A guide to staying pertinent to your present career.
Photo by Logan Isbell on Unsplash
Back in my university days, I attended a seminar conducted by a famous career coach. I remember how he was explaining some perceptions that harm visionary mindsets.
For instance, getting inspired by rare stories of a few famous personalities like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford, students fancy the concept of dropping out of college. They think that not having a degree will not affect their future until reality hits them hard. Mediocre jobs, low wages, no chance of promotions anyone?
What these youngsters don’t realize is that those who left in between had a solid plan of action, which mostly succeeded due to two things. Immense hard work and luck! The former is unavoidable, and the latter, not guaranteed.
There is no such thing as becoming a billionaire without any hard work and strategy. So why not wisely do the hard work to acquire an education that will assist you in succeeding?
Look, how Napolean hill motivates us by saying, “While some people are dreaming of success, others get up and work hard for it.”
I would like to add here that dropping out is not always done by choice. Sometimes, unfortunate circumstances lead a person to delay formal education. People start working, and then their limited education becomes a hurdle for them in career progress. But, there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you stay hopeful.
Why pursue Higher Education?
As the world evolves, the advent of technologies such as the AI has made every field highly dynamic. Only those who are open to the concept of continuous learning will be able to get ahead. And, failure to do so will result in stagnancy in your career path.
Even the earnings of those who obtain a proper degree are reported to be better. According to research conducted in 2011 by Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, the monetary benefits after a four-year degree are almost equal to an investment that gives a 15.2% return per annum.
Your only reason to pursue a degree should not be to make your resume impressive. Think of your career instead as an asset. It gives you monthly returns, and ideally, its value should keep escalating. The only way you can increase its value is to stay updated and acquire professional credentials.
Read on to know how you can recharge your career by obtaining higher education.
- Set Clear Goals
Identifying your interests and setting realistic goals will give you a clear direction to which you could channel your efforts. One advantage of this is that as you aim your career progress, ambiguity won’t be a hurdle for you.
For instance, if a person who has been working as a paralegal wishes to become a licensed lawyer, he should enroll in a law school program. Or, a home cook can pursue a culinary arts program to become a professional chef.
- Recognize Your Strengths and Deficiencies
Everyone has an idea about his own potential and also his shortcomings. A self-assessment will tell you what areas you need to work on in order to progress.
The appraisal process is a norm in the corporate sector, where the supervising manager gives feedback on the subordinate employees’ performance. They highlight the good attributes as well as areas that need improvement. It is a perfect opportunity to get a reflection on what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Take cues from what your manager has highlighted and formulated a plan to work on it.
- Decide Whether to Develop New Skills or Advance the Existing Ones
Once you have a clear viewpoint, go ahead and decide what your next step should be. Do you need to up-skill by getting enrolled in a degree program in your field? Or taking certificate courses in your lifelong passion would do just fine?
Although vocational training is an excellent way to develop new talents, nothing can beat the credible prowess of a professional degree.
My two cents; make your decision based on your goals, and never fall into the trap of untrustworthy, self-proclaimed experts. They might be fraudulent and won’t provide you any value for your money.
Always opt for a legitimate institute that is recognized and valued around the world.
- Look Up On How Education Will Benefit Your Career
Acquiring a higher education is not only beneficial for someone doing a corporate job. It is equally beneficial for entrepreneurs and business professionals.
If you pursue formal higher education, chances are that you will get pro at solving business problems. If you happen to work in the corporate sectors of economic hubs like, California, New Jersey and Florida, MBA can be a degree that will give the required boost to your career.
Some more plus points of attaining a degree are:
- You will develop multiple soft skills.
When you attend college or university, you get to live a life that can be termed as a prototype of your professional life. You are supposed to work hard for accomplishment, face new challenges, meet people, and also befriend them. Apart from these, you need to turn in assignments on time and need to establish yourself as a trustworthy person.
Experiencing the above-mentioned things will equip you with soft skills that are highly imperative for career growth. These include the art of communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving. You will also learn time management, adaptability, and work ethic.
- You will get practical knowledge of your field.
Acquiring higher education makes you practice tasks that immensely help you in your professional life. Creating presentations, detailed reports, and several multitasking issues at a time are an aspect of studying for a degree. Becoming a pro in all of these will help you nail the same tasks at work as well, such as designing impactful presentations, and troubleshooting problems related to your field.
- Gaining knowledge and socializing will help you in developing a fair, unbiased perspective.
Every university program follows a well-curated curriculum, which includes a variety of topics. By getting enrolled in any of those, you will get exposure to vast knowledge not only related to your career, but also about human society as a whole. You will get valuable insights into world affairs, philosophy, and diverse perspectives.
- A degree will be a convincing factor for you to get promoted.
Needless to say, while your degree will raise your value in the eyes of your employers, it will also enhance your performance, which will make you an eligible candidate for a promotion.
You can inform your employers about your further education and claim how it has influenced your better performance. It will help them realize that you have the relevant skills and knowledge that can benefit the department and company as a whole.
- You will surely get monetary benefits.
With a higher rank comes a higher salary, all thanks to your new degree. There is no doubt in the fact that the more you learn, the better you earn.
Degree holders earn higher than high school graduates. This is a fact backed by the Economic Policy Institute. In their 2015 report, they stated the wage difference between college graduates and high school graduates. It claimed that, on average, degree holders earned 56% more than high school graduates.
Undoubtedly, earning good money is everyone’s primary goal, and a degree helps you attain that for sure.
- Reinvent Yourself After Acquiring the Degree or Certificate
It has been observed that anyone who studies in a degree program experiences a positive impact on their personality. The rigorous hard work, years of studying, and perspective building are the critical factors behind this change.
You, too, can experience the same if you decide to get further education. Your polished character will do wonders for your career as well. Who doesn’t like a well versed, tolerant, and groomed colleague? Your relationship with everyone at work will drastically improve.
Earning a degree is definitely a good step toward career advancement. It is an investment that is going to change your life for good. As evident from the facts above, an advanced degree will equip you with relevant knowledge, a refined perspective, financial gains, and also some robust personality enhancing skills.
Without procrastinating further, gather the courage to start right away. A world full of opportunities awaits you ahead. Good luck!