Jonathan Cornelissen Improves Lives Through Continuing Education
Continuing education is an important aspect of career development. Without it, we can often find ourselves in ruts or going down paths that lead to unsatisfactory professional situations. In contrast, people who continually invest in themselves, from an educational standpoint, often find a wide array of opportunities opening up as they move through life. To get a better understanding of the impact that continuing education can have, we looked to the work of Jonathan Cornelissen, the founder of the educational startup known as DataCamp. A look at his work, along with the benefits of continuing education can be helpful to those seeking professional development.
Types of Continuing Education
There are many different ways to engage in continuing education, so any in-depth look at the area should begin with a look at what we really mean by the term. Generally speaking, continuing education is defined as education undertaken after the formal completion of secondary learning. Sometimes, continuing education is limited to a one-time event, such as a seminar or one-day training. Other times, the practice can be an ongoing affair that lasts for an extended time period.
The practice is often more or less common depending on one’s field. For example, some professions require continuing education over the course of one’s career to stay up to date on important matters. This is common in areas where new and emerging techniques can have a direct impact on the safety of one’s workplace methods. It is also common in fields relating to health, where emerging trends can directly impact the well-being of patients. Though other fields may not require continuing education in a formal capacity, it is often encouraged. This can take the form of certifications or other signifiers that a course has been completed, which can lead to positive outcomes for an individual’s career.
The field of data science is an area where continuing education is not typically mandated by any regulatory body, but the practice is heavily encouraged by employers and organizational heads. This is, in part, due to the rapidly changing nature of the field in light of new technologies that have made data more accessible. It’s also related to the emergence of new tools designed to help analyze data. These two driving forces have been huge factors in the work of Jonathan Cornelissen and his efforts to promote continuing education in the field.
The startup founder first conceived of the need for such a company while pursuing his doctorate in econometrics. During that time, he had a first-hand introduction to the difficulties involved in learning some of the more advanced tools in the data science field, such as the programming language R. In an effort to make learning the language easier for his students, he looked for the same type of engaging platforms that existed for other programming languages. Unfortunately, he found that there were no similarly helpful options in the field of data science, so he decided to create his own.
Creating an Alternative
The founder’s journey to aid his students became the platform that would eventually become known as DataCamp. The company started off modestly, with just the founder and a few colleagues working on the earliest prototype. That version of the company partnered with universities and other formal educational institutions to give real-world learners a chance to test out its methods. The early results were a big success and led to the company earning a solid reputation with professors and students alike. That reputation would be instrumental in its next phases of growth.
These phases of growth built progressively through investment by government programs, venture capitalists, and other independent sources of funding. Over time, the company reached larger and larger audiences and became known as one of the leaders in the field by helping millions of students. That success, however, would be nonexistent if the company wasn’t able to deliver real benefits in the field of continuing education. With those who complete its program going on to deliver better results to their employers and expand on their existing careers, it’s clear that the educational benefits of the company serve as a major asset to its customer base.
Benefits at Large
The positive aspects of the company’s program should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the many benefits of continuing education. One of these key benefits is the ability to increase one’s chances for promotion. As a person’s knowledge base grows, their expertise in their chosen field grows with it. This not only allows them to perform their duties more effectively, but it also allows them to have a greater impact in higher-level positions. This can be true for those who move into senior-level positions in their existing work or transition to a path toward management.
Along with the ability to find promotions in one’s work comes the ability to attain a higher salary. This can lead to increased happiness in the form of access to higher standards of living and greater financial security. Continuing education can also be of assistance if someone desires a career transition, whether within the same profession or in an entirely new profession altogether. Not only does a greater degree of knowledge in one’s field showcase an expanded skill set, but it also shows a willingness to learn that can prove invaluable to future employers.
Continuing education can be a vital tool for anyone looking to improve their career prospects. Formalized degrees and certificates can provide access to jobs with stringent requirements, while less formalized methods of learning can still help one move toward advanced goals on a career path. These are some of the reasons that Jonathan Cornelissen has worked to create a robust resource for data science education in the startup that he founded. By looking to the benefits of his company’s programs, as well as the general impacts of education, one can gain a stronger appreciation for how anyone can work to improve their quality of life through educational development.
More about Jonathan Cornelissen and Data Science on Crunchbase