Home > Career Life > Go Back to School? You’re Joking Right? 10 Reasons Why Continuing Education is Good for Your Career

Go Back to School? You’re Joking Right? 10 Reasons Why Continuing Education is Good for Your Career

study books desk stress man encyclopedia library school graduate undergraduate MBA PhDWhether you’re currently an undergraduate student or you graduated years ago, I’m sure we can all agree that education is important. When I was nearing completion of my undergraduate degree and everyone around me was celebrating the last few weeks of their educational lives, I was applying for the MBA program. I knew that if I let myself even think for a minute about being done with school, I would never want to go back. I’ve spoken with a number of people who encountered this very dilemma. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say, “I wanted to take a year off and enjoy not having to worry about homework, tests, studying, and actually going to class at night.” I’m sure you can imagine what I’m going to say next. One year, five years, ten years later, those people still never went back to school like they said they would. So for those of you who are nearing completion of your undergraduate degree, take my first piece of advice, DO NOT WAIT!

For those of you who did wait and never went back, take my second piece of advice, GO BACK! To give you some encouragement, here are 10 reasons why you should go back to school:

    1. Fancy Letters

    You can’t tell me it’s not cool to be able to put MBA, MD, JD, or Ph.D. after your name.

    2. Resume Booster

    If you’re looking for a job, having additional education on your resume makes you look more desirable (on paper) and shows ambition and diligence.

    3. Instant Salary Increase

    Sometimes employers pay their employees more simply because they have more education. Companies will pay employees based on experience tiers (i.e. Production Manager III) and will often take related education into account.

    4. You Will Actually Learn Something

    That’s why we go to school isn’t it? To learn. You will actually learn things that will make you more valuable in the workplace.

    5. It Truly Makes You Smarter

    All those lectures, reading assignments, projects, papers, and exams help you think about things in a different light. This intensifies the learning process and makes you smarter in more ways than one by encouraging your brain to think.

    6. Internal Professional Opportunities

    Having a Master’s or Doctorate level degree can open up opportunities within your company that you couldn’t qualify for without. I’ve seen a number of job descriptions that require a Master’s degree and if you don’t have that, they won’t even consider your application.

    7. External Professional Opportunities

    This goes along with #5, but applies to job opportunities outside the company you work for. Maybe you’ve hit a ceiling with your current company and it’s time to start looking elsewhere for opportunities.

    8. Unemployment Gap Filler

    If you’ve been laid off and just can’t seem to get hired, going back to school can fill the gap until you find someone to hire you. Employer’s do not like to see long periods of unemployment on a resume, but if you throw in an MBA during that time, they are more likely to hire you (and pay you more).

    9. Networking

    Universities are an amazing place to meet students, professors, and local business people who share similar interests. Often times, Universities will host networking events where local recruiters come to campus looking for people like you. Take advantage of these opportunities.

    10. Because Your Boss Said So

    Sometimes your employer will ask you to go back to school. Maybe they have big plans for you as an executive level manager, but want you to gain additional knowledge outside of the work environment first. It’s also not uncommon for companies to pay for your education with tuition reimbursement. If you have an opportunity like this, you better jump on it.

As you can tell, I am a strong believer in continuing education. I enjoyed my undergraduate studies, but I’m finding that I’m enjoying my MBA even more. Continuing education isn’t always right for everyone, though. I’ve referenced some related articles below that will help you decide if continuing education is even right for you.

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Related Articles:

10 Reasons Adults Should Go Back to School

8 Questions to Consider Before Going Back to School

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  1. March 15, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Eric,

    Nice article and well stated. As someone who took nearly 4 years off before returning to graduate school, I can attest to how easily 1 year becomes 2 and then two quickly becomes 4. Even plans made with the best of intentions are often severely altered.

    For me, the most important factors that you listed are 4/5/7. Unlike college, for multiple reasons, graduate school seems to be much more hands on and applicable to my future goals – enticing me to work harder and learn more knowing it will truly benefit me in the future. As far as expanding your career, it opens a tremendous amount of doors that may not be open otherwise.

    Great article, great advice!

  2. March 15, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Steven

    Thanks for the truly insightful comment! I really appreciate that. I’m glad to hear you made it back to graduate school. Another thing that I would like to add is that it’s never too late. Some people often say, “I missed the boat…it’s too late now.” It’s not too late!

    I actually remember reading an article about a 95 year old woman who decided to go back to school. She was the oldest person ever to graduate from college. Truly inspiring if you ask me! In fact, here’s a YouTube video about the woman and her inspiring feat. And if you look at the highest rated comment, it says “Impressive. Ok maybe 30 isn’t too old to go back to school.”

    Mind if I say, “I told ya so…”

    Thanks,
    Eric

  3. March 15, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    I have to say my experience with going back to school differed somewhat from yours. I didn’t want to go right from undergrad to grad school, I wanted to get out there and get some work experience. Then, after two years in the work force I actually had a very strong desire to get back in the classroom. I must admit after being out of school for a few years I realized that I truly enjoy the process of school and the learning. I like keeping my mind fresh. I also feel that I am getting more out of the experience than the student who never had a “real job” and went right from high school to undergrad to graduate school. I appreciate the opportunity to be in school and to know that so many doors will open for me in May when I graduate. I agree that for most, it is very difficult to go back, but I definitely think there is value in working for a few years so you can appreciate the full value of going back. Really great post!
    -Erin

  4. March 17, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Erin

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. I think you’re probably one of the only people I’ve talked to who successfully took time off and made it back. I know there are plenty of those people in our MBA classes, but I’ve never actually talked to them.

    I’d also like to point out that I’m kind of a work-a-holic. I started working at a very young age at my parent’s hot dog restaurant. I would work the cash register at 6 or 7 years old, standing on a milk crate because I wasn’t tall enough to see over the counter. I’ve also worked consistently (and legally) since I was 16 years old until now. I worked as a supervisor for 2-3 years at our local ice rink during the winters. I worked in real estate. I interned at a large company a year before finishing my undergraduate and I’m now a full-time employee there.

    So, I feel like my professional career is progressing very fast, faster than most people’s. Jumping right into the MBA was just a good fit for me.

    Good luck to you after graduation!

    Thanks,
    Eric

  1. May 24, 2011 at 5:21 AM
  2. July 6, 2011 at 6:47 PM

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