Are Post-Secondary Degrees Really Necessary Anymore?

books-691980_640With so many alternatives for career advancement available these days, there’s a hot debate over whether post secondary degrees, such as an Online Masters in Organizational Leadershipare even necessary for success any more. Certainly there are fields, like science, medicine and engineering, where an advanced degree is a requirement, but what about those who aren’t interested in pursuing careers in those fields?

Aside from the cost of a higher education and the delay in beginning your professional life, there are many more benefits to furthering your education beyond a high school diploma or undergraduate degree that go beyond a much higher pay rate, sometimes up to three times more than a bachelors degree alone. For example, courses are often taught by instructors who have extensive knowledge and experience in the subject matter they teach. Those who have worked in the field often have valuable insights they can share, based on their experience.

College also provides you with an opportunity to have experiences you would otherwise miss, like the chance to meet people outside of your home environment and the means of exploring who you are and what you want out of life in a relatively safe, structured environment. Those who have attended college wouldn’t trade those experiences and social opportunities for anything, and those who don’t often regret missing out on them.

Internships, which are often required for a graduate degree, are another value-added part of college life. Although you may think of these as unpaid, low-level jobs, they provide hands-on experience in the real world that may reinforce your decision to work in your chosen field. Internships also provide great opportunities to network with people in your industry, a benefit that is also offered by alumni associations, as well as fraternities, sororities and other student groups.

As to the negative aspects, namely financial considerations and time, there are remedies. First, let’s address the financial part. These days there are many employers who are willing to invest in the education of promising candidates that they want to keep. There are also more scholarship programs opening up everyday, as well as work/study incentives, where all or part of the tuition is paid in exchange for working in a much-needed sector of your chosen industry for a specified time period.

As to the time factor, online education is making it easier and more convenient for all adult students to work their courses around their family and work obligations. Prospective employers also consider the time and effort involved in earning an advanced degree to be emblematic of one’s commitment and work ethic.

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