With the rising costs of a college education, it can be tempting to make your own way through your chosen profession. Although many employees are hoping to forego getting an advanced degree in favor of leveraging their experience for higher paying jobs, the advanced degree can still pay off in several ways.
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Ensuring Quality of Knowledge
Even if you have many years of experience, you may not have all of the knowledge needed to be an expert in your chosen field. Acting as a self-taught agent can be risky if you end up with certain gaps in your education. These gaps can be hidden from you (you don’t know, after all, what you don’t know). By going through a standardized program in your field, you guarantee yourself a well-rounded education, while also providing your employer with security.
Putting in the Effort
A candidate with an advanced degree also shows a higher level of dedication to the field. This person is willing to invest the resources necessary to become a master of the relevant topics.
Keeping the Hierarchy
Some bosses may be reluctant to give you a promotion even if you have the necessary knowledge. By promoting only candidates with master’s degrees, your employer can be buffered from critique about the promotion process by lower-level employees . Requiring an advanced degree allows employers to structure their own promotion processes.
Don’t be Shortsighted
Another pitfall of relying on experience over education is the fact that most jobs won’t provide you with the higher-level picture that an advanced degree would give you. Each job has specific duties that may have you focusing on one small aspect of your field without taking time to pause and think about the theories and concepts behind your profession; you might miss some important insights.
Getting a Degree Online
One solution to the problem of needing a higher education is to get your degree online. Many on campus universities, such as University of Southern California, offer programs like LLM online degrees. You can further explore the possibilities of online education by researching schools that offer online programs that interest you.
Before you decide not to get an advanced degree, consider some of the benefits you will get from furthering your education. With many online options available, it is easier than ever to get your advanced degree, even while continuing to work full-time. There are also programs that allow you to turn your work experience into college credits which can save you time and money by accelerating the degree process. So, you may be able to get the best of both worlds and bring both experience and advanced education to the table.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber