Is Further Education Right for You? Ask Yourself These Questions First

In the ever-evolving world of international cooperation, further education is often cited as the key to becoming or remaining relevant and competitive. But before you dive into the myriad of available training options, it’s worth taking a moment for some introspection. It's not just a question of whether you should pursue further education, but rather why, how and when it would best serve your goals.

Further education international cooperation

In this article, Beat Geiser, Advisor and Trainer at cinfo, clarifies how to use further education for a career in international cooperation effectively.

Understanding your own needs and goals

The first step in making an informed decision about further education is to clearly understand your own professional aspirations. Beat stresses the importance of this self-assessment. “It’s not about following a trend or succumbing to peer pressure, but about addressing a specific need for professional development that matches your skills with your ambitions,” he says.

It's not about following a trend... but about addressing a specific need for professional development.


This personal reflection should cover several aspects: 

  • Your motivation: What drives you to seek further education? Is it passion, a desire for change or the need to stay competitive?
  • Your career goals: Where do you see yourself in the next few years? What roles or areas of work are you attracted to?
  • Your current skills: What skills and knowledge do you already possess? What gaps would you like to fill?
  • Sector dynamics: What market work trends do you want to adapt to or anticipate?

Acknowledging exceptions

Of course, there are also exceptions. For example, a strong attraction to further education in a field you’re passionate about underlines that life and career decisions are not based on logic alone. They can be influenced by deep desires and personal interests that go beyond purely rational choices.

Life and career decisions are not based on logic alone...

Evaluating costs and benefits

Further education is an investment in both time and money. Beat warns against rash decisions and urges professionals to carefully consider the return on investment. “It’s not just about paying for a certificate or diploma. You need to evaluate how a particular training course can help you achieve your personal and/or professional goals,” he explains.

Further education is an investment... consider the return on investment.


Ask yourself these questions:

•    The cost: Is the investment in this training worth the potential benefits to you?
•    The time commitment: Can you afford to invest the time required without compromising your current responsibilities?
•    Relevance to your goals: Is the training directly related to your personal or professional aspirations? Does it provide skills and knowledge that are valued in your target field?

Choosing the right timing

Timing is another factor to consider. The right time to pursue further education is often during a career transition or when you are looking to specialise. Beat advises: “Be attuned to your professional and personal development. Your past experiences may reveal the areas you want or need to explore more deeply through training. This can be a source of motivation to invest fully and make the most of the opportunity.”

Training is rarely essential at the start of a career, except to strengthen certain core skills. Typically, the focus at this stage is on gaining work experience, which, in itself, is a rich source of learning.

Making an informed decision

There is no doubt that further education can be a lever for professional growth in the field of international cooperation. However, its true value lies in the precise match between changing professional requirements, training opportunities and a deep understanding of your aspirations, skills and professional context.

The true value lies in the precise match... aspirations, skills and professional context.


In conclusion, if you take a rigorous approach to self-assessment, carefully weigh the costs against the potential benefits, and choose the ideal time to embark on this journey, you won’t see further education as an end in itself. Instead, it becomes a thoughtful and strategic tool for achieving your career goals.

Ready to take action on your self-assessment?

Don't navigate your career path in international cooperation alone. cinfo offers personalised career advice services to help you refine your goals, identify skills gaps and explore the best training options to achieve your ambitions in the sector.