Attending seminars, workshops, or conferences is a good way to network, learn new skills and enhance your workforce development. It also improves the prospects of landing a better job. For those with time and travel constraints, there are plenty of online options with flexible schedules and timelines.

Affordable Courses and Webinars

If you are ready to invest more time and prefer hands-on and personal experience, most colleges and universities offer courses to choose from. It is almost overwhelming to pick the right one. They differ in price, goals and outcome. If you are looking for affordable courses, classes or webinars, there are many opportunities online, some of them free. Here is a list of 50 free or cheap online courses. These do not require any prior experience or skills and are available for everybody.


Getting a certificate can be another affordable, less time-consuming and faster way to a better job than a traditional degree. Additional experience and new skills are always appreciated when being hired. Even though certificates will most likely not substitute for an undergraduate or graduate degree, it might be a needed addition in order to advance or get hired in certain fields. For instance, to work as an expert in the cybersecurity field, employers might prioritize those with CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Security+, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), Cisco CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing & Switching), or CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certificates. Read more here about cybersecurity certificates.

Specific Development Opportunities

There are also development opportunities and initiatives focused on women. Forty Thrive, an online community for women, is hosting an event for women over 40 in March 2018. Topics include “How to create new opportunities while keeping your day job (for now)”; and “What’s Next? How to make the leap from what you’re doing to where you want to be.” The American Association of University Woman is hosting workshops focused on teaching women to negotiate their salaries and benefit packages. Their initiative aims to help to close the gender pay gap in the DC area.

Other Tips

If you do not have time for taking an online course or webinar, you can watch videos or read tutorials. For example, in order to further advance your career, you might have to speak in front of a large audience. These tips for public speaking might be helpful:

  • Do not read everything from the teleprompter, be confident and speak from your mind.
  • Speak with confidence and smile. It is mostly about how you say it when you present it.
  • Do not keep your hand in your pockets or cross your legs. It might seem awkward.

If you are working in a place where they are not interested in your professional development, it might be a signal to move on. In the end, the productivity loss by a mediocre workforce is definitely a worse option for employers than investing in employee development.