Beyond Your First Job, Skills Matter More Than Your Degree

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Attending college can be an expensive proposition. While there are ways to save money while attending college, it can still be expensive. Scholarships are harder to find, and with the cost rising, saving up can be difficult. It’s not surprising that the Federal Reserve estimates that there is more than $1 trillion in outstanding student debt.

Getting a degree also might not be all it’s cracked up to be — at least once you really get going into your career. In some cases, there is evidence to support the idea that your skills and experience matter more than your degree once you get beyond your first job.

CNN Money reports on a survey from Glassdoor that shows that having an advanced degree might not help you in the long run. According to the survey, most workers felt like having a college degree (undergraduate) helped them get in the door. However, 72 percent of those surveyed indicated that training in a specific skill was valued more highly. Here is a quote about the results from the article:

“Employees with college degrees believe that their education helped get them through the door, but about half say it has no relevance to the work they’re actually doing,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor’s career and workplace expert.

So, even though you can use your degree to get a job, once you get going with your career, your degree might not matter as much. Instead, you are more likely to succeed in the long term by developing valuable and marketable skills. While half of those surveyed say they aren’t doing anything related to their degrees, many more talk about the importance of acquiring additional training and specific skills.

This means that perhaps spending money on an advanced degree might not be the key to long-term career success and higher pay. Instead, you might be better off figuring out what skills are going to be in demand throughout your career and developing those over time.

Developing Marketable Skills

Rather than focusing on a degree — especially after your career is already underway — consider looking into developing marketable skills.

What does your employer value? What could help you become a more valuable part of the team? Find out what you need to advance to the next level. In some cases, you might need an advanced degree to move up. However, this isn’t likely to be the case. Instead, you are far more likely to need some sort of specific training, a special certification, or to attend a training course or a seminar.

Depending on the career, you might even be able to prove yourself competent and ready for the next level simply by developing soft skills that are increasingly valuable in the workplace in general. Learning how to communicate effectively, solve problems, and showing yourself a good leader can help you move forward in your career. In some cases, learning from online open course-ware can help you boost your ability to perform in your job.

Pay attention to what is valued, and work on acquiring those qualities. Being adaptable and focusing on your skills development might be a better career move than getting hung up on your degree.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: