A Smart Choice

Continuing Education Adds Up To Greater Career Opportunities and Better Pay

A Smart Choice

The fluctuating economy and news of mass layoffs, both locally and nationally, are making a lot of people nervous about their current employment situation. If you’ve been thinking about a career move or if you are interested in updating your skill sets to keep up-to-date with new technology, going back to school can provide you with the confidence and knowledge you’ll need to succeed.

How can going back to school help? Continuing/higher education provides a number of benefits, especially if it has been several years since you have been in school.

For one thing, business models change constantly, and in addition to advances in the technology that we use on a regular basis, there are also new and improved ways to approach how to work more efficiently. Even if you’re considering a change but not branching out into a completely new field, learning how to think differently can be a huge advantage for you.

It’s also likely that the way you look at things has developed over the years, and what you enjoyed when you were in high school or college may not resonate with you at all anymore.

Going back to college provides you with new challenges and options so you can examine your perspective and find a new path that better relates to the things that are important to you now—some of which may not even have existed five or 10 years ago.

Going back to school offers several other advantages for advancing your career objectives including: Advice—Most colleges and universities have a Career Resources or Services Office that can provide you with everything from a personality evaluation test to determine what careers are best suited to you to feedback on basic job hunting skills such as resume preparation and interview skills. Career Resources Advisors also regularly interact with local companies and hiring managers, so they know when specific jobs are available and what companies are looking for in prospective employees. And, in many cases, you can work with an Academic Advisor who can help to guide you in the right direction if you’re not sure which way to go.

Value—An advanced degree offers more than just access to the latest information and training. It also shows hiring managers that you are serious about your career objectives and you are willing to go the “extra mile” to be valuable to a company.

In addition, it demonstrates your dedication to facing challenges and rising above them—especially if you are trying to balance work and family obligations with schoolwork. Responsibility is a trait that is very appealing to hiring managers.

Opportunity—College provides you with a number of different networking prospects. In addition to the connections the Career Resources Office can provide, you can build an incredibly valuable web of potential job leads through your fellow students and professors. According to some employment experts, up to 80% of the available jobs at any given time are never posted publicly. In other words, the more people who know you and your professional aspirations and who are aware of your skills, the better your chances of someone connecting you with jobs that fit your career goals.

While going back to school does represent an obligation of both time and money (be sure to look for scholarship opportunities and financial aid), the dividends you’ll receive will be immeasurable. As a general rule, more education means greater career opportunities in addition to better pay.

So if you’re looking to make a change in your life—whether you are in the process of identifying new career paths or simply looking to increase your earning potential in your current field—continuing/advanced education  is always a smart choice.