How Higher Education Can Impact Your Current Career
Making the choice to go back to college as an adult is not necessarily a sign that you’ve hit a brick wall in your career. While there are many people who are ready for a change and feel a degree can lead them down a different path, there are just as many who are very happy in their roles, but see higher education as a way to refresh their skills, learn new ones, and position themselves for better things in a career they already love.
Assuming you’re able to fit your pursuit of a new degree into your schedule, here are some ways school can benefit you at work:
1. Instant Impact
“The best part about going back to school while working is that you can apply [what you’ve learned] immediately,” according to Reyna Sund, Director of Career and Alumni Services at Ashford University.
What better way for people to see that you take your job seriously? Coming to work and making an immediate impact with your new knowledge and skills can be a huge confidence booster, and your colleagues won’t be the only ones impressed.
2. Shows Initiative
Your bosses may start to notice enhancements in your decision-making and interpersonal skills, your work product, and you might even find yourself brainstorming new innovations as a result of what you’re learning in school.
“These are all areas employers are looking at in a promotable employee,” Sund said.
3. Bulking Up Your Contact List
“Even if you are flourishing in your current organization, a successful professional keeps their network fresh and growing,” Sund said.
Whether you’re attending school online or in a classroom, you’re meeting new people. Your classmates and instructors are all contacts who you can reach out to for feedback about what you’ve learned and implemented at work.
4. Intangible Benefits
Albert Einstein said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” That statement can serve as inspiration to men and women who want to get more out of their careers and life.
“The irony of learning creates a yin and yang effect,” according to Sund. “On one hand, it increases the confidence in one’s ability to rise to the challenge and compete for a job or promotion, or simply engage in an intellectual discussion.
“On the other, there is a realization that the more you learn, the more you are aware of how little you know. The beauty of this dichotomy presents the essence of a balanced leader – where there is confidence, there is humility, and these are the intangibles that most organizations are seeking.”
There’s little argument that a college degree is critical to getting ahead when you’re beginning your career. Studies have shown college graduates are more likely to have higher lifetime earnings, and the courses you take can have an impact on your marketability in the eyes of future employers.
With this knowledge, think about what you want to get out of your job. Are there skills you’d like to learn? Is there a path to advancement that can only be reached with a degree? Once you’ve found those answers, arm yourself with more information from Ashford University’s free guide, “How to Choose the Right College For You.”
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Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.