How to Further Your Education
Look around. You probably know this already—the value of education is everywhere. With a degree, one main value is greater wealth. Full-time workers age 25 and over with at least a bachelor’s degree make $1,187 per week, compared to $666 per week for those with just a high school diploma. [i] That’s the difference between making about $61,724 per year with a bachelor’s degree and $34,632 with a high school degree.
Some college graduates don’t stop there. While some industries mandate continuing education, like many medical professionals, business professionals in other industries realize the value of furthering their education without being told to do so. As the ever-changing business world evolves, this indirectly encourages employees to be life-long learners. Continuing training, including webinars, conferences, white papers, etc. could strengthen an employee’s skillset.
Another option for continuing education? Earning an additional degree—but not the degree you might first think of. Students are choosing to pursue community college associate degrees after attaining their bachelor degrees, and the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) estimated that during the 2007-2008 academic year, eight percent of community college students already had a bachelor’s degree.[ii] A college graduate could decide to earn his associate’s degree for many reasons—especially in today’s economy. One reason: the graduate’s major might not have been substantial enough to find a job with a degree in a specific subject area, like philosophy. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), during the 2009-2010 academic year, 849,000 associate’s degrees were awarded—a 50.4 percent increase from a decade earlier.[iii]
Benefits of an associate degree:
- Less time to complete, typically two years or less
- Substantially less cost
- More flexibility for full-time employees
Another option of continuing education is the more traditional route, a graduate degree. According to the NCES, grad school could mean a higher salary—a master’s degree or higher could bring in an average of 33 percent more than someone with just a bachelor’s degree.[v] Graduate school may not be for everyone. The type of program will dictate the cost and amount of time it takes to earn the degree—most likely both will be more than an associate’s degree.