Green, a faculty member for the Artificial Intelligence Management Certificate at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. “It continues. Just like the continuous improvement of an organization, it’s the continuous improvement of a person’s knowledge, skills and abilities.”

More and more professionals today are adopting this “continuous learning” mentality. A smaller commitment, certificate programs offer an accelerated way for professionals to stay relevant. And the higher education world is responding to these shifting demands by making certificates more accessible. Today’s certificates are as varied as the needs of the professionals who earn them.

Take Moe Tun, an engineer who earned a Certificate in Cybersecurity Strategy. Cybersecurity impacts many aspects of Tun’s job, so he assembled the information he learned into a framework, similar to those his team members use to process complex technical information outside their areas of expertise. Earning a certificate in a new subject helped him adapt to evolving technologies.

No matter the industry, motivation, or career level, one thing is clear: maintaining the status quo doesn’t cut it anymore. Today’s professionals must adapt, embrace uncharted territory, and create new ways forward — wherever they may lead.

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Morning Notes

Foggy night at the Marine Corps Memorial by Wolfkann

Arlington Earns ‘B+’ For Budget Transparency — Arlington has earned a grade of “B+” from the Virginia Coalition for Open Government for the ease of finding budget information on the county’s website. While better than average, the score is below Fairfax County’s “A+” grade. [Sun Gazette]

New Optometrist Open in Clarendon — A new optometrist clinic has opened in Clarendon. New Era Eyecare opened at 3105 10th Street N. last week. It’s the company’s second location; its original clinic is located in Clifton. New Era isn’t the only optometrist to recently open in Clarendon’s main business district. Visual Health Doctors of Optometry opened at 3102 Wilson Blvd in 2011.

APS Offers Car Maintenance Course for Women — Arlington Public Schools is offering a car maintenance course specifically for women as part of its adult education program. The course “is designed specifically for women who have limited to no knowledge of car maintenance.” It’s the only gender-specific class currently offered as part of the program. As of this morning, there was only one remaining student opening for the class, which begins on March 11. [Arlington Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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Arlington to Host Adult Singing Competition

(Updated at 11:05 a.m.) Last year Arlington Public Schools hosted an “Arlington Idol” singing competition for high school students. This year, adults are getting a chance to compete in their own contest.

As part of its adult education program, APS is hosting the “2012 Arlington Sing-Off Competition” for those 18 and over.

Auditions for the contest are taking place on Friday, May 11 and Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. The May 11 audition is being held at Washington-Lee High School, while the May 17 audition is being held at Kenmore Middle School. There is a $10 registration fee for all participants.

Entrants must sing as a soloist — no groups are allowed — and they must do so acapella, at least during the audition phase. Songs must be memorized, and profanity is not allowed.

Three judges will help narrow down the field. The judges are Bolormaa Judgersuren, an opera singer originally from Mongolia; Dawn Frederick, a professional singer and vocal coach; and Adelaide Ruble, a recording artist and vocalist for a local swing dance band.

After the auditions, a semi-final competition will be held at Jefferson Middle School on May 21. The finalists will compete at Jefferson Middle School on June 5.

Anyone interested in competing can register online or call 703-228-7200. The grand prize for the competition is a $100 gift card and an opportunity to perform at Arlington’s first annual “Night of Concert Music,” which is being held on June 15 at Jefferson Middle School.

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