It doesn’t take many years in the work force to begin acquiring meaningful experience that will serve you well in the future. In fact, you may be in the position you currently hold more for what experience has taught you than for what a classroom has taught you.
The positive outcomes you’ve achieved thanks to your lessons at Hard Knocks U reinforce your belief that success in a field doesn’t require formal education in it.
You’ve probably noticed a gap or two. There have likely been moments when you thought, “I’ve not dealt with this before.”
And that is the greatest value in formal education, especially at the graduate level.
There’s no doubt that you have extensive knowledge in the areas in which you’ve worked. But it’s unlikely that you’ve had the breadth of experience it would take to substitute fully for a formal degree. As a result, a degree won’t just remind you of what you already know. It will help fill in some gaps where life’s road hasn’t taken you yet. And while many opportunities exist to enhance your leadership skills, a degree provides greater promise for your future.
That sounds good, you may think, but I don’t have time to go back to school.
Well, consider this: the time investment needed to complete a master’s degree isn’t what it used to be. Many accelerated online degree programs allow you to continue a full workload while you knock out the classes necessary to improve your performance and your future.
Here are two other reasons why a degree can benefit you, even if you don’t think you can learn that much.
A few months on the job with you will tell a new supervisor that you know your stuff. But when you arrive at an interview, even a very powerful resume won’t carry the weight that a degree does. It’s not that anyone undervalues your experience, since they likely reached their own positions the same way.
But a degree provides a credible endorsement of what you’ve learned, and it’s one that others can quickly identify.
You might have ten years of experience at your company before applying at one of their competitors. During that time, you’ve racked up valuable experience. But maybe your potential new employer doesn’t subscribe to the business philosophies of your old employer. Maybe they’re concerned that you may be tainted goods.
By achieving a degree, you hold proof that you’ve been exposed to a broad base of knowledge, regardless of what you’ve previously been required to do.
And let’s step away from business-to-business relations for a moment.
Do your clients know what it means that you led a project management team that oversaw a robust renovation of IT systems? Probably not. Do they know what an MBA is? More than likely.
And again, a degree distills all your valuable learning down to a simple sentence: I hold an MBA degree. The result is credibility for your firm and the ability to draw in clients.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?
About the Author: Sam Peters is an avid blogger and career whiz. Originally from the mid-west, she now resides in sunny San Diego. When not writing you can usually find her with a good book and her puppy, Kona.