Specializing in Payroll - It's Never Too Late to Go Back to College

By: Jason White

Payroll is a specialized discipline. You will most likely need to obtain professional certification or accreditation to work in this field. However, if you already are a working professional, this may be a difficult choice to make. Not because you don't want to go for it but because you are not expected to get back to school, after spending years working.

We all are expected to follow the ages-old route: high school, post-secondary, postgraduate (if required) and then get into the workforce. The idea of going back to school, especially after accumulating a few years of work experience or anytime later in life, still carries certain stigma around it.

There are times that you know we need to upgrade your knowledge and skill set or specialize in a particular area to remain in a job or to enhance career prospects. But you stop yourself from getting back to school thinking how people around you will react to it or how your potential classmates will look at you.

Frankly, these thoughts need to be dispelled immediately. Pursuing further education offers numerous benefits. It not only enhances your employability but also contributes in your overall development. You feel young, refreshed and energetic again.

The crux is - don't miss any education opportunity that can enhance your life and career prospects. Don't be afraid to experiment, explore and learn. You never know what path it opens for you. Take, for example, the case of Andy, an accounting professional in a mid-size healthcare company, who benefitted from going back to college and continuing his education.

He enrolled in Centennial College's one-year graduate certification program in payroll management to obtain specialty in this particular discipline. After working for four years in accounts department, he switched to a job in payroll department of the same company. However, even after spending two years in this job, he didn't get promoted even once. The reason was not the lack of knowledge. Instead it was because his manager didn't find him a fit for a managerial role.

Centennial's certification program not only helped Andy in strengthening his concepts in accounting strategic compensation, and pensions and benefits, but also acquired critical managerial presentation, project management and report writing skills. The school of business helped him build his skills portfolio and upgrade his resume.

As the program is delivered in partnership with the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA), he was also eligible to receive the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) designation. Little did he know that this certification was going to change his life for the better.

When college ended, he began to search for more advanced career opportunities through Centennial's students' placement cell. And very soon he got hired as a payroll officer in a large-scale organization.

Andy could avail that opportunity only because he dared to go back to the college. Had he not taken this step, he would be in his same old job, leading a disappointing life. So, the idea is to choose unusual. Don't be afraid to make a decision to enhance your employability. You never know where it may lead you.

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Author encourages working professionals and graduates to go back to college and continue Payroll Management education for enhancing their skills and availing more advanced career opportunities. Area of focus includes role of continuing education in finding better job opportunities.

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