The wage growth for workers with high school diplomas, undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees was evaluated over the last decade. The wages of high school graduates plummeted while the wages of bachelor degree holders remained stagnant and graduate degree holders had a rapid pay increase. With the accessibility to financial aid and dual enrollment programs for high school students, it has become more common for students to complete a bachelor’s degree and it’s not always enough.
The investment in a graduate degree makes up for the cost these programs come with. Masters, doctorates and other professional graduate degrees often concentrate on a specific skill or topic which improves your chances of landing in a professional career. Not only will it give you more knowledge that you need, it will instantly open up doors to higher paying jobs.
Specialized Certificate Programs
Apart from graduate degree programs, specialized certificate programs are offered on campuses and online for students who want particular skills to accompany their bachelor’s degrees. These programs are less expensive and take less time to complete than graduate degrees while still holding value for a career.
Employers no longer look primarily for knowledge, but also for experience and skill. Starting at an entry-level position in your industry or field and working your way up within the company shows loyalty and dedication to employers. Work experience is valued due to the hands-on skill set that is developed and applied to your career.
In addition to work experience, college students are often presented with opportunities to begin working for a company in their desired industry while they are completing their degrees of study. Although these are typically unpaid positions, students gain knowledge and skills that they may not learn in the classroom. Often times, students are offered jobs at the place of internship upon completing their degree.
Self-Taught and Testing
Employers are now using assessments during the interview process. This trend shows that employers are no longer relying on degrees. Self-taught skills and knowledge can be a benefit when it comes to these assessments particularly when judgment skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills are evaluated.
These are options to consider when a bachelor’s degree is not always enough. Professions in mathematics, sciences, education and engineering are particular careers where these options will help in the job search.