The Radio Show Recap...
In this segment of The Working Life, Carol Blymire and I discuss the importance of education for our professional lives. Education, training and professional development are clearly essential ingredients for success in today’s workplace and our educational choices have never been greater. In this segment we explored some options, opportunities, and trends that are happening in the world of continuing education.
Carol’s Question: Can you talk a little bit about education, and what employers are looking for? Is it still a high school diploma, followed by four years of college, and then an MBA or other graduate degree depending upon your specialty?
My thoughts: Clearly the type of education one needs depends upon the employer, the profession, and the industry. Think of employment as a continuum—ranging from less specialized/lower skilled jobs—where a high school education is required to other end of the spectrum of highly specialized skilled jobs—where advanced degrees are required. So if you are seeking to be successful in business or other traditional “white collar” jobs—then, yes, a college degree is pretty much mandatory for even the most entry level jobs. And yes, in some cases, holding an advanced degree is becoming the norm as well.
Getting ahead with only a high school diploma is more difficult in today’s highly competitive global market. Besides being a basic requirement for many jobs, completing a college degree offers many benefits:
- College graduates earn nearly twice as much as high school graduates
- College graduates hold higher level positions than high school graduates
- College graduates advance faster in organizations
- College will develop your skills in analysis, reflection, synthesis, and communication
- College provides an enormous opportunity for personal growth and development—such as networking, meeting new people, experiencing diversity, etc. All these experiences and skills will give you a competitive advantage in today’s workplace.
Carol’s Question: Are there advantages to getting a few years of work experience after college before pursuing a graduate-level degree?
My thoughts: Yes, I’m actually a big fan of getting some real work experience under your belt before jumping on the graduate school bandwagon. Here are my 3 big reasons for working first: