Education is an influential step in enhancing your skills and staying competitive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers with a bachelor’s degree make on average $1,248 a week, whereas workers with just a high school degree earn about $746 a week.
The best part is, even if you’re working full time, you can still pursue an education that will help you move forward in your career. The e-learning industry has grown by a staggering 900% in the last two decades. As online degrees have become a more mainstream offering from colleges, universities, and training providers, more people have gained access to education while remaining in their jobs. Research has shown about 60% of online students also work full-time and more than 45% of them cited the desire to advance their career as the main motivation to take online courses.
By pursuing a degree, you expand your knowledge and get equipped with practical skills that can push you to the next level in your career and result in promotions. For people who did not graduate from high school but wish to get a competitive advanced degree, there are some great programs out there, notably an ability to benefit program that lets people earn their GED and pursue a college degree at the same time.
That being said, here are 7 ways education can help you advance your career.
Gives You a Competitive Edge
The job market is changing and the demand for an educated workforce is very likely to increase. In fact, experts estimate that 65% of all jobs in the US economy require postsecondary education and training beyond high school.
And considering the fact that only 40% of all adults and 42% of all youth are college-educated, having a degree is going to give you a significant competitive advantage.
Earning a degree is also a great way to make sure you are always employable. In today’s job market, the average person will change jobs between 10 and 15 times during their career. Higher education is a great way to stand out from other job applicants.
Allows You to Expand Your Knowledge
By pursuing a degree, you expand your knowledge and get equipped with practical skills that can push you to the next level in your career and result in promotions.
Even if you have reached a management position, you should continue expanding your knowledge. Graduate and undergraduate degrees can help broaden your skillset and build upon your experience.
Increases Job Security
Having proper education ensures that you are the most suited and qualified for your job. In fact, it can even make you irreplaceable. If you are knowledgeable, vastly skilled, and highly competent, you can rest assured that your job is secure.
Having the right knowledge and skills makes you a valuable asset to your organization while at the same time demonstrating that you are committed to improving yourself and the quality of your work.
Improves Your Soft Skills
When you continue your education, you gain more than hard skills training, i.e. knowledge related to a particular craft. You also learn other, more subtle skills that are just as important.
These soft skills include strong abilities in various areas such as communication, creativity, teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Soft skills proficiency is very important because if employees lack these talents, their employers will have limited worker assets. Each soft skill adds value to your current workplace, but also helps you prepare to take that next step toward achieving your career goals.
Grows Your Professional Network
By continuing your education, you will be exposed to fellow students coming from different professional backgrounds. In a classroom setting, whether online or on-campus, you have the opportunity to get to know people who have the same knowledge as you, who have been in the spot you are in and have continued to advance their careers, or who might be in similar situations as you.
This network, grown through earning a degree, can be an excellent source of information and insight as you advance your career.
Builds Your Work Ethic
As we already mentioned, many people need to continue to work while furthering their education. If this is your case, education can also help you build a strong work ethic.
This is something managers and execs like to see. It proves that you are motivated to be successful and obtain knowledge that will help the progress of the entire organization. If they notice this, chances are you might be offered an opportunity to progress your career.
Showing commitment to your goals and strong work ethic is a sign that you will continue to be successful in your current work environment. If, on the other hand, you already hold a management position, your dedication will set an excellent example for your team and co-workers.
Boosts Your Confidence
Earning a degree is an excellent way to sharpen your confidence. By continuing your education, you gain skills and knowledge that will help you advance your career. Moreover, you gain additional skills in problem-solving and communication, which can create a sense of self-reliance and pride, as well as a great confidence boost.
And according to studies, there’s a close link between confidence and success. A study conducted by the University of Melbourne showed that workers with higher confidence levels tend to be promoted faster and earn better wages.
Education and career have a very strong relationship. Without a solid education base, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to advance your career.
By furthering your education, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need in order to take the next step toward achieving your career goals. In addition, earning a degree will provide you with the best networking opportunities that will further facilitate your progress.