Do I Need Additional Education to advance my career?

Do I need Additional Education to Advance my Career?

Some people say it is good to have work experience under your belt before continuing your education. It is, if possible. Working before you start college will help you learn responsibility and discipline. People that decide to get a degree and then go to work can face as many challenges as people that don’t get their degree right out of high school. It can be a challenge to advance in your career. When you start your work life you usually don’t work at your ideal place. It may be a just a job. It is important to find direction in your life as soon as possible so you can focus on a career, not just a job.

Even if you have a degree you may want to further your education while you are still young enough to do it. Others that don’t get their degree should look into getting their degree while working. It’s best to do it while you’re young because you have more flexibility and fewer responsibilities. Your life changes as you get older. Some plans get put on hold for a while. You may not have the time, energy, or commitment it takes to go back to school if you put it off for too long.

Are you thinking about getting a degree or taking some classes?

First, ask yourself why you are doing this. Are you looking to move up in your current career path? You may want to find out what’s in it for you. Will further education advance you to the next level in your career?

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”…..John Dewey

There are two other things you need to think about before signing up for your first class.

The Degree and Career Path

The first thing you need to look at is yourself.  Go through the self-assessment stage, and know what kind of job you will excel in and research the training and education you need, you are set to take your career to a whole new level. What kind of degree are you looking for?

Are you looking to further the education in the field you are already working in? Are you looking to change direction and go for something completely different?

Do research about your field of interest. Talk to some administrative and college professionals. They can give you some excellent advice on what to do.

Do you feel burned out on your current career path? Do you feel like you are going nowhere and need a change of pace?  These are both good reasons to consider going back to school but pick your next career choice carefully.

Your career path needs to take you up to retirement and maybe beyond. You may be relatively young right now. How old will you be when you decide to make a new career choice and get another degree? Do you have it in you to do this?

Are you being realistic about your career path? Our energy levels are different with each new decade. Our goals change with every passing year. Your energy in your 20’s, may not be the same when you are in your 40’s.

You should also talk to others who have made choices similar to yours. Ask them how they feel. Your career path needs to be a good fit for you. You cannot base your choice solely on the money you may make. Money comes and goes. What you make now may not be what you make once you get the degree.

The Cost of Your Career Change

Continuing your education is going to cost you and not just money, but time and emotion. You will be using up a lot of emotions on this journey. Are you in a good place to start this journey?

Do you have the mindset to deal with the highs and lows of your education goals, both professionally and emotionally?

Education can be expensive and time-consuming, but what is the cost of not doing it now?  There are so many online courses that can save a significant amount time and not disturb your work schedule.  With so many online college options, you have total access to anything and everything in Knoxville. Whether you are looking to get a four-year degree or just getting certification or training, it’s all there online.

There are several online degrees and certification programs to choose from in Knoxville. Here are just a few Knoxville area colleges to choose from University of Tennessee, Johnson UniversitySouth College, University of Phoenix.

As far as the financial piece of the puzzle, there is plenty of access to financing for your education. TSAC or TFS is a good place to start when looking at financing your education.

Many companies in Knoxville will help pay for college tuition.  This would be the first question to ask, but make sure you are asking to advance your career with the company you work for.  If you are interviewing with a company you may want to ask the hiring manager if they have a reimbursement program.  Most companies will ask for a commitment to pay the tuition back if you do not continue to work for their company for a certain period of time.  You will want to make sure you are committed to learning and advancing with that company.


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