So you walked up on a stage, shook hands and now you hold a diploma. You may think you’re done learning, but think again! Or maybe you’ve been in a career field for quite some time but you find your work monotonous, or maybe you are looking for a promotion from within. Continuing education is the best way to land a job or change careers. It’s not just good for your professional life, but it also improves your overall well-being. If you need some more convincing, here are some practical reasons why you should continue learning even after you get that diploma in your hands.

Sharpen Your Mind

If you find yourself feeling a bit foggy-brained, continuing your education may help sharpen your thinking. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, learning a new skill or continuing formal education can prevent mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Formal education can happen at any point in your life. You could be a new graduate, or you may be retired. Either way, accessing classes can be pretty easy. Your local community college probably offers classes in many subjects. A community center could also offer some type of formal training. It never hurts to learn a new skill!

Begin a New Career

You might find yourself unsatisfied in your current career. If this is the case, it might be time for a career change. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not so easy to jump to a new career. You might need formal training. However, finding the training you need can be pretty easy. You could choose to engage in some sort of formal education. Maybe you want to go back to college and get another degree, or perhaps you would like to receive a master’s degree with a different focus. These types of degrees typically only take about two years to complete.

If the idea of going back to school doesn’t sound appealing to you, try going the untraditional route. Finding an internship in the career field you’re interested in looks great on a resume. Sometimes, in the eyes of a potential employer, experience is even better than education.

Excel in Your Current Career

Is there a promotion you deserve, but you just aren’t getting it? Continuing your education could speak volumes to your current employer. Choosing to learn even in the middle of your career shows that you are passionate about your job and you want to get better. Your eagerness to learn will set you apart from the people who are content to stay where they are.

Your choice to continue your education could even guarantee you additional years at your job. One study showed that 61% of employees who chose to work towards continuing education credits were more likely to stay with their current employers for at least the next five years.

Cultivate Your Life

You may have an interest in a field outside of your career. It’s ok to learn about that, too! If you want to learn a new skill or hobby, you may find yourself ultimately happier. Things like cooking, traveling or gardening add more value to our lives, allowing us to appreciate life a little bit more. If you’re at a loss of what to try, you can always make a bucket list.

Form New Relationships

You won’t just make new friends when you continue your education — you’ll also form business relationships that could benefit you in the long run. As you continue your education — whether it’s through taking formal classes or simply attending lectures or seminars — you will meet people who can help you better your work life. These relationships will last throughout your professional career.

You might think that your education stops when you get your undergraduate degree, but it doesn’t have to. Consider continuing your education to further your career and improve your life!

Sarah Landrum is a writer, marketer, and Penn State grad with degrees in Marketing and Economics. She writes about career development and happiness on her blog, Punched Clocks. Want more great tips? Subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on social media: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Google+