In today's job market, open positions are more scarce than in the past, and workers are more qualified. People who are unemployed are working harder than ever to increase their competitiveness in to prospective employers and their potential for upward mobility once employed. Going to graduate school can be an ideal way of qualifying for more advanced positions and increasing marketability as a job candidate.
Age as an Advantage
Older adults who may have already begun a career often worry that they may be too old to go back to school. In most cases, their fears are unfounded as the average age of graduate school attendees has significantly increased. There are also many more graduate programs that cater to working adults, and experience is often viewed as an asset on a graduate school application.
Qualification for Higher-Paying Jobs
Current workers who wish to boost their earning potential should consider enrolling in a graduate program to enable them to qualify for higher-ranking positions. Because graduate education allows employees to gain the requisite knowledge to work in more advanced jobs while demonstrating a commitment to continuing education, many employers offer scheduling flexibility and even tuition assistance programs to encourage their employees to pursue higher education. Having an educated workforce enables companies to promote from within and reduces the need for training brand new workers who may be completely unfamiliar with the company. For students who are nearing completion of a four year degree, continuing on to purse a graduate school degree graduates to enter the workforce and freshly trained advanced degree holders who are able to commit many years of service to their new workplace. This can be very attractive to prospective employers who are looking to higher a new group of freshly trained, innovative employees.
Earning an advanced degree not only makes a job candidate more competitive in his or her local job market, but his or her degree will likely have similar appeal to employers in job markets in other cities. Furthermore, an advanced degree no longer has to be earned at one of the nation's top institutions to attract the attention of a prospective employer. Working adults are able to complete online degrees, attend school part-time, or take time out for full-time study at their local accredited college, university, or other institute. In many cases, an advanced degree that is earned from an accredited institution will have the potential to appeal to potential employers across the country.
People who are already working in their career field of choice can upgrade their skills and become more adaptable by earning an advanced degree. Graduate schools often incorporate technology and focus more on innovation more than schools did 10 to 20 years ago, when many older adults may have earned their bachelor degree. By returning to school, people who are already employed can equip themselves to grow and change along with their workplace, and they will also be more competitive as job candidates in the event that they are subjected to a layoff or otherwise find themselves looking for new employment.
Although the job market may be slow, now is an appropriate time to pursue an advanced degree. Students and working adults who decide to enroll in a graduate program are more likely to qualify for more job in today's current conditions, and they will also be better prepared to capitalize on career opportunities when the job market improves.