Why would someone who is already successful in the workplace decide to go back to school?
The answer is: Opportunity. Successful people are adept at seeing opportunities and recognizing what it takes to advance their careers.
There are always points in your career when you want to move forward, whether that’s working towards a promotion, staying competitive in your field, or exploring a career change. Higher education can be a major driver in getting you where you want to go.
Here are three reasons someone who has already achieved success in the workplace should consider going back to school.
There are many employees who obtain an undergraduate degree that is only somewhat related to their career path. Or, as technology continues to evolve, the skills, tools or programs you learned years ago as an undergraduate may not be sufficient to maintain your position.
If you like what you do and want to stay in your current position, you could go back to school to increase your skill set and your ability to do the job even better. For example, a project manager can enhance his or her credentials with a graduate program that will offer current techniques and provide hand-on experience with the latest technology in the field.
Becoming successful in your current position may give you an opportunity to advance at work, but that’s not always the case. A degree in a new or related field that adds to your individual skill set, or helps you learn management or leadership skills, can give an employer the assurance that you are ready and able to take on new responsibilities.
Let’s say you work in your company’s regulatory affairs department. By going back to school for your master’s degree, you could demonstrate you’re ready and have the knowledge to lead the department.
3. Career Change
Successful people may consider mid-career changes, whether for professional, personal or any other reason. Maybe you have accomplished a great deal in one career field, but another field seems more interesting or better aligned with your lifestyle. Going back to school could help you change your direction industry-wise, geography-wise, or satisfaction-wise, by re-directing the skills and experience you already have with new knowledge.
Let’s say you’ve been working in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field, and you realize what you really want to do is to teach in one of those areas. You can build upon your substantive specialized knowledge by getting a master’s in teaching, which would credential you to teach.
There are many ways to get to where you want to go in the workplace; higher education is just one of them. It is for many people the right pathway to further success in the workplace, greater financial stability, and increased comfort and happiness in your life. Carefully consider your options and decide if going back to school is right for you.