An online degree is an excellent tool for professional advancement. You get all the benefits of traditional higher education, but in a much more convenient format. Let’s take a look at what you can gain.
Remove barriers to your advancement
Plenty of careers nowadays leave no room for advancement if you don’t have a certain level of education. Applicants with a degree are considered more qualified for the majority of new jobs. A candidate without a college education usually lands entry positions with lower pay and fewer benefits.
If you want to advance in your field, or immediately start on a higher rung of the ladder, you will need higher-level expertise. Taking an online program lets you earn the degree you need, while maintaining your current professional position. In other words, it’s a unique chance to catch up to other candidates in your desired role without sacrificing your established income.
Level up your skill set
An online degree could give a great boost to your resume. Not only do you get to claim a higher level of education, you will also level up your soft skills. These are highly appealing to recruiters so you should invest in them as a way of future-proofing your career.
If you complete an online program, you can boast significant dedication, time management, and commitment. It also proves that you are capable of independent research and project management. If your degree required you to do group projects with other remote learners, you can also mention your capability of long-distance teamwork and remote coordination with a diverse team.
Empower yourself to learn whenever
Online learning allows for an unprecedented level of flexibility. You don’t have to physically go back to school and spend 80% of your day sitting in a classroom. Instead you can further your education in any phase of your life, even while working or rearing a family.
It’s an amazing way to improve your opportunities without sacrificing your life-study balance or your income. You can even use it to advance your current professional position. For example, you might want to take an online MBA course if you’ve been eyeing a managerial role.
You can apply what you learn directly at your job and see for yourself how the program translates to real life. Fill out any gaps in your industry knowledge without getting any in your resume along the way. If you decide to move companies in the future, you have the added bonus of higher education without sacrificing work experience.
Develop a better professional network
One notable benefit of an online degree is a unique networking platform. To begin with, your virtual classroom will likely include fellows from all walks of life. Such diversity is a treasure trove of professional acquaintanceships. It’s especially useful if you’re doing the degree because you want to switch industries.
For example, let’s say you’re looking for career opportunities in tech. It’s a field in growing demand and offers a versatile choice of positions. Your career path will benefit from making connections with people in as many connected areas as possible.
The college itself will likely have opportunities for students to connect with professionals in the program sector. You can get first-hand knowledge about the inside of the industry, what the recruiters want from incoming workers, what experience you can get, and what your overall prospects are. There are also often career teams and job boards to help students get practical experience in their field of study. They’re a great launching pad for building your own network of professional contacts.
Snag new leadership opportunities
One of the most obvious benefits of a degree is that it can open up some leadership positions for you. Even if you consider your current career path a successful one, you might want to apply for a promotion or take on more challenging projects.
In those cases, you should seriously consider an online master’s degree, either in management or a specialized field. It will help you learn how to make decisions like a business leader, as well as manage people more successfully. It can also be a great supplement to the popular option of shadowing. The point is to get as much leadership-oriented experience and knowledge as possible.
To sum up, taking a degree online can help you land higher-level jobs, advance to leadership positions, and overall boost your skill set. It’s also a great way to build your professional network.
Written by Mike Johnston