Future-Proof Your Professional Goals in 2020

Tips and resources to help break down your big goals into a plan that works

February 21, 2020 | By GTPE Communications
Woman sitting and thinking about her professional goals and how to achieve them.

Reflect on the professional goals that you've set for yourself – are they still relevant and realistic? If you haven't recently reassessed your career ambitions, now is a great time to do so.

If you aren't sure where to start, here are some tips on self-reflection and gathering external insight. But, you shouldn't stop there. With your goals and professional "why" worked out, it's time to analyze the steps you'll need to take in order to grow now and into the future.

You'll need to first create a plan for how you'll reach the goals you've outlined. Think short and long term about your career trajectory and consider what strategic steps will best set you up for future success. While this comes down to your own career journey and learning preferences, here are a few questions you can ask:

Are there particular behavioral skills I need to add or deepen? This could be problem solving, time management, or things like active listening and creative thinking.

Are there bodies of knowledge I am unfamiliar or inexperienced with that I need to enhance? Think about a role you aspire to attain. What skill gaps exist? This could be anything from a deeper understanding of lean management styles to data analysis methods or something more technical, such as supply chain management or cybersecurity.

Is there a degree or industry specific certification that would benefit me? Most fields have certain widely accepted credentials that over time have become natural stepping stones for leadership opportunities.

Setting and achieving your professional goals is a lifelong process. Research has shown that you're more likely to stick with your goals if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you'll achieve them. And, with technology impacting the workforce across all industries, adult professionals will need to reskill, upskill, and retrain regularly to remain relevant. Here are 18 new certificates, courses, and MOOCs from Georgia Tech that can help you get started.

Graduate Certificates

Data Science for the Chemical Industry
Understand how data science is relevant to chemical manufacturing and learn how to use data science programming and software to solve real-world problems.

Program Certificates

Analytics Certificate
Gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the essential fundamentals of analytics and gain experience in common analytics software and tools.


Defense Technologies

Artificial Intelligence: Ethics, Trust and Bias
Learn concerns with developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the societal impacts faced while on the path to achieving true AI.

Introduction to AI: The Basics
Receive a background in the principles of AI, with a focus on the applicability to Department of Defense (DoD) and industry problems.


Demystifying Materials Data Science
Discover the basic foundational concepts and tools involved in the application of data science and informatics to problems in multiscale materials discovery, development, and deployment.


Leading Well: Living the Project Lifestyle
Introduce yourself to the principles and practices of disciplined project management.

Leading Well: Managing and Leading a Multigenerational Organization
Execute organizational strategy with an integrated view of the organization.


14001:2015 Internal Audit TPECS
Plan and schedule an audit program while conducting and leading management system audits for an environmental management system.

ISO 45001 Transition
Know the requirements and steps for a successful transition from OSHAS 18001 to ISO 45001 within your organization.

Occupational Safety & Health

OSHA 7215: Silica in Construction, Maritime and General Industries
Receive a comprehensive review of the new OSHA regulation, training on the health effects of silica exposure, and focus on practical steps to protect workers from the hazards of toxic silica exposure.

Supply Chain & Logistics

APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution Boot Camp
Master the essential knowledge to meet today's supply chain logistics challenges and prepare for the CLTD certification. Now being offered in Savannah.

APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional Boot Camp
Gain the tools to effectively manage global supply chain activities and implement best practice approaches to increase supply chain efficiencies. Now being offered in Savannah.

Business Case Development for Operations and Supply Chain Management
Receive the foundational tools and skills to develop structured business cases to reduce risk, improve strategic alignment, and drive results.

Actionable Cost to Serve Analytics
Handle the challenges of today's operating environment with "Big Data," best practices in building cost-to-serve solutions, and analytics that create actionable insights.


Human-Computer Interaction I: Fundamentals and Design Principles
Learn the fundamentals of how human-computer interaction relates to fields like user experience design, user interface design, human factors engineering, and psychology.

Human-Computer Interaction II: Cognition and Culture
Get into the user's mind to understand the techniques for designing and evaluating user-centered systems that integrate with and influence the world around us.

Human-Computer Interaction III: Ethics, Needfinding and Prototyping
Discover the four-stage design life cycle while learning the ethics of human subjects research, critical methods for requirements gathering, and how to brainstorm design alternatives.

Human-Computer Interaction IV: Evaluation, Agile Methods and Beyond
Take interface ideas, prototype them quickly, and evaluate them with real users, while understanding the next steps you could take in human-computer interaction.

Track Your Progress and Stay Motivated

Whichever path you choose, consider how you'll know if you're on track to hit your goals and build in opportunities for weekly and monthly assessments. Integrate your new skills, knowledge, and experiences, while charting your progress and then continue to move forward toward your next goal.

Looking for additional support in achieving your professional goals this year? Explore more of our program offerings.

Georgia Tech Professional Education is a leader in innovative educational delivery, designed for working professionals in tech, business, and leadership. Our connection to the marketplace — coupled with our world-class faculty, researchers, and subject matter experts — provides an unparalleled prospective to education innovation, industry trends, future work, and lifelong learning. To uncover additional resources to help with questions and challenges around career advancement visit our Working & Learning page.