Education plays a big part in career options now-a-days. Employers are typically looking to hire candidates who have both knowledge and experience–a combination that produces employees with a wider and more developed range of skills. It’s hard to compete with that, especially for those looking for entry level jobs. Whether you are a new graduate contemplating career choices or a seasoned worker considering going back to school to further your education, you should really consider your career goals and how a degree will help get you there.
How Far Will a Bachelor’s Degree Get Me?
It’s not exactly front page news that getting a bachelor’s degree will work in your favor in terms of finding employment and landing a decent-paying job. Statistically speaking, a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn 80 percent more than a high school graduate. Nevertheless, relevancy between your degree and the field you wish to work in is paramount. There’s no sense pursuing a degree in history if you wish to work in law enforcement; you may be able to describe the evolution of penal codes, but that just isn’t going to impress potential employers. Figure out which field you envision yourself working in and pick a degree that demonstrates that interest. Take advantage of internships while in college to gain that all-important experience that employers are looking for, and you will find that a bachelor’s degree will take you quite far in your chosen field.
Do I Need to Get a Master’s Degree?
With the wide variety of advanced degrees that are offered, there really is no single answer to this question. The solution instead depends on what type of degree you are considering, what your career field is, and your career goals. Here are a couple of important questions to ponder:
- Are you only considering obtaining a master’s degree because you feel it is the sole ticket to a high paying job?
- Is the job that you want typically performed by people who have a master’s degree?
- How much more will you earn after you complete the degree?
Some fields require a master’s degree at the minimum to even get an entry level job. For example, social workers who provide clinical work and positions in health settings all require an advanced degree. Teaching is another field that requires a master’s degree if you want to see a significant increase in your salary. That said, if your future earnings are not substantially enhanced by having a master’s degree, then it is probably not worth the time and money it takes to obtain the degree.
With the cost of education constantly rising, the monetary value of a degree is easily questionable. However, it is also important to remember that in this economy, the job market is even more competitive. This makes a college degree one of the most lucrative investments a person can make, even if it means going back to school to get a master’s degree. Begin your research by contacting the placement office of the university you want to attend. Speak with a representative. Ask for a comparison of the initial earnings of a master graduate in your field of study compared to a graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Hard numbers and facts will help you make an informed decision.
Victor Munoz blogs about the benefits of higher education, including MBA degrees. If you are looking for a career in business, you might consider applying for an MBA at Marylhurst University or Rutgers University.