If you are torn between continuing your education or pursuing a career, this article is for you. Read on to find out how education can help you step up in your career.
What do you think gets prioritized for getting selected for a job, education, or experience? If it is education, then what level of education do you think will suffice for you? You might not get a straightforward answer to that question from others; because people have different educational values. However, in the USA, higher studies or getting a college degree has always been regarded as a ticket to living your ‘American dream.’
But for many, getting a college degree comes with a hard bargain. They get stuck with a hefty student loan debt. Many millennials who have already finished college degrees might have to pay for their student loan even when they are in their late 50’s. And if you put a grad degree on top of your undergrad, the debt will be mountainous.
But today, we are not going to talk about when or how did education become such an expensive commodity. We will talk about if education is really worth the debt you have to pay. And how education can help you shape up your career.
How Education Can Help You Move Up In Your Career
The impact of education in your career depends on what you actually want in your career. Are you the settling type who pushes forward up to a certain level and settles down after reaching that level? Or do you crave constant challenges by persistently moving your goal further?
There is no denying that the more knowledge you gain of your field, the more edge it gives to your professional profile, making it easier for you to move up the professional ladder. Here we have explained the multifaceted values that education can bring to your career.
Education Will Help You Gain Knowledge
Most professions need subject-specific knowledge and skills, and education is the only way you can achieve that. While knowledge can be stored online and applications like PlexPage can offer you more than six million multi-discipline articles and aims to provide you an online source of all human knowledge, you are right to wonder whether you really need institutional education in your life. Well, self-learning can offer you the knowledge you crave, but it won’t do much for your self-improvement.
If you want multidimensional growth, not only just intellectual, there is no other alternative to institutional learning. Besides, institutional learning involves learning together at the same pace as other pupils. These co-learning methods will not only help you gain knowledge but also prepares you for your professional life.
Help You Grow Professional Network
Attending an educational institution provides you a unique social experience. It attaches you to a community that has the same value. This communal sense derives from interacting with your peers, alumni, and faculties. Besides, to move further in your career, you need a professional network with a similar mindset and background.
And education is the best way to achieve that platform. Through education, you get to meet the alumni who are excelling in your field and peers who are going through the same hurdles as you are. This helps to grasp the real scenario of your profession better and helps you decide what you should be doing. Internships, projects are a great way to connect to that network.
It Makes Your Resume Stand Apart From Others
With hundreds of candidates vying for a single position, it can be tough for recruiters to evaluate all the candidates. However, an advanced degree in your field can provide a substantial edge to your profile. It can make eons of difference if you have something better than what the other candidates can offer. If you can achieve a subject-specific professional degree that is very relatable to the job, you have better chances of securing the job.
Having an advanced degree proves that you are committed to the profession and up to the job’s challenges. This ultimately leads to better suitability for a job and a better chance at flourishing in your career. Besides, hiring an educated employee for a position can significantly increase the credentials of an organization.
Better Chance at Career Advancement
Many jobs require subject-specific skills and expertise. In many cases, obtaining an advanced degree can be the key consideration for your promotion. It proves you worked hard to improve yourself and are dedicated to the profession. Your degree means you are better suited to take up even more responsibilities - your employer certainly considers you as a potential candidate for the promotion.
Besides, an advanced degree can facilitate a faster promotion than any job experience can. Your hiring manager wants to value the dedication, time you spent getting a degree; that gives you a huge leg up compared to employees who are still engaged in their one-tracked job, trying to gather their experience. When you compare education and experience, you have doubled your chance of promotion competing against others.
Education Will Aid Your Professional Transition
You might not like your current profession and want to try out a different field. An advanced degree focusing on that new field can facilitate this transition for you. Getting a degree to change your career proves to the hiring manager you are committed to the transition and determined to prove yourself. Besides, transitioning into many professions require licensing and professional certification to qualify as a professional; be it a nurse or a lawyer.
Education Increases Your Earning Potential
A college degree can indeed provide you a higher starting salary than your peers who only have a high school diploma on their resume. It will increase even more if you continue to pursue education along with your job. An advanced degree can pave the road for you to become promoted. Promotion ultimately translates into a higher salary.
Be it associate's, bachelor's, graduate, doctoral, or postdoctoral degree, , your education can significantly increase your income. Even if you look at the dry statistics, college graduates generally earn 75% more than school diploma holders in the USA. The stark difference further reestablishes the fact that you need education for a better chance at living.
Helps You Demonstrate a Better Work Ethic
Work ethic is one of the significant factors that can make or break your career. Pursuing education along with your job means you have a better chance at attaining a work ethic. It helps you balance out both simultaneously. It proves to your supervisors that you are willing to work hard to improve yourself. This persistent commitment to your goals is something that employers value dearly. These traits will demonstrate your commitment to your employer and help you make a better commitment to your career.
Education Equips You with Soft Skill
Communication, teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving, and decision making are regarded as soft skills essential for a human being. You learn most of them at school and they equip you for your professional life. Organizations value employees who have highly developed soft skills. While you can learn different skills at any stage of your life, achieving these soft skills is a lifelong process.
And the ideal setting for nurturing these traits is your educational institution. All of your coursework or study method focuses on how you can develop these skills in yourself; both for your career and your life.
Education Can Boost Your Confidence
Education improves many of your personality traits; confidence is one of them. The whole education system requires you to evaluate yourself constantly and find a way to better yourself, be it studies, projects, or team building. The hours you spend on brainstorming for essays, the effort you put into meeting a deadline of a project, and the amount of compassion you built within yourself in teamwork all help you make you more self-aware and grow your confidence. In your professional life, where you have to work with others to achieve something, that sense of confidence will help you the most.
It prepares you to take up new challenges in your professional life, deal with stress, and makes you a better team player. This ultimately boosts your confidence within you; you trust your abilities to achieve a higher goal in your professional life.
The Bottom Line
The inception of education was indeed for a noble purpose - to enlighten humans, to spread knowledge. However, somewhere along the way, education somehow lost its original purpose and became an investment, an investment for your career. For many, education is simply a means to get a job. The purpose of education has been so distorted lately that many classrooms might even get empty if the students were told they don’t need a degree to get a job. However, the good thing is, you don’t have to categorize education in one way or the other; it can both be a way to gain knowledge and a means to earn your living. The only condition is that you have to find a subject that you love and help you build a career.