How Furthering Your Education Can Advance Your Career

An investment in education can pay and increase your choices in your career

How Furthering Your Education Can Advance Your Career

Advancing your education is an investment that will never stop paying off. Self-improvement is a never-ending pursuit. No matter the level of your schooling or the type of education you have, investing in yourself is always a good thing. Not only does schooling open the doors to opportunities like internships, but furthering your education can make you stand out when applying for jobs and increase your salary once you get them.

1. Qualifications
There are countless job and internship opportunities out there, and many of them require you to hold a college degree or be currently enrolled in college. They may also require you to have specific majors or courses, have a minimum GPA, or have experience in your field.

If you already have a job, it might seem daunting to go on to your postgrad studies because of time constraints. Thankfully, technology has advanced enough so that you can now get a degree completely online (either via live classes, asynchronously at your own pace or a mix of two). For example, what if you wanted to switch to a teaching career or increase your qualifications if you are already in the education sector. You can get a master of teaching online. Postgraduate certificate are similarly available in most other fields. The jump in online course offerings are welcome news for many as you can now work on advancing your career while also balancing your family, work, and other obligations and activities.

Remember to make sure you let your (potential) employer know you're continuing to invest in your education. Companies want employees that are continually investing in their skill set. If you're already working in your relevant field, but still don't have your dream job, they might even be willing to accommodate you in some way.

2. Salary
Your salary is another way your education can advance your career. The more educated you are, the higher your salary will be. For example, many school systems automatically give a salary increase to teachers with advanced degrees. For private sectors employers, degrees and certifications are often a justification for a new or existing employee to get a salary bump.

While work experience is also important, it can only get you so far. Strong skills in verbal and written communication and problem-solving as well as specific technical skills can all help you get to the next level in your career. And these are skills that are often developed through formal educational programs. Any employer will be willing to pay more for someone with those skills.

It's also difficult to negotiate a better salary if you don't have any credentials to back it up. Especially since some jobs simply have a very formalized salary structure (in education for example as noted earlier). Whether you're currently making less than you want or if you simply want to make more money in the future, education is a good way to increase your salary.

3. Knowledge
The knowledge and experience you will gain from furthering your education is something that can never go to waste. You always want to be learning and growing as a person, and the world of work is no different.

No matter how long you've been in your job, there are always new things to learn and ways to improve yourself, so keeping up with research and the latest trends in your sector is very important. You'll always have to be learning new things to stay relevant in your field, so you might as well gain the knowledge now while it's being offered. It's important to note that there are many types of education out there, and if you're looking into furthering your career then you should always pick the ones that will be relevant to your goals and work with your constraints on time and money.

Higher education programs can offer you insights into different situations, as well as the tools to solve real world problems that you might not otherwise have known about. In that sense, education programs can sometimes significantly substitute the experience it would take years in your profession to develop. For example, you might not have had previous experience in dealing with certain types of people (critical to a range of jobs, especially in services jobs). A formal education can offer you some practical insights into how to do that in a more professional way.

4. Networking
Networking is essential if you want to further your career, and higher education is a good way to do that. Whether you're attending a conference or networking on LinkedIn, there are countless opportunities for building relationships with others in your industry. But when you connect via educational programs, you are able to build deeper and longer-lasting connections.

The people you meet during your classes, whether they're your professors or other students can prove to be valuable connections later on. You shouldn't underestimate the power of social media, either. You never know who is looking at your posts, or who is reading the articles you write. Not to mention class discussions, where your colleagues get to see you in action over an extended period. Not only can the classroom be a valuable source of fresh ideas, but you can also identify who the "thought leaders" are in your industry. Similarly, your own insights can catch the attention of your classmates or a professor.

Since you'll be surrounded by people from the same field, there are likely to be events that you can attend together as well. Everyone knows that networking is a huge part of being successful, especially if you are looking to enter a new field or switch firms. So it only makes sense to invest in your future by keeping your education up-to-date.

5. Understanding Of The Marketplace
Furthering your education can give you a well-rounded understanding of what's happening in your industry, and how the sector (and often the broader economy) works. Whether you choose an online degree program or go to university full time, there are countless ways to learn about what's going on in your field. You'll be able to understand how things work, who the big players are, and what other people and companies are doing.

Of course, one could argue that you can stay up to date on your own, without the guidance that a class provides. However, since information is so easily accessible today, it's not always easy to differentiate relevant sources from clickbait or false news. Universities are responsible for vetting the information that their students receive, making sure it's accurate and relevant to their careers. More importantly, they offer you a formal degree or certification that stands out to employers and is a more formal signal.

Similarly, a new train of thought in your field may seem exciting or even revolutionary. However, their problems and flaws aren't that noticeable to someone with less experience, but that a professor can more easily understand and point out in a formal classroom setting. Many “new ideas” in a field have often been tried before as you will see in case studies. Not only will attending a class help you understand the pros and cons of new approaches, but it will also provide you with the tools implement your own strategies once you gain more experience and are in a leadership position.

6. Becoming An Expert
Furthering your education is almost always beneficial however you want to further your career. Once you get a good grasp on the current trends in your desired field, you can more easily set a course for yourself to become specialized in a field that's in high demand.

Becoming an expert will not only let you build your own resume but can also help you be more valuable to your employer or clients down the road. For example, if you want to become a master teacher (or a department head or principal), knowing which teaching techniques are most effective can help you become better in the classroom and lead to more satisfied students. For example, specializing in educational psychology can help you learn about motivational techniques more in-depth, which can then employed with your students, especially those struggling in the classroom.

From the career side of things, it can provide you with specialized knowledge that employers are looking for and are willing to pay for.

It all comes down to increasing the choices you have in life and knowing how to make the most of them. Investing in your future is always important, but choosing an educational path can really help you stand out and reach your goals. The key is to take the first step, whether that means signing up for an online course or two or enrolling in a formal university program. The sooner you start, the faster you'll be able to see yourself grow, and the better your chances of meeting your career goals.


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